By Dimithri Wijesinghe
Voice.Print, Sri Lanka’s seminal acapella act to date, held a two-hour live concert at the Viharamahadevi open air theatre last Saturday (26) evening.
Featuring an acapella mash of 19 songs, the band took us through a nostalgic journey of the biggest boy bands that existed from 1960 to 2010.
Voice.Print, an award-winning band, now a household name following the release of their renditions of Geyu Gee, Pem Lowe, Sura Lo Madale, Mango Kalu Nende, and Christmas Print which launched them to what feels like overnight fame and success.
Known for their elaborate musicality and flamboyant performances, the band did not disappoint with an intricate set, blinding lights, and an energetic powerhouse performance.
The set up was simple enough, where the band performed sets of cover numbers starting from nearly five decades ago, making their way through the years. Accompanied by a cheeky costume change in between, they kept it fresh and engaging throughout with the audience really enjoying the music.
The variety in the numbers they performed made many of the choices felt rather unorthodox, as they opted to perform lesser known numbers from back in the day as opposed to the more popular commercially successful ones that the audience would recognise right away.
Many of the audience members felt that they would have enjoyed it a little more if they knew a little more of the songs, so they could sing along if they were familiar with the lyrics. While the musicality and competence of the performers were never in question, the unfamiliarity of the numbers put a slight damper on the experience.
The worst fear of performing outdoors came true when, quite unfortunately, while the concert was in full swing, the rain started coming down and the audience was forced to run for cover.
However, the concert continued undeterred, with the audience being invited closer to the stage, into the frontline area to enjoy the music under the shelter provided by the stage extension.
Oddly, the concert picked up speed and energies were high following the brief rain scare with the new, more intimate arrangement as people really started getting into it.
However, this could also be attributed to the progress of their performances to ones from more recent years, making the music more familiar.
We spoke to some of the audience members.
Malithi Alahapperuma, who was there as a result of a spur of the moment decision, said: “I loved the concert, it was good fun. Especially after it started to rain, the concert vibe was really amped and the more contemporary mash-ups were great.”
Janithra Tennakoon, who was there with a few of her friends, said: “There’s no doubt that they are great performers. It was a great show, the energy was contagious, and the rain really didn’t take away from the experience, even in the slightest.”
Regardless, the show was a good time, particularly considering that many in attendance were people who truly appreciated music and were there to witness what Voice.Print does best – create gorgeous melodies and harmonies.
The show was quite a success, with the band showcasing their versatility and distinctiveness by adopting songs from various genres and merging them with contemporary sounds, while maintaining an exuberant stage presence and flair in their performances.