The Friars, an all-male a cappella octet formed as a subset of the Men”s Glee Club, will be holding their 45th annual “Best Concert Ever” tonight at Rackham Auditorium. The group formed in 1955, taking its name from a drinking society that existed at the University in the early 1900s. According to Jonathan Lutz, SNRE junior and first-year member of the Friars, “we (the members of the group) drink a lot of beer.”

Paul Wong
They like drinking beer. They like Elizabeth Filarski. The Friars are our kind of people.<br><br>Courtesy of the Friars

Whether drinking or not, however, the Friars performances are lively and fun-filled. “We”re more entertainment than just sitting and listening,” Lutz said. “Our humor and our spontaneity are what sets us apart from other groups.”

The Friars are more than simply a vocal performance group their shows often include choreography, jokes and props, such as the use of hand puppets at the “Monsters of a cappella” performance in February. The group strives to get the audience involved during their shows, hoping (as their webpage states) “to lose (themselves) in a good time and hopefully drag everyone else along for the ride.”

The theme of tonight”s show is “Survivor,” an idea that is present within a number of the songs that the group will be performing. Among the featured songs are covers of “Survivor” by Destiny”s Child, “I Will Survive,” by Gloria Gaynor, and “Eye of the Tiger” (originally by the 1980s band Survivor).

“We have six new members this year,” said Lutz. “We”re just trying to survive the flood of a cappella groups on campus it”s really cool to see everyone working together for the concert.”

Jonathan admits that his favorite character on “Survivor” is Elizabeth apparently a popular favorite among males on the University campus. “She”s cool,” he said. “She”s cute and she”s non-confrontational.”

The group has previously released two CDs, entitled “Naughty” and “Nice,” respectively. Their third CD, “Oogong!” was recently released and continues on the tradition of the first two. When they are not performing, the Friars keep themselves busy by performing at a number of off-campus events. The group recently performed in Frankenmuth, Michigan, and also toured around the continent of Australia.

The Dicks and Janes, one of the University”s co-ed a cappella groups, will be opening for the Friars tonight. The concert will be a great time for all, so join the Friars and the Dicks and Janes tonight for a fun-filled night of music and mayhem. Doors are scheduled to open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 and are available at the Michigan Union Ticket Office and at the door.

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