By Jordan Zhang
There are two things to keep in mind: Hookslide has only four members, Paul “Bud” Anderson, George Hoffman, Jon Pilat, and MSJ alumnus Mayank Thanawala, and they are equipped with only microphones. Nobody expected them to produce the guitar, drums, keyboard, bass, and vocals sounds of a five piece rock band. Hookslide performed a stunning repertoire of energizing seventies pop, rock, and R&B delivered solely by the human voice.
Jumping right in with an explosive opening, Hookslide had the audience hooked from the start, and by the second song, a cover of Motown band Rare Earth’s “I Just Want to Celebrate,” the audience was clapping and singing along.
What sets Hookslide apart from other acapella groups is each member’s distinct vocal ability, something the group showcased by changing soloists almost every song. Following a powerful love ballad by Bud, Mayank soloed in a soulful and precise performance of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter”. George displayed his incredible vocal range, from smooth baritone to piercing high notes in the group’s rendition of seventies hit “Dream On” by Aerosmith, while the rest of the group sang the instrumental note-for-note, with Mayank playing air guitar to his own voice.
Beatboxer/bass Jon Pilat gave perhaps the best performance of the night. During his solo, Jon not only beatboxed all of the sounds in a standard drum set but also displayed the beats of various genres, from hip-hop to rock to RnB. At one point, he even switched to a Hawaiian belly dancing rhythm.
For the closing, Hookslide sang an upbeat original dance groove “Funk Bus”, inviting the MSJ Musical Theater up on stage and getting the audience on its feet dancing. Hookslide promised a four part knockout performance. They delivered that and then some: through friendly banter and the heartwarming, relatable music, leaving the audience calling for an encore.
After their performance, Hookslide sat down with The Smoke Signal for an exclusive interview on how the group got formed, their style in music and performance, their experience on Mythbusters, and more.