Pink, Mandy Moore Show Their School Spirit
By PJ GACH
(October 27, 2000)
Charity show draws Pink, Mandy Moore, BBMak
to NYC's Webster Hall
This year's winner of New York's Z100 radio station
school spirit contest, Bergen County Academy, landed a "concert
to remember" when Mandy Moore, Pink and BBMak performed an
exclusive show for its students Tuesday at Webster Hall, the famed
East Village venue. The concert and contest, created and sponsored
by the station, Cosmo Girl! and Circuit City, was in conjunction
with the charity Computers for Kids, a nationwide program that
buys and installs computer systems for schools.
The concert hall filled early with students from the Hackensack,
New Jersey magnet school. Some looked underage (or was it that
they looked their age?), others looked and acted like forty-year-old
divorcees. Waiting for the show to begin, they danced and cavorted
to trance and mix music -- in high spirits, but well behaved.
By the 7 p.m. show time they were ready to really let loose.
Wearing a black tank top, dirty jeans and platforms,
first performer Moore bounded onto the stage followed by her four
male dancers. She told the audience how much she was happy to
be there, and then launched into the love theme, "I Wanna
Be With You" from the movie Center Stage. Dancing and singing
her way through a forty-minute set, she practiced baby vixen moves,
pouts and poses. She mostly sang to pre-recorded tracks, which
worked until she sang along to herself in "Candy," the
last song of her set -- it was disconcerting to hear her duet
with herself during the chorus. But other than that weird moment,
Moore was exuberant, sang superbly and seemed to have a great
time on stage.
After her set, back came the track music. The kids
didn't seem to mind, but something wasn't right. Upstairs in a
VIP lounge, BBMak chatted to crew and roving reporters, while
Moore signed autographs and posed for pictures. The time was now
8:10 p.m. and more track music was playing. Where was Pink? Why
wasn't BBMak on stage singing? It turned out that BBMak and not
Pink was ending the show. Finally at 8:45 p.m. Pink came on stage.
She apologized for being late, but never explained why she wasn't
there to perform at her originally scheduled time.
But onstage her voice was dead on. Though she may
only be twenty-one, her voice has a lot of soul and weariness
sounding like a mix of Aretha Franklin and any funked up blues
singer from the Fifties. During "Stop Falling," she
held onto a note for so long, that the audience was holding their
breath for her. She moved fine onstage, but her eyes seemed glassy,
and she carried herself in a belligerent manner.
Out of the three, BBMak were the ones who got the
kids to clap their hands to the music. They chatted and kidded
with the audience. Their mind-blowing soundcheck was nothing in
comparison to their live set, with both guitars out and a backing
track. Mark, Ste and Christian act and dress like typical East
Villagers, wearing tees and jeans, nothing fancy, just comfortable
clothes. Before the show they wandered around a bit through the
venue and were completely anonymous. Onstage, singing their amazing
harmonies, they sound and look like choirboys gone bad. And face
it, choir boys just don't sing about unrequited love. When they
open their mouths and the music flows through, the voices become
one soaring, complex fluid instrument. They've got the right touch
of cheeky humor and "just us" behavior to win over any
tough teenage (and not so teenage) crowd.
After BBMak closed the show with their hit, "Back
Here," the lights went on, and the students slowly filed
down the stairs, grabbing their goody bags from CosmoGirl! and
entered into the yellow school buses that drove them there, turning
back from princes and princesses who can command teen pop's top
performers to play private concerts to the high school kids that
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