NC/DC Preliminaries took place on Friday, March 24. Twelve groups competed to make it to the semi-finals.
The night started with 3 Souls, a quartet (featuring a ginger) performing “I Hate that I Love You.” Their combination of two guitars, a cajon and vocals was quite literally music to the ears.
Up next was Reghan Harms with a bold and passionate rendition of “Stand in the Light” and Concomitant Coccyges performing the simple but powerful “You Raise Me Up.”
Following was chicken tender Elijah Schaefer with “Better with You” and Thunderware rocking out to “Black Holes on Brown.”
But of course who could forget A Cool Name for a One-Man Band like ‘Owl City’ a.k.a. Stephen Clark and his guitar Lola performing “Listen to the Music,” or the Pentatonix-like Octapella feat. J. Jackson performing “Cheerleader”?
Adele was featured heavily in this year’s NC/DC, including “Someone Like You” by the always-passionate Casey Perez, Rachel Dukes’ chill-inducing rendition of “Skyfall,” and Sweet Harmony’s soulful “Set Fire to the Rain” and “Jar of Hearts” mashup.
Finally, two exciting groups were Ginger Pizza with “Riptide” and Prodigal Sunshine with “Lost in my Mind.” Both seemed to be in their natural element up on the stage and did a phenomenal job.
Alas, only five of these extraordinary acts could proceed to the semi-finals. Voting was open until Wednesday, and 3 Souls, Ginger Pizza, Octapella Feat. J. Jackson, Casey Perez and Thunderware were chosen to advance to the next round.
As we look forward to the semi-finals and the finals, we can also look back on the history of NC/DC.
Kendall Stanislav, the RD for the apartments, said that the event now known as NC/DC started in 2003 or 2004 as ‘Northwestern Idol’.
“It was just NW students competing in an American Idol-style singing competition,” Stanislav said.
This event went on for several weeks and was a big hit. In addition to competing performers, some performances were purely for fun. The year after the initial event, Dordt came into the picture, and NC/DC was born. Stanislav feels that NC/DC is an event that does well at attracting talent from both schools as well as a large audience.
“I’m consistently impressed by the talent of all of the contestants – even those from Dordt,” Stanislav said.
Although NC/DC’s origins predate his time at NW, Aaron Beadner shared some of the changes made to the event over time. He said the basic structure has been relatively untouched: each school narrowed down their acts to the top five in the preliminaries and then to the top two in the semi-finals. These two finalists are brought together against the finalists from the other school, and the hosting school alternates each year.
“We used to do token-type voting. You put something like a penny or bolt or what-have-you in a bucket and whichever bucket weighs more moves on.”
Needless to say, digital voting is far more accurate. There have also been guest performers in the past, such as American Idol’s Jason Castro.
Be sure to catch the semi-finals at 9 p.m. on April 8 in Dordt’s BJ Haan Auditorium, and the finals at 9:30 p.m. on April 22 in Christ Chapel.