Vlad Voinich, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, Sept. 29, the Amphitheatre was filled with people who came to see Vote-Squatch, a musical event that aimed to inspire young people to vote in the local elections. As an outsider, it was rather interesting to view the concert, listen to the music and hear “Don’t forget to vote!” during each performance.

Sirens of Swank, a female a cappella group comprised of Whitman students, initiated Vote-Squatch with a couple songs, one of them was a cover of “Oops I Did It Again” by Britney Spears. The crowd enjoyed the performance even though the “VOTE!” sign, that had been installed on the stage, fell down.

After the Sirens’ performance, a sequence of compositions by some local Walla Walla musicians followed. The guitar of a singer that uses the pseudonym Warm Lonely Planet was out of tune; he did not have a backup plan and had to rush to his house somewhere in Walla Walla to get his second guitar. The audience reacted with understanding and supported the young man. The organizers also considerate, immediately changing the order of the performers because the show must always go on. Warm Lonely Planet later came back and performed a cover of “Red Right Ankle” by The Decemberists.

Moving on, there are two ensembles that showed their excellence at the Vote-Squatch: the infamous a cappella Schwa and the Fijis. Schwa performed “Loving is Easy” by Orange Rex Country and “Interlude” by Chance the Rapper. Both songs were outstanding and brilliant. One of the listeners screamed during Schwa’s performance “Serina (one of the group members) you are soooo good!”, and, certainly, the same goes to the rest of Schwa.

A collective that finally made everyone stand up from their comfortable blankets were The Fijis. Every single song was well-coordinated, every single trumpet solo made the crowd whisper in amazement. The fact that the band chose to place songs written by predominantly female artists, such as Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, and Beyoncé, is worth appreciation, especially in such a rough time for being a woman. The audience was extremely excited and welcoming from the moment when The Fijis started playing till the very last chord. Dancing was the best and only way to warm up after spending some two hours on the ground, and The Fijis were able to shake the crowd up with their thick bass riffs, melodic voice of the lead singer, funky piano tunes, confident drum rhythms, and, of course, unforgettable trumpet parts.

I left the Amphitheater rejuvenated by the event: the “VOTE!” sign falling three times did not deter the focus on the process of voting and why it matters; further, the musical acts were really superb and demonstrated some serious musical skills. We need more events like Vote-Squatch to spread interest around the political and social agenda.