Priority Male vs. The Pitchforks


By Monica Sampson

Singing competitions: we all know them, we’ve watched them and heck if you’re a 90’s kid like me you grew up loving the staged effects of a singing competition. However, today most of these competitions are more W.W.E and less real talent show, it’s all pre staged. So, what happened when you strip all the technology away and just make a competition about raw vocals?

Friday, November 20th Arizona State’s a cappella show, “Verses” came to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts for an acc-amazing night. The packed venue featured ASU’s male a cappella group, “Priority Male,” and female group, “The Pitchforks.”

It was a sing off, between Priority Male and The Pitchforks, an all a cappella show to see who would win the ASU title.

The concert started with a movie screen and pre-recorded sing off from both groups as titles rolled across the screen. This movie theater effect hooked the audience to the story the groups were able to tell.

A blackout covered the stage and then the girls started singing and dancing to “Countdown,” By Beyonce.

Right as the girls were finishing their first number the male group flooded the stage and were handed over the microphones.

At this stage in the game, The Pitchforks and Priority Male were pretty equal until Priority Male announced they were going to be singing Hozier’s “Work Song“. This was the game changer that started to bring Priority Mail to the top.

They not only worked with intricate choreography, but the vocals in this song showcased how complex Priority Male’s vocals can be. I was pretty set on giving the title of “Best a cappella group,” to Priority Male right then, but suddenly three singers from The Pitchforks came on and did what I can only describe has a “Feelin’ Myself” off.

Yup the hit Nicki Minaj and Beyonce song was brought up to a whole new level when dueling a cappella groups used it to showcase their dance moves and incredible vocals.

With that, and a few other great performances the audience lights came up for an intermission. This is a unique factor in a cappella shows that I love. This gives the artists time to rest their vocals cords.

The Pitchforks came back from intermission, super strong as they did a joint number with Priority Male. Finally, the feud between the groups was over. The group did a special song to showcase the real reasons they were there that night.

The Pitchforks performed an original which gave the audience chills and Priority Males’ number dedicated to their charity of choice. This was a beautiful moment where each group got raw with their vocals and emotions.

By this point in the night, Priority Male had dedicated a number to a wife in the crowd and managed to capture the hearts of every girl in the theater. The Pitchforks, were killing it with their strong vocals and quite unique sass.

However, I found I had to keep glancing at the program trying to see which number they were performing. The Pitchforks were a little lackluster for my taste. With a cappella comes a show, and Priority Male did just that when they performed a mash up of Drake’s hot single “Hotline Bling” and Justin Bieber’s hit “What Do You Mean?” A moment, which was hilarious and technically ambitious.

The night ended with a fantastic mash up of every hit Rihanna song. Both The Pitchforks and Priority Male came together for this standing ovation worthy hit.

Finally, as the two groups were together the well rounded ness of the great vocals, corgeorhy, acting, and arrangements that each group uniquely possessed shined through on stage. Because of this, it felt unnecessary to name a champion of the night.

Clearly, all that mattered was raising awareness about, a cappella, charity and bringing the ASU community together.