Boulder-based FACE rocks the Vilar Center at Beaver Creek with vocals only
FACE does what so many vocal bands can’t: create a sound as fulfilling and well-rounded as a band with instruments does.
Human voices obviously don’t have the power of, say, an electric guitar — if they did, we wouldn’t have electric guitars — but FACE tries its hardest, and on Wednesday at the Vilar Performing Arts Center at Beaver Creek, the group didn’t disappoint.
The Boulder-based group of five men started in 2001, performing on the Pearl Street Mall, collecting tips in a hat before competing on NBC’s reality series “The Sing-Off.” Today, FACE has not only toured across the country but has also played in Sweden and Australia, as well as becoming the first vocal band to ever headline Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison.
Dedicated largely to rock music, FACE played a number of recognizable tunes like Blondie’s “Call Me” and Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe,” but they also deviated from the genre.
“The Pink Panther Theme” was performed — certainly a feat, as the song contains no vocals, and that’s all FACE does have.
A country song worked its way into the mix with Florida Georgia Line’s “Meant to Be,” and “From Now On” from “The Greatest Showman” brought in a poppy show tune.
As if that weren’t eclectic enough, the quintet threw in a mashup of “Jessie’s Girl” and “Stacy’s Mom,” and a medley of ‘80s hits such as “Take On Me,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Billie Jean” and more.
And that was just the first half.
The second half offered rock staples like “House of the Rising Sun” and “You Give Love a Bad Name,” as well as a rendition of “Devil Went Down to Georgia” with lyrics adjusted to tell the story of vocal percussionist Mark Megibow’s beatboxing show with a contemporary twist. Interestingly enough, the song was mashed up with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
FACE also performed “Hallelujah,” a song that they happened to be preparing when composer Leonard Cohen passed away, before wrapping up the show with “Uptown Funk.” While there’s something funny about seeing several grown men sing Bruno Mars, it was clear that each member was having a blast.
Other songs from the second half of the show included “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede and Imagine Dragon’s “Thunder.”
The set list, ranging from Crosby, Stills & Nash to modern artists like Maroon 5, proved that not only are the members of FACE well-versed, but they’re also talented enough to move through several decades (and even genres) of music.
In an encore, the group performed “Parting Glass,” and Ed Sheeran deep cut that has become their most watched music video online.
Each member of the group was talented, but percussionist Megibow was certainly a standout, not only offering jaw-dropping beatboxing, but also having some of the best vocal chops in the group. Not to mention, Megibow had the best stage presence —telling jokes, dancing around and making the show fun as a whole. His passion for the band, the music and performing were clear throughout the show.
The graduates of Vail Mountain School’s class of 2019 will be off to far-flung destinations next fall, set to enter college in one of 16 different states or explore the world on a gap year. One grad is even attending college in Canada.