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Ann Arbor, MI
USA

The G-Men (or Gentlemen for long) are the premier all-male a cappella group at the University of Michigan. They are known for their massive triceps, fanatical obsession with guppies, and for rocking audiences with the power of 100 raging Mark Ruffalos.

Tour Blog

Day 9 - Wraps

The G-Men

Saturday, March 9 - Sunday, March 10

Tour 2019 has come to an end and what better way to celebrate than waking up realizing that the time leaped forward because Benjamin Franklin decided in 1784 that daylight savings was a good idea.

Anyway, Saturday, we packed our bags, thanked our awesome hosts at Hopkins and made the trek to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. Upon arrival, 7 Gs immediately invaded Chinatown for a big baller meal of hand pulled noodles, dumplings and copious amounts of chili oil. When we finished eating, food coma immediately set in and the decision was made to start heading back to Ann Arbor. Was this a singing tour or a Chinese food tour???

Instead of making the entire 9 hour trek in one drive, we made a pit stop at Evan’s family home in Cleveland, which was a welcome relief from the monsoon that made the drive very dodgy. However, we did make it safely and spent the night watching Hercules and remembering a lot less of the movie than all of us had thought. The next morning, it was time to head back to Ann Arbor and come back to the reality that all the schoolwork we had planned to work on over tour was still waiting patiently in our backpacks.

Overall, it’s been an awesome week and we can’t thank our host groups enough for all of their time and preparation to welcome us to their campuses and much cleaner apartments. Tour may be over, but we are getting right back into it with ICCA Semifinals happening next weekend in Chicago (bonus post?). Big baller thank you to Danny for taking this over for the two days I was gone (still don’t know if I got the job yet pray for ya boy) and you bet we’ll be back next year with more tales from the road. Zai jian.

Day 8

The G-Men

Friday, March 8 - Hi it’s Brian I’m back for the last couple days! Shoutout Danny for big baller covering for me while I was gone.

It was a pretty choose-your-own adventure day for the boys. Some of us chose to chill out and do some work, others went to check out some of the sights and sounds of DC. Jeremy, Ajay and I went on a private tour of the U.S. Capitol led by one of Ajay’s high school friends, an intern for Senator Dianne Feinstein. It was an awesome experience, we even got to ride the not so secret senate subway system that connects the office buildings to the Capitol building itself.

We then visited the Rotunda, old Senate chamber and checked in with a fellow Michigan grad who has a good view right in the middle of the Capitol (Pres. Gerald R. Ford).

It’s only 50 miles from DC to Baltimore, but the drive took over 2 hours. Sounds like they need to give the Michigan IOE department a ring to come fix this my god. The traffic was so bad, the Spotify playlist started playing songs I forgot even existed. When we finally emerged in Baltimore, we were greeted by the Octopedes and Sirens, two groups at Johns Hopkins. We shared some songs and stories as we wound down the night after a long day of adventure and travel.

Now let’s say something nice about every G

Nick - Really becoming a great leader and has elevated our music to another level

Spencer - Gets multiple calls from modeling agencies every day and pretends it’s his mom

Conrad - The GPEAT (Greatest President Emeritus of All Time)

Kyle - That’s MY president #Kim2032

Danny - Most loving individual ever to enter the world. Also the big baller tour manager

Thomas - Perfect comic relief at any moment of the day.

Evan - please listen to this man sing holy diver

Jake - Future Nobel Prize chemistry winner. You heard it here first

Brian - this guy STINKS

George - most improved hooper this tour

Jeremy - we appreciate jeremy’s upcoming contribution to the g men endowment fund

Adreesh - who doesn’t love Adreesh? I’ll wait

Austin - we miss you Austin <3

David - tu nous manques david <3

Daniel - let ME love YOU ;)

Ajay - A ball of sunshine

Day 7

The G-Men

Thursday, March 7 - Since Brian spent most of his day in NYC doing his thang, it looks like I’ll be making a triumphant return to the blog (it’s Danny again!). Our usual and favorite reporter said his interview went really well though, so I guess it was all worth it in the end.

The G-Men left the house at Norfolk in the morning in an impeccable state (we got a 5-star rating on Airbnb so big YAAASSS), and set out to the nation’s capital: Washington DC. After dropping off our bb Jake at the airport, who we already miss dearly, the Gs dispersed and explored everything this awesome city has to offer. Some of our more studious members went to do work at the library. I, however, have messed up priorities and keeping my gram fresh and hip is the single most important thing in my life; so a couple Gs headed over to the beautiful Georgetown Waterfront and took some really cute pictures.

After some fun on the G-town Waterfront, the G-Men headed Northwest to meet up with American University’s Treble in Paradise for an awesome dinner at Cactus Cantina, followed by a really fun mixer at one of their member’s apartment. It was so great to get to meet, listen to and sing for Treble in Paradise. When it got too late for us to stay awake, the Gs hit the sheets and got a good night’s sleep. Also, the Gs got to meet my uncle’s dog, Leia, and I believe all parties really enjoyed each other’s presence.

Alright, y’all, onto the second to last night of tour!!

Day 6

The G-Men

Wednesday, March 6 - Alright y’all, things just got real. Brian is off in New York at a big baller interview. So, while he’s off doing his big baller things (and we do wish him some big baller luck), I, Danny, am taking over this big baller blog. 

Once again, I would love to thank THV for an amazing stay. One would think that going to a karaoke bar with a bunch of a cappella kids would be a questionable move, but watching Jake sing Defying Gravity was actually the highlight of tour for me so far. 

The G-Men left Chapel Hill at 11:30am to arrive in Norfolk, VA at 4pm for a relaxing detour on the beach. It was pretty cold, but the beach was still there, and it still looked pretty. Here are some cute pictures that were taken throughout the day.

There are not many priorities on tour rest days other than sleep, nutrition and SKINCARE. Mhhhm, Spencer and I indulged in a lovely Lush face mask. So, in the spirit of skincare, and by popular demand (I’m looking at you, Mari), I will walk you guys through my skincare routine. 

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I like to keep things simple, so my routine is typically the same in the morning as it is before bed, with a few tweaks to account for sunlight. My skin is quite sensitive and oily (nice combo, huh?), so I begin my routine with a gentle cleanse with Fresh Pharmacy from Lush. This soothing cleanser makes sure to remove any dirt from your skin, yet does not overdo it, this way it avoids any irritation. Next, I give my skin a generous spray with Breath of Fresh Air toner from Lush. This toner really evens out skin tone and promotes a healthy production of natural oils. After toning, I apply a generous amount of Imperialis moisturizer from Lush. This is a pretty generic moisturizer which works for most people, so I suggest trying it out if you’re not sure what your skin needs! Finally, if I know I’ll be going outside, I’ll apply some Neutrogena 55 spf sunscreen to protect my fair, redhead skin from the sun. 

If you guys have any questions about skincare, hit me up! Alright, into the next day of tour.

Day 5

The G-Men

Tuesday, March 5 - Huge thanks to Acappology for hosting us last night! They were all super friendly and accommodating despite having classes and exams today. The next stop was the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Upon arrival, we had a few hours to kill before meeting up with Tar Heel Voices, our hosts for the night. Some took to the library to relax, and the other big ballers again hit the gym. We had to find current UNC students to sponsor us for accesss to the gym, so we akwardly stood at the gym entrance until 3 MVPs delayed their workout to sign us into the gym. In return, the six of us offered to sing a song for them but luckily, they were in a rush and it probably would have gone poorly anyway.

Before meeting up with Tar Heel Voices, we ran a quick rehearsal/photo shoot on the top deck of a parking structure downtown. We refreshed our ICCA choreography for semifinals next weekend and realized that there is still much work to be done and we can’t wait to grind it out next week!

We then met up with THV for dinner then joined them for a joint rehearsal and song-sharing session. We’ve been blown away by the talent of the groups we’ve met so far on tour, and THV was no different. Their soloists and blend were amazing. They were a joy to be with and we learned a couple of their warm ups as well. UNC is a beautiful campus and everytime we come back, it has always been fun and warmer than Ann Arbor. Thanks UNC!

Apologies for the dodgy Snapchat video screenshot. Add me @abowlofrice to see them slay this song!

Apologies for the dodgy Snapchat video screenshot. Add me @abowlofrice to see them slay this song!

Day 4

The G-Men

Monday, March 4 - Last morning in UVA, we were sad to leave but ready to tackle the next adventure ahead. Quick shoutout to the Chinese food scene in Charlottesville… these eggplant noodles with fried dumplings were excellent. It’s the same chain as the place I already reviewed so I won’t dive too deep but the noodles and the sauce had a great flavor. My only wish is that the noodles where more traditional wheat noodles rather than the more eggy noodles.

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After a quick full-group debrief, it was time to pack our bags and head to our next destination, Raleigh, NC. We rolled up at North Carolina State University to a beautiful, sunny, 50 degree day. The frisbee made an appearance and Kyle learned how to throw a forehand flick really quickly, proving the fact that we are student-athlete-singers. Jeremy and Kyle started planning for a summer trip to Europe where they will be touring and performing all of their g men solos.

When I first heard we were going to Coco Bongo for dinner, I immediately thought of this huge nightclub I saw in Punta Cana which looked more like a small basketball arena. Anyway, our host group, Acappology, met us for dinner and we enjoyed some nice Mexican food
HAHAHHHAAHAH restaurant review time… Coco Bongo has a 4.4 star rating on Google, so we’ll examine (based on a small sample size) if it is worthy of that mark. First off, the ambiance is 10/10. You really get a cantina vibe mixed with all you would expect from a restaurant very popular with college kids. The server was very friendly and immediately served us warm chips and salsa. I ordered a carne asada plate, which was pretty good overall. The rice and refried beans were good, but nothing special. The guacamole and salad on the side were a nice touch to balance out the fat of the meat and the salty beans. The meat itself was thinly sliced and tender, but it was a bit over seasoned and overshadowed the nicely grilled onions on top. I was super hungry during this so maybe that made it better than it was… who knows. Not bad but I’ve definitely had better Mexican food other places. I’d probably give it around a 3.7534/4… It’s a great atmosphere though so I can see why many people come here to enjoy a meal with their friends!

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Before retiring for the night, Acappology invited us to sing with them at the student center, which was a super cool experience. We probably entertained most and pissed off others who were trying to study, but a small crowd gathered and we performed some of our favorites for the Wolfpack crowd. Acappology then sang some of their own songs and damn… they got some big baller soloists. Their energy was awesome and if you want to hear their music, look them up on Spotify!!

As I’m writing this… Nick got a 4/10 on the autograder and Spencer is about to submit an essay late that he got a 24 hour extension on. Cheers to the fun governor! - coach

Day 3

The G-Men

Sunday, March 3 - Jake, Nick, Kyle and I woke up to the aroma of waffles a breakfast casserole whipped up by our host, Tori. Nick…

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No traveling today! We met our next host group, the Virginia Belles, at a brunch spot called Fig. The $2 mimosas were a popular move and the food was excellent.

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After brunch, it was time for the big ballers to hit the courts. We had the whole gym to ourselves for awhile and played some games of 4v4. The teams were Kyle, Jeremy, Josh *(a UVA student we picked up) and Spencer vs me, Thomas, Nick and Adreesh. It was a tightly contested battle, with Jeremy and Kyle playing some nice two-man ball and Nick knocking down some big jumpers. In the end, the team with G-Men prevailed. Jeremy did go down with an ankle injury so he is day to day but fear not he will be full go for ICCA next weekend :)

No offseason here, it was time for rehearsal. We have ICCA coming up the weekend after we get back, so it was time to put in some work and polish up our music for the big game. The neighbors were treated to lots of almost in tune yelling…. sorry bout that.

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Although it was a Sunday night and many of them had classes and even exams the next day, the Belles came over and had a fun mixer, sharing songs and playing some thought-provoking games. They were a bit low on numbers so Nick stepped in to VP their songs… they got some serious talent and energy be sure to check out their YouTube page!

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UVA, it’s been real. We came here my freshman year and not much has changed… everyone we’ve met has been super awesome and fun to be with. On to the next one - coach

Day 2

The G-Men

Saturday, March 2 - An unnamed G jumped on me at 3 in the morning

Before leaving for our next stop, we went to Brueggers for a hearty breakFast with some of the Originals. We then set off for a 5 hour trek to Charlottesville, Virginia and the University of Virginia. We decided to take the scenic route through the mountaIns and the views did not disappoint. Jeremy pointed me towards a loTtery machine at a gas station and I won $3 off a $1 scratch off ticket Neva Lost.

Upon our arrival in Charlottesville, we were met by our amaZing hosts for the night, The Flying Vs, a rock a caPpella group at UVA. After spending some quality time with our hosts, we met up with another group, the New Dominions, and heLd a pop-up performance at The Downtown Mall. Some random guy thrEw a $20 bill at us which will be put to good use at the toll booths. Thanks rAndom guy!

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Guoden Ramsay’s restaurant reviews #2 - Marco & Luca Dumplings (again, feel free to skip)

After the pop-up performance, a couple of members from the Flying Vs took me, Evan and Thomas to Marco & Luca Dumplings, a local staple for dumplings, buns and Chinese noodles. I had an order of pan fried pork and chive dumplings and an order of cold sesame noodles. The dumplings were on the smaller side in terms of wrapper and filling, but the flavor and the soy - chili oil sauce was excellent. The wrapper had a nice criSpy edge and the filling had a good balance between meat and spice. The sesame noodles were very good and had some nice cucumber to balance out the sweetness of the sauce. My only slight criticism was it was a bit heavy on the sauce, which made the noodles a bit over-sauced and the sesame flavor a bit overpowering. Overall, this small shop served up some really nice, tasty Chinese treats. The line was a bit long but the service was prompt and the owner even came by to make sUre our food was up to standards… definitely recommend this place to anyone rolling through Charlottesville.

Quick pregame to the pregame at our hosts house before going to the pRegame. Some already couldn’t hang…

Quick update on Adreesh’s eye injury: he is fine and has identified a probable cause as a face mask treatment he underwent with Danny last week.

The night endEd with a baller party hosted by the members of the UVA A Cappella coMmunity. One of our hosts, Tori, showed us a GOAT late night food place at 1am called Cookout we need one of thEse in a2.

jordan… did you figure it out?

Day 1

The G-Men

Friday, March 1 - Welcome, please take your shoes off when you come in. What up big ballers, TOUR has gotten off to an exciting start! 11 of us left Ann Arbor at 1pm to make it to Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh to perform at No Instruments Aloud, a show hosted by the C# Singers. The last three, colloquially known as Team 1.5 Asians (Conrad, Jake and Kyle), left around 3 hours later and met up with the rest of the group after the show. Jeremy was well entertained during the ride, as seen here playing Rocket League on his computer with a tethered PS4 controller.

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Our late arrival delayed the show, but we were greeted by 7 other groups from Carnegie Mellon who all put on awesome performances. During our performance of Day ‘N’ Nite, something broke above the stage during the loudest part and dust started falling from the ceiling like snowflakes. We literally blew the roof off the stage… Nobody was hurt and we were invited to the after party, so all is good.

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New segment: Guoden Ramsay’s Restuarant Reviews (feel free to skip this section if you’re not interested, this will not count towards your grade)

After a quick query on Google, Daniel, Jeremy and I found ourselves at I Tea Cafe, a small Tawainese restaurant just off the main restaurant/bar area. Even though we arrived at 9:45pm, they still graciously served us and provided an overall good experience. We ordered three dishes… spicy chicken, black pepper beef ribs and sweet and sour pork chops. The chicken was definitely the standout dish here. Juicy chunks of chicken were perfectly stir fried with plenty of chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns, delivering a perfect amount of numbing spice. The ribs had good flavor, but the meat itself was a bit tough and hard to take off the bone. I normally don’t order sweet and sour items from Chinese restaurants, but I decided to give it a chance today, hoping it was more similar to an authentic Chinese sweet and sour rather than what you normally see at takeout places. Unfortunately, the pork was just smothered in a sweet and not so sour sauce, which was disappointing but not entirely surprising. Overall, the service was fast, friendly and the owner was patient with my multiple failed attempts at reading the Chinese on the menu. Oh and I didn’t mention… this place is also has hot pot, which would be something to look into if you have more time. It was definitely a good first dinner on tour, and I would definitely recommend ordering some of the “Not Panda Express” items and they should turn out pretty good. Not sure if I’ll do one of these every day… If you want more or if you just wasted a minute of your life leave a comment. Shoutout Mari for this idea!

Jeremy did leg day yesterday so he’s really sore

Jeremy did leg day yesterday so he’s really sore

To wrap up the night, the CMU Originals, a super talented all-male group, had us over at their place for a little get together. These guys were super cool and had a decked out apartment that was quite lit. Nick reunited with his roommate from A Cappella Academy and some dude started doing Fortnite dances surprisingly well.

&lt;3 Daniel and Evan

<3 Daniel and Evan

That’s a wrap on day 1… Big baller shoutout to Danny for being tour manager this year and planning this awesome adventure. Much more to come. - coach

TOUR 2019!!!!!

The G-Men

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Coach here and I’m back at it again with the highly anticipated second installment of the G-Men tour blog! If you don’t know who Coach is, click here. From March 1 to March 10, 14 of the finest average struggling college students of various athletic and musical abilities from the University of Michigan will embark on a journey of brotherhood, friendship, and questionable sleeping habits. This year, we will be exploring the great mid-Atlantic, not going south enough for it to be actually warm and meeting new friends along the way.

Quick recap of our year so far… during the fall semester, we had a blast performing at Acatoberfest at Marquette University, putting on our parent’s weekend show, G-Fest, and our fall concert, G-bay. In January, we had the amazing opportunity to perform the national anthem at the Pistons vs. Heat game, which was also DWade’s last game in Detroit. We also competed in ICCA quarterfinals and placed first, giving us the opportunity to do it all over again at semifinals in Chicago on March 16 (see you there!). We can’t wait for what TOUR and the rest of the year has in store. Big ballers only!

We will unfortunately be without two of the most beloved Gs, Austin and David, as they embark on their own quests for victory royale, and we wish them the safest of travels.

I just reread some of last year’s blog and… maybe I’ll try harder this year… maybe I won’t. Funny story… when I was applying for an internship at Buzzfeed I talked about writing this blog last year and how it made me interested in visual media… anddddd let’s just say I will not be working at Buzzfeed this summer. F.

Lastly, below is a quick preview of where we’ll be on what day (see map above)! If you find yourself at any of these places feel free to reach out and say hi!

Friday, March 1: Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)

Saturday, March 2 - Sunday, March 3: University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)

Monday, March 4: North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC)

Tuesday, March 5: University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC)

Wednesday, March 6: Norfolk, VA

Thursday, March 7: American University (Washington D.C.)

Friday, March 8: Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)

Saturday, March 9: Philadelphia, PA

The posts will go up on Facebook every day beginning Saturday morning for better or for worse. Buckle up. #BBB

btw, it’s Brian if you haven’t figured it out already