The Wayzgoose Stage

It started with a hypnotist. That was the first act on stage at this year’s Wayzgoose festival. I was a bit disappointed to hear this at first, since I’ve seen plenty of hypnotists in my day, and I was under the impression that everyone else had too. Surprisingly though, everyone really enjoyed Jeff Marcus’ act, myself included. While nothing he did was surprising or terribly original, when he had his 16 volunteers sing and dance to “YMCA,” or fall asleep and cuddle with each other, everyone in the audience was in stitches. After the show, Mr. Marcus talked about his experience in hypnotherapy, which sounded fascinating.

The first dance crew of the day was CADC, or Chinese Association Dance Crew. I’ve seen a lot of dance groups, troupes, crews and gangs before, but I was genuinely impressed by this group’s performance. Their choreography was smooth, sexy and, often times, really clever. While there were moments when people’s timing was a little out of sync with the others, the crowd dug them, and I thought they were fantastic. When they left the stage, everyone in the group was beaming.

Rwang Pam, who has been dancing with CADC for four years and is one of the coordinators, expressed how happy he was to be part of the annual event.

Richard Mones, one of the team’s captains, said, “If we aren’t having fun, the crowd can feel it.” And they had fun, indeed. It was clear to this team that dancing wasn’t just a side-hobby.

“It’s more than just dancing,” Rwang said. “It’s become a part of us.”

Tim K was the first musician of the day. While he initially started playing to a patch of grass sparsely populated with more than a few freshmen, by the end of his set, there were easily more than 200 people singing along to his songs.

The best way to describe how Tim sounds would be to combine every Disney prince ever. In the best way possible, of course; not only was his voice fantastic, but he made an effort to make every song he played connect to UCI students. Before every song, he would tell a little story relating to UCI. Whether it be why students should live on campus, or revealing that he had a crush on a girl who works in Mesa, he interacted with the audience in a way that not many performers did.

After the show, he revealed why Wayzgoose was so important to him. “It was four years ago today that I decided to come to UCI. That’s why today has so much meaning to me.”

The dynamic duo of Michael Alvarado and Carissa Rae took the stage right when people started showing up. While they both seemed timid at first, once Michael introduced himself and his fiancée (a word which made every girl in a mile radius swoon) to the audience, it was clear that they were going to be fantastic.

Michael and Carissa, collectively known as “Us” (because now they are an “us” — cute, right?), told the story of their relationship through music. It was sort of like Fleetwood Mac, but with a happy ending.

Songs like “Near and Far” chronicled the longing and love felt in long-distance relationships, and songs like “Never Gonna Leave You” made all the couples in the audience fall in love with each other all over again. They sounded like Jason Mraz and She & Him rolled into one, adorably talented super-couple.

While not all the songs were serious, they all had meanings within their relationship. Songs about bananas and ’90s sitcoms garnered a crowd of 400 or so, and had men screaming and women fainting (or something like that).

The voices blended so well, it was almost like they were meant to be together, which was something that Carissa made sure to mention after the show. While Michael produces in his free time and Carissa also being a professional dancer, it was great to see that they both still had time to meet and talk with their fans. They gave out free CDs, and stayed to take pictures and chat with fans for well over an hour and a half.

This was especially cute considering their respective parents were there, and had just met each other. You know, since they were getting married in five days. Could they get any better?! Actually, yes, if you check out their website at haveyouheardofus.com. Even their website is punny. Keep a lookout for their untitled CD coming this June. These two aren’t going anywhere except up.

I know I’m expected to say something about Midnight Hour, but honestly, the entire set I was just thinking about how much they sounded like Neon Trees. And they didn’t really say much during the interview. So, Neon Trees it is!

The last dance crew to take the stage was MCIA. While perhaps not as technically talented as the first dance crew, I thought they did a much better job giving everyone their time to show off. This was especially nice to see, given the seemingly large number of people on the team, who gave off this sense of crowding on stage. Throughout the set, the crew would divide up into smaller groups, allowing everyone on the team to showcase their skills. While occasionally appearing sloppy in their movements, they made up for their really good choreography.

I never understood the point of writing about festivals and events. The people that were there know what happened. There are people that didn’t miss out. Just go next year. You won’t regret it.