One if by rock, two if by roll: British Invasion Night 2016


Adam McQuilkin

Mr. Perry shines onstage

Nicole Poitras, Co-Editor In Chief

Contrary to what co-emcee Ethan King ‘17 claimed in the opening skit, this year’s British Invasion Night had nothing to do with the War of 1812. However, it was the grooviest history lesson ever given at Hollis Brookline: a schooling on what was arguably the greatest era of modern music.


The “British Invasion” of the mid-1960’s was an influx of bands from across the pond, including The Beatles and The Who, that became a fixation of the American music scene. On Friday, Dec. 9, emcees King and Curtis Newton ‘17 brought the audience back in time to celebrate the Fab Four and their equivalents.

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The show opened with two numbers from the band Abbey Road (Peter Szczezynski ‘19, Steven Szczezynski ‘20, Abbey Kotelly ‘17, Nick Shepard ‘18, Cam Vahe ‘17, Luke Martin ‘17, Ethan King ‘17, Vicky Rezzarday ‘20, Jamison Muckstadt ‘18): “Spooky” and “Eight Days a Week.”  After that, Oh Yeah This is Really Hip (Joey Schunemann ‘18, Michael Friedman ‘18, Nick Franzini ‘18, Jamison Muckstadt ‘18) took the stage to slow things down with junior Frank Pugh’s flowing rendition of “For No One.” Aaron Velez ‘17 then joined Pugh for a lively duet on “When I’m Sixty Four.”  Later, in a complete change of tone, Finny Rasmussen ‘18 swept the crowd away with his enchanting guitar cover of “Norwegian Wood.”


To wrap up Act 1, the faculty band The Rolling Scones made their entrance. In their first number, “Only Want to Be With You,” Kathy Kirby showcased her incredible vocals with Christina Ellis and Karen Johnson as her backups. The remainder of the band consisted of emcee King on trombone, Eric Perry on drums, Mark Illingworth on guitar, and Dave Umstead on bass.


After Kirby’s number, Matt Barbosa came onstage to blow the audience away with two insane covers of “Wild Thing” and “You Really Got Me.” During “Wild Thing,” Michael Fox interrupted the rock session to teach the audience some “real poetry.” He proceeded to eloquently read the lyrics of “Wild Thing” out of a poetry book until the antsy Barbosa and his bandmates shooed the teacher offstage.


Newton and King kept the audience cracking up in between performances, whether they were making dad jokes or challenging audience members to a dab contest.


The band Odds and Sods (Isaac Wimmer ‘18, Nick Shepard ‘18, Matt Bradshaw ‘17, Nick Franzini ‘18) dominated Act 2. For the students’ first number, Perry stepped out from behind the drum set to sing “The Kids Are Alright.” The song was a hit, delighting his many students in the audience.


Caroline Burns made her return to the Hollis Brookline stage to perform “She’s Not There” and “Gimme Some Lovin’” with the band. Even with a busy music career that keeps her away from school, Caroline still counts the members of Odds and Sods as her friends  It was evident, watching them laugh and have fun, that the former bandmates were jamming as if Burns had never left.


Velez then came back onstage to wow the crowd with “My Generation” and “Pinball Wizard.” To wrap up the show, Odds and Sods drummer Sheppard showed off his little-known vocal chops on “I Saw Her Standing There.”
There is one more Guitar Night scheduled this spring, and if you would like to get involved you can text @jimmypage to 81010 to receive updates on audition opportunities.