A New Zealand vocal group has became a major internet sensation after the video of their explosive performance at a U.S.-based barbershop competition went viral.
Wellington-based chorus Vocal FX came atop a number of groups from across the globe and was named the sixth-best barbershop quartet in the world after it dropped the ancient Maori war dance in the middle of their top 40 pop ballad routine.
The performance, reminiscent of Hollywood musical hit “Pitch Perfect,” stunned the audience and the judges at the Barbershop Harmony Society's 2016 International Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, leaving them speechless.
“Every accolade is so well-deserved! ... The rhythm, the dancing, the unbridled passion, the ownership of the character of the group, the execution, the ownership of the music. Holy cow!” exclaimed one commenter, while another called it, “Flippin' phenomenal! Game changer for Barbershop in my opinion!?”
The surprise haka came after the group changed the line “living in America” to “living in New Zealand,” earning a deafening applause from the crowd.
Although haka is a traditional war cry originally performed by warriors before a battle, in modern times, it is performed as a mark of respect or during welcome ceremonies — particularly the ones organized for the rugby team.
The annual Barbershop Harmony Convention celebrates harmony and aims to promote fellowship and friendship among men who love to sing.