Going to the Harmony Sweepstakes was fun. I took Nathanael and met Tim there, and Nat was very well-behaved, so I got to enjoy the show.
It was a really good show. The groups were, on the whole, far superior to what I've seen from videos of previous sweeps. That made for a good show for me to watch, but a tough competition..
They also had an incredible variety of groups: an oldies/fun stuff cover group (Wonder Voice), a world music college group (UCD 6), a vocal jazz ensemble (Clearly Vocal), a funk band (Confidential), a classic rock/oldies cover band (Cool Shooz), a bluegrass/gospel/old timey music quartet (Mountain Blue), and a hard rock original band (Vox Bom). It was apples to oranges trying to compare most of the groups (like trying to judge between Manhattan Transfer and Rockapella--two totally different things).
Interestingly, the group that was the absolute weakest musically won the most awards. That was bothersome.
Confidential took first--they have a good sound and tight harmonies. Their solo-background blend was off, and the songwriting was a little flat (not pitch-wise, but in terms of crafting songs that hold your attention), despite the fact that the songs had interesting hooks. But their sound was really superb.
Vox Bom took second. HOORAY! They were really fantastic, but definitely rock. Still, they had the most interesting solo (even though it didn't win best solo!), and the most developed sound. It didn't feel like a cappella, though. (There is a "feel" to a cappella arranging, and this wasn't it). Actually, the sound really reminds me of OkGo. That kind of music. Very developed, and very appealing to music lovers (not just a cappella fans). It was a double triumph because it was all Tim's original songs, and it's nigh unto impossible to win anything at a cappella competitions with original songs.
Nobody won third.
MouthBeats (another of Tim's groups) won last year, so they hosted this year and performed their winning set while the judges were tallying scores. And it absolutely blew me away. I maybe have never seen something that cool. Probably ever. It was entertaining, held my attention the whole time, was cutting edge, and was just plain cool. Then Tim did one song Live Looping, and that went over REALLY well. Very impressive. Afterward, a man talked to Tim and said he's been in the entertainment world for decades (I think he said 35 years, but I'm not sure), and he has NEVER seen anything that commanded the stage as well as Tim Live Looping, and the woman with him took his name and wants to hire him for her house parties this year (hooray!). I was glad he got to loop.
All in all, it was a fun evening. Especially fun to be with Tim. And after the show, I was chatting with a guy Tim has known for a long time who used to have a Christian a cappella group but it kind of fell apart, and we were talking about Faith, which was really cool--discussing faith when things are rough, and choosing faith, and those kinds of things. Anyway, at the end of the conversation he mentioned that he built a studio on his property (not far from here) and then his group "imploded"--so now he has this empty studio that he's been praying for what to do with it so it can be used--and did Tim need a place to record? And I said, "We've been praying for a place for Tim to record!" So that was neat. The other guy is named Tim, too, and he's a really neat guy.
We were nearly an hour late getting home afterward because there was a massive accident on the freeway and it was closed. We saw the sign just in the nick of time and managed to get off at the exit right before the block (where we could see people sitting on the barriers of the freeway, out of their cars, just waiting--stuck in the traffic jam of a closed freeway at midnight). Unfortunately, that meant we had to drive home from Denver through town, and that was slow going.
Don't know how we're going to make it to church with the time change, though. The big kids all went right to sleep, but Nathanael napped in the car on the way home, so he is just now falling asleep--and it's 4:00 am. Church is at 9:00. Hooray?