This page last updated January 27, 2003

January 26th 2003
Sydney Opera House

Advert for the show - thanks to Paul Hogan

Colin Hadden writes:
Last night I did something I thought I'd never do (minds out of the gutter all, please!). I saw the Concerto, and I am the better for the experience. I really should listen again to the original before I try to make comparisons, but here goes anyway.
George is very talented, but I think the brother and sister more so than the other three. I also can't get into their music although one or two songs sounded interesting and I'd like to hear them on the album to make proper judgement.
I think that the sister showed why I just can't get into women in rock much. Her voice was quite good, but when she put the pressure on her voice lacked that extra grunt that the great and strong singers have - sort of like whistling into the wind. Her singing of the IG lyrics left me cold. Just not in the same class.
The brother had a good voice and handled the lyrics well but he also tried a little too hard. I remember that IG played it simple and clean and that to me is the best way. But he did look remarkably like Elton John when he was playing the keyboards. That haircut was a shocker though! Not my style at all and one side of his head looked like he had ringworm.
Both brother and sister have good voices and play all their instruments very well.
The weakest point of the band is the drummer. To me he was too jerky and stop/start. Just didn't have Paicey's smooth flowing rhythm, but then who does? However, he did play well in fits and starts. He used his rimshots well but way too many of them.
Guitarist fair to good, certainly not a great although the reaction of the younger part of the audience suggested it was Hendrix. Bass player good basic backing rhythm that kept things pretty together.
Orchestra very good although to my untrained ear there seemed to be some high notes on the piano a little off key (but being where it was they probably weren't).
Jon Lord - great as usual. Gave it some of his trademark runs up and down the keyboard with all his old gestures. Didn't miss a beat and seemed to really enjoy himself.
The mix was really bad in parts, or something was wrong. I suppose it helps that you know the lyrics, but during george's set I was lucky to understand one word in 10. The vocals simply couldn't be understood and it was all the songs not one or two. When everyone was playing you also couldn't hear the guitar and bass much at all. The drums and keyboards were much louder.
Jon has apparently said that george has made the Concerto more complimentary rather than confrontational and this showed in what was played and also in the tempo - a little slower in many parts. Again I prefer the original. The extra piano parts were very interesting and I thought added to the Concerto so a plus there.
All in all I was glad I went and I enjoyed the whole thing. One thing that really made me angry was
how the ushers cracked down on photos - a little selectively, the one who told me said it wasn't good for the performers on stage - come on lady what are you!
The audience was a mix of young and older, rock pop and classical all with the "appropriate" attitude. And as stated above some really got a degree of difficulty of 9.5 in looking down their nose, as did a couple of the ushers BTW. When JL came on stage I said "the man!" and the woman next to me looked as though I had just done something socially unacceptable. What a bloody wonker.
Overall I'd still go and see JL any day anywhere (roll on The Basement on Feb 7).
George has potential and has good range and ability but they are NOT a GREAT group. In appearance they look like a bunch of young wankers trying hard to be different (bass player - happy pants near his knees, guitar player and drummer fairly straight (for rock), brother in a fairly ragged suit looking like an upmarket St Vinnie's and the sister looking like a cross between Roseanne Barr, Morticia Addams and the Penguin.
If you get a chance see it - it is worth it but I think I'd skip the first half if I went again. I hope george kicks on - they deserve a chance to get going.

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