Fifth Element presents ‘The Soap Opera’

Fall concert features songs and videos about love and moving on


Photo by Amanda Thao

Fifth Element put on an energetic and humorous performance Friday night. From left to right: Matt Nyman, Collin Sorenson, Steven Witzeling, Lucas Jordan, Will Johnston and Ian Rucker.

Bathed in electric blue light, six men clad in suspenders stormed the stage and began to sing in beautiful harmony.

Fifth Element’s fall concert Friday night began with a medley of various songs — from “Sh Boom Sh Boom” by The Crew Cuts to One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” — with each song featuring a new member of the group.

Like most Fifth Element concerts, this one focused on a theme: “The Soap Opera.” Junior integrated strategic communications student Will Johnston said the group chose the theme after selecting their songs for the semester.

“We always try to have a theme for concerts so it makes the concert a little more interesting than ‘we’re just going to sing at you for two hours,’” Johnston said. “We realized that most of the songs had a love and loss theme, so we decided to roll with it.”

The songs selected by Fifth Element took the audience through the ups and downs of a relationship. Johnston said songs like “Faithfully” by Journey and “Jenny” by Walk The Moon highlighted the theme of love and lust.

Meanwhile, songs like “Never There” by Cake and “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5 highlighted the raw emotions felt after a breakup.

Fifth Element also turned their concert into a multimedia experience by incorporating short video clips the group filmed, which added to the soap opera theme.

Johnston said Fifth Element has always included videos in their concerts and the group loves to get together to prepare them because they add an element of humor.

Inspired by soap opera’s telltale melodramatic flair and ridiculous dialogue and plot, Fifth Element’s videos told a number of tales about the inner workings of the group.

The group faces a number of obstacles in the videos, from threats to disband Fifth Element to a fierce battle of insults, from resisting an evil twin’s girlfriend’s advances to dealing with negative comments made on their music videos.

Despite these setbacks, Fifth Element finished strong and unified, performing Bruno Mars’ newest hit “24K Magic” and a fan favorite “I Can Live With That” by Go Fish, a song the group now performs at every concert.  

“It’s always amazing seeing so many people come to our concerts,” Johnston said. “I love talking to people after concerts and hearing that this was the first a cappella performance they had ever been to. Sharing music with people is our main goal.”

Although it wasn’t her first a cappella concert, sophomore public relations student Maddie Forrest said she enjoyed getting to see the new members — Steven Witzeling and Noah Druckrey — perform, as they were substituted in throughout the performance.

Forrest also said this is her second semester as part of Audacious, an all-female a cappella group, and she appreciates a cappella’s prevalence on campus and the sense of community it creates.

One of her favorite pieces performed during the concert was Ed Sheeran’s cover of “Wayfaring Stranger” sung by Witzeling. Forrest said Witzeling is a very talented musician and he arranges her music for her.

“I thought it was really cool how they incorporated their introductions into that and how they switched up the tempos,” Forrest said.  

Fifth Element’s next concert will take place in the spring on the theme “Gender-Bend.” Group member Matt Nyman proposed the theme, Johnston said, where every song they sing will be by a female artist.

Although they do not yet have a concert date set, Johnston encouraged everyone to keep a lookout on social media for the announcement.

To keep up with Fifth Element, check out their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.