Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Can't by without a little help from the audience

The curtain has closed on the final show in the Broadway in Abilene series.

Rain, a Beatles tribute concert, was fun but it could have been a whole lot better with a little help from the audience. A whole lot better.

First I'll set the stage by explaining how the show worked. The actors/musicians played all the music live, and there was very little dialog. Projection screens helped put the audience in the right place in history, using archive footage of screaming teenagers and old television commercials from the '60s. The show also used live cameras with the proper effects to weave the live band and the Abilene audience into the historical feel of the '60s.

The camera effects were awesome, but there was no fooling anyone. The director would cut from (actual) screaming teens in the '60s to very-much-not screaming adults in the live audience. Not that anyone expected people to act like the blubbering fools in the real Beatles' presence, but a smile here and there would have been nice.

It felt a little like being at a polo match. Goal. Polite applause. Goal. Polite applause.

In the beginning, getting ticket holders to clap along to the oh-so-catchy music was a little like pulling teeth. Then, there's fake Paul begging the audience to sing along to "Yesterday." And begging, and begging. It just wasn't working. Then they stood up, but they didn't really twist... or shout... as instructed.

I clapped my hands off and sang as many of the words as I could but I was definitely in the minority. I get that true Beatles fans are not 28-year-old women who love boogie-ing at concerts but I just hate being part of a rough crowd. I'm sure my fellow audience members were quite happy hearing the awesomely accurate covers of what were probably some of their favorite songs, but couldn't they have come out of their shells and shown it a little more? I guess most of the concerts I attend also serve alcohol, of which a little seems to go a long way in releasing inhibitions.

I will say that by the time we had transitioned into Abby Road, the crowd was a lot looser seemed to be on their feet -- almost -- voluntarily. We did get some audible "Hey hey, goodbyes" and back-and-forth hand waving which I just ate up.

Bottom line, I thought the music was great, especially "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," but I just wish I had been able to experience a touch of Beatlemania that I know the folks around me experienced back then.

1 comment:

  1. For real, bust a move Abilene