kaiser chiefs live – a review

‘Are you going for the Nine Inch Nails concert?’ The editor of a local popular culture magazine asked me.

‘Maybe. The Husband sure wants to go. I know I’ll be there for Kaiser Chiefs though,’ I said with a smile. We were walking out of the Oasis concert a few days ago.

‘Kaiser Chiefs?’ she answered, wrinkling her nose in distaste. ‘But, they’re pop! Why would you want to watch pop?’

‘They’re fun!’ I retorted to her back but she didn’t wait for my answer and grabbing her b/f’s hand, she sped up through the crowds toward the Exit sign.

Pop? Kaiser Chiefs?

I’d always found their new wave Brit-punk music thoroughly enjoyable. Employment, and their more recent release Off With Their Heads made me smile on my early morning walks to work. Yes, the local radio played them quite a bit and yes, Topshop seems to have them on repeat mode but just because a band is popular does not mean that I should like them any lesser.

Tonight, watching Ricky Wilson (lead vocals) swagger on stage, leap around, twirl his tambourine and swing his mic just sealed the fact that they are indeed a lively, unpretentious bunch of lads who just want to have fun. The Husband and I couldn’t resist singing the lyrics, doing silly dance moves and basically, obeying Wilson’s commands from the stage to ‘wave our hands, punch our fists in the air and yell out loud’.

It was, of course, made more entertaining by the tweens who knew every single darn word to every song and danced with wild enthusiasm. The two Kaiser Chicks who stood in front of me made me laugh, as did another girl down by my left who jumped out of time. Consistently. But passionate they were, and passionate was Ricky Wilson, who sang his heart out till it seemed that he lost his voice near the end of the set. They didn’t veer too much off the predicted set list, which comprised of all their early hits and recent highlights from Off With Their Heads.

I couldn’t help but compare Ricky Wilson with Liam Gallagher (tambourine/lead singer who doesn’t play an instrument/wired mic on stand) and when I turned to the Husband and said, ‘I think I’m falling in love,’ he clearly understood why.

Sticks and stones and animal bones
Can’t stop me from having a good day on a bad day

My only grouse? It was too short. To re-live the moment, here’s a video of The Angry Mob, the last song they did before the encore.

the winter’s tale – a review

O call back yesterday, bid time return

Sitting in the darkness lit by candles, I was immediately awed by the atmosphere The Bridge Project managed to create in that little concert hall. Performing unamplified, there were moments the words spoken were lost on me (even though I was sittingĀ  a mere few rows from the stage) but it didn’t lessen the impact the actors had on my tender little heart. Yes, I teared twice during the play. I tried my best to hide it though seeing that no one else around me was weeping. And why should I weep? Granted, I can cry while watching National Geographic documentaries but there was something in Simon Russel Beale’s tragically jealous character who seeks repentance that touched me.

Honestly, I never did enjoy nor understand Shakespeare’s comedies and am more entertained by his tragic, wretched plays. This could be the reason why I was mildly distracted during the second half (which takes place in Bohemia) and instead, was entertained by Crazy Chick, who was busy trying to snap pictures of Ethan Hawke. ‘I wonder how long it’ll be before someone stops her?’ I mused in the darkness.

It took approximately half an hour before my neighbour leaned over me and whispered to her, ‘Excuse me, could you please stop doing that?’

I squirmed lower in my seat than I thought possible but once Crazy Chick apologized and peace returned, it was just in time for me to catch the final quiet act where Hermione (the statue) magically comes alive to speak with her family. And that’s when I teared the final time.

The backdrop was amazing. Simplistic, effective and surprisingly modern, I wanted to take them home with me to decorate my future house. I appreciated the way the changing of scenes on stage was worked into the play itself and the use of lights on the whole production. Blurring the lines of the stage and audience was also appropriately effective and a nice enough surprise throughout the play.

‘Which was your favourite part?’ Spike asked me.

I have to say it was that singular moment of intimate friendship (which was misconstrued as adultery) between Hermione and Polixenes. They lay on the pillows and their hands were intertwined, fingertips dancing to their own tune… there was just real chemistry between the characters then. It was almost voyeuristic, watching them share those few minutes as Leontes hovered in jealousy. Juxtaposed against the obvious kissing and necking between Perdita and Florizel, the latter just didn’t have the same connection.

So I walked away tonight feeling satisfied. No, I didn’t get a chance to read the play like I wanted to but darn it, they actors did a fine job bringing to life words that somehow, rang true with what I felt inside me.

Thank you guys for transporting me away from a busy life for three hours. I loved dwelling in the fantasy that you created.