The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Innocent Men host “Survivor” concert

A mash-up of Billie Jean by Michael Jackson and music from Les Miserables could be heard blasting from the Schofield Auditorium Friday night.

The source of this strange harmony was a cappella group Innocent Men, who sang current hits, ‘80s pop and ballads for their spring concert.

Phil Reilly, a senior music composition student, said he and his fellow singers were pleased with the show they provided for their audience.
“Overall, I think that this is one of the best concerts that we’ve been able to give,” he said. “I’m really proud of all the work we did this semester and the final product we put out for our audience.”

The 600-seat capacity auditorium was nearly full as these performers not only entertained with their music but also used a theme for their concert,
“Survivor”, which included the seven singers attempting tasks in order to be the most worthy in the hearts of their fans.

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The large video screen on stage mimicked the reality show’s logo, reading “Outcold, Outsnow, Outwinter: Survivor Eau Claire.”

Three longtime Innocent Men will be leaving the a cappella group.

Andy Steffen and Ryan Simmons, both senior music education majors, have been with the troupe for seven semesters and are now taking their leave. Reilly is also stepping down from his role after five semesters.

Steffen said after having been a part of Innocent Men for much of their college careers, they are very “proud of the concert they produced Friday night.”

“A great note to leave it on,” he said. “It’s just a great way to head out.”

Reilly said he is most appreciative of the Innocent Men’s supportive fans.

“We feed off of them, and I think they feed off of us, and without all of the support from our friends and family, I don’t think we could have done what we did tonight,” he said.

Ella Maloney, a UW-Eau Claire senior, said she enjoyed the style of the concert, especially the acknowledgment of members retiring from the group.

“The tribute to the guys leaving was definitely one of my favorites,” she said. “It was really cool, really nice and really well done.”

The concert included a tribute video project put together by members of Innocent Men and a few friends, accompanied by a song. In the short film project, they compared fellow performers to quirky family members, dubbing them “Mom,” “Dad” and “Crazy Uncle.”

Eric Conner, a senior music education major, was one of the four members whose remarks lamented their loss of longstanding stage comrades.

“We’re going to miss these three,” Conner said.

Sebastian Armendariz, a sophomore music education major, said he hopes the group gave more than just their voices during their spring concert.

“They got to see a lot of ourselves and who we really are; not just the Innocent Men, but what the Innocent Men means to each of us,” he said. “It was really an awesome, awesome feeling concert for us, and hopefully for the audience.”

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Innocent Men host “Survivor” concert