Don’t miss ‘ABBAmania’

In Toronto, “We Will Rock You” has been on stage at the Canon Theatre for almost a year now and it is an absolute hit.
The story follows Galileo, Figaro, and Scaramouche on a journey to revive rock and roll in a futuristic, but plausible, world where music has died and has evolved into a corporate venture in which music is created by “the man” and is downloaded into you without choice.
The story is fuelled by a soundtrack filled completely with Queen’s hit songs.
Throughout the show, characters make funny but cutting quips like: “American Idol was the death of music” and that “downloading has halted the continuing evolution of rock and roll.”
Galileo, Scaramouche, and company make demands for the return of rock’s true essence. However, it is ironic that they be so adamant for the return of good music when it is the very decline of good new music that makes shows such as this one so successful.
Tribute shows and reunion tours are huge right now—and it is in large part owing to the fact that the idea of good new music is dead. People long for the good old days when music was released and they were given reasons to pay for it.
Reunion groups and tribute bands are ready-made and fully-established; their songs are well-known classics and their gimmicks are readily anticipated, so they are ushered back into the spotlight to fill the void that we have been left with due to our crazy and irrational demands for a new star twice a year (thanks to “American Idol”) and for every star to release a CD a year (thanks to downloading).
So, the moral of the story is if you are looking for entertainment, turn to the oldies and the tributes—they are much better than most new music.
Recently, I was lucky enough to see the tribute show “Rain: The Beatles Experience” for a second time and because of my experience, I would like to impart some tribute-attending tips and strategies.
First, if you need glasses (but are not clinically blind) don’t wear them that night. Pick a seat where, without your glasses, you can see the band’s figures but not their faces.
This way, if they are a good tribute, you won’t even realize you aren’t seeing the real thing.
Alternatively, if you are one of the blessed people with perfect vision, sit closer to the back. In a larger venue, tickets will be cheaper for these seats plus you are still able to trick your perfect senses.
I say all of this because the first time I saw “Rain,” I sat rather far away and I enjoyed it immensely. I actually felt like the man playing John Lennon was, in fact, John Lennon.
It was a mind-blowing experience.
Conversely, the second time I went I had much closer seats. This time I was much more aware that they were not the Beatles and they, in fact, only slightly resembled the Fab Four.
So, I removed my glasses for the second half of the show and ended up enjoying the rest that much more.
Next, don’t go to a tribute expecting the same palpable crowd energy that the real band would create to just happen. Instead, go there with as much naivety as you can and start the crazy energy yourself.
Trust me—it is so much more fun.
Again, for “Rain” we were screaming and dancing just like it really was the actual Beatles and it was contagious—soon everyone was right into it and I know I had a great time because of it.
“ABBAmania” will be coming to the Townshend Theatre in Fort Frances this Saturday (March 1). This is a great opportunity to see an awesome tribute.
The artists who are represented at this affair have fun, sing-along songs that everybody knows. This will help out with that sought-after energy I spoke about.
I hope everyone goes and enjoys themselves. Just keep in mind the few tips above and I am sure you’ll have a great time.
Now, if you have a chance to go to a real reunion concert at any point in your life—GO! Don’t walk—RUN.
This is a chance of a lifetime and an amazing opportunity (perhaps the last opportunity in a long time since the greats eventually will all die off since we aren’t constantly investing in new artists to replace them).
On a side note: to all of those out there who recently saw the Spice Girls—along with many others, I am jealous.