AKFEST: The Resolutions, Locked and Loaded

The Resolutions (“Resos”) leaders, seniors Garrett Wilkes and Molly Frantzen, introduced their show as a “fantastic set with a bunch of Reso staples plus a bunch of new stuff … all being videoed, so you can sing along.” That might seem like a lot to live up to, but they brought it and more.

The opening number, a cover of “Youth” by Foxes, sung by junior Gabby Ambrosio, had a heartbeat keeping time thanks to the beats of the Resos (Wilkes and senior Evan Weissblum). It went perfectly with the beautifully rendered lyrics: “And as we cross the line these fading beats have all been severed/Don’t tell me our youth is running out/It’s only just begun.”

Dubstep covers didn’t end there; my personal favorite, and possibly the highlight of the night, was a cover of “Too Close” by Alex Clare, which, in place of electronic riffs, had complex harmonies and even plain silence. The arrangement, sung by first-year Kevin Yapaola, improved on the original, with its replacement of guitar and xylophone with interesting backup harmonies.

None of which is to say the oldies weren’t just as good. Besides the fact that the lead nailed Regina Spektor’s “Samson,” the background for the arrangement was a fresh take on an already incredible song. “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper, was arranged by the same graduate. Performed by junior Josh Jackson with a shockingly good falsetto in place of the original whistling, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was, along with “Samson,” part of the Resolutions’s last CD.

This is only slightly disappointing because it means these two great Resos’ hits probably won’t be on their new CD, which is currently being recorded.

“Look out for that on the horizon in Fall 2013,” Wilkes said of the CD’s release.

Of course, the whole group was clearly excited to be onstage, singing and dancing together. Ignoring the classy “uniform” of tuxedos and black dresses, it was a night about having fun. Besides a few beat-boxing solos, new lyrics and multiple standing ovations from the audience, there was a 10-second, hands-only dance party in the middle of “Bouncing Round the Room” by Phish. It went nicely with the lyrics they added, “naptime ended once again,” appropriate for college students.

There was only one disappointment all night.

“Typically, every semester when we have new members, we have them do a skit – but we have no new members!” Wilkes said during the very short intermission.

But it just meant there was more time for hits like the Resolutions’s mash-up of “Hey Ya” by Outkast, “No Scrubs” by TLC and “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child, among others, or “Seven Bridges Road,” originally by Steve Young.

The grand finale and send-off for Frantzen, which she led and used to thank the audience, was another oldie, “Operator” by The Manhattan Transfer.

“It’s going to be hard for me to say goodbye,” Frantzen said.

It was hard for the audience, too.