A couple of weeks ago, I went to the ‘Guns ‘n Roses’ concert at Gillette, the perfect summer sky and full moon hung over the proceedings, an omnipresent blessing to the band being back, and wow, were they back. To say the evening was an experience would be an understatement to the power of a band that at least musically had discovered the secret of eternal youth.
Which brings me to the point – the event, the concert itself was the epitome of an experience, 20,000+ brought to a stadium to be captured for a few hours by a musical moment. Now this is no ‘Hamilton’, quite the opposite, but instead of being swept away in a wash of nostalgia for when I first heard these songs, or reminiscing about the times we listened to ‘Paradise City’ on the way to rugby games where I had the stuffing knocked out of me, it was instead a very present, in the moment, watershed.
I am no rock expert, but I don’t think I have ever heard such subliminal guitar work. Slash, looking disguised as always with the hair and trademark hat, was a wonder of experience and expertise, a master with his instruments. One could only sit, stand, shuffle side to side, roll the head, or in my wife’s case, rock it, to the power of the music, to a maestro, the Yo-Yo Ma of the guitar.
What’s the point? Great music, like a great play, will never be a recreation, merely to inspire nostalgia for what things once were, they must always be as fresh and new as if we were hearing and watching the action unfold as if for the first time. The performer, like the maestros Slash, Axl, and Duff, must be as present as if the words and events were living, unfolding around him and through him in that moment. That the audience need to be as transfixed, empowered, swept along as if the rest of their world was forgotten for this brief passage of time.
That is the ambition of BCSC, to create theatrical productions of classical work as if it was for the first time it has graced the stage. To sweep our audiences along on journeys where the action unfolding before them transfixes, holds and envelops. Our actors, directors and designers are encouraged to be maestros in their own craft. I can’t wait to see what ‘rock’ we will create, but if I can beg your ‘patience’, we will definitely have something to share during ‘the November rain’.