As a bus drove through the chaos of downtown Indianapolis Tuesday night, the varsity Glee Club members practiced the national anthem one more time with their performance just minutes away.
The 55 men loaded off the bus and quickly moved onto the Verizon stage to perform in front of Super Bowl Village visitors.
Michael Blakley, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts, described the performance as “exhilarating.”
“[Performing] was lots of fun,” Blakley said. “We were on a smaller stage with a bigger audience.”
The group said it hadn’t performed for that large of an outdoor audience in its time at Purdue.
After its national anthem performance, the group walked through Super Bowl Village to the Pepsi Stage to open for former Colts punter-turned-contemporary Christian singer, Hunter Smith.
Sophomore Michael Eldridge, said he was thankful for the opportunity to perform before Smith.
“It was a great honor to be associated with someone of such high quality and prestige,” Eldridge said.
Jacob Shapiro, a freshman in the College of Science, was excited to open for Smith as well.
“I grew up watching Hunter Smith, so it was a great opportunity, but he’s going to have a tough time following up our performance,” Shapiro said.
Fans of the Glee Club showed up an hour before the performance and chanted “Boiler Up” while Smith had his sound check.
“There were a lot of great Purdue people there that snuck their way up to the front and cheered for us,” said Steve Sanders, a senior in the College of Engineering. “It was great.”
At 7:30 p.m., the Glee Club entered onto the stage and got into its spots. It performed six songs, including two put together by the assistant director of the Glee Club, Ted Arthur.
During the songs, the men sang, danced and even stomped. During the song “Be My Baby Tonight,” originally sung by John Michael Montgomery, the men got down on their knees and sang to the audience.
Some of the men also had friends and family in the audience to support them.
Brandt Smith, a freshman in the School of Engineering, had friends and family there.
“It was cool to perform for my friends and family,” Smith said. “I live close to Indianapolis so it was great to have them so close and be able to come out. Overall the experience was legen ... wait for it ... dary.”
Bill Griffel, director of Purdue Musical Organization (PMO), thought the men did a great job as well.
“The guys sang with a lot of energy and I thought they did great,” Griffel said. “They are a professional group both on and off the stage and I think that shows in their performances.”