Saturday, January 22, 2011

How to Twist and Shout

You shake it up, baby.  Then you work it on out.

Hypothesis: The more you twist, the better you get.  The more you shout, the worse you get.

Proof: Beatlemania

Example 1: 1964: The Tribute
My $17.50 seat at Carnegie Hall became a time machine traveling back to the 1960s during the height of Beatlemania.  Isaac Stern Auditorium became the Ed Sullivan Show as four mop-top musicians gave the audience a history lesson in rock n’ roll music with a set list including songs pre-Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band accompanied by a 16 piece orchestra conducted by Robert Miller. 

They covered songs from I Saw Her Standing There to Yellow Submarine (lead by Ringo, naturally) and everything in between!  The entire performance was unbelievable; however, one moment stands out and still gives me goose bumps.  With a breathtakingly beautiful introduction by the string section, Eleanor Rigby blew my mind.  I will never listen to that song the same again.

This foursome has been performing together for over twenty years, and it shows in every motion, witty exchange and personal characteristic displayed on stage.  It would have been enough to go to Carnegie Hall, hear some Beatles music and dance, but this performance was purely perfect.  George muttered shyly into the microphone.  Ringo offered peace, and Paul sang about love.  Oh, and John was just super cool. 

I swayed to every slow song and twisted to every fast one without a care in the world (especially about those sitting behind me).  I sang at the top of my lungs, and I shouted, “I love you George!” because the spirit had taken hold of me.  I left Carnegie Hall with a horse voice and as the best twister this side of the 1970s.

I was fortunate enough to see the last show of the season on January 15th.  This was the 11th performance of 1964: The Tribute at Carnegie Hall. 

A two day event covering all 185 Beatles’ songs on ukulele took over Brooklyn Bowl the weekend of January 15th and 16th.  For $10.00 (or free if you brought your own ukulele) I saw the second half of the performance on Sunday, January 16th.  It was incredible to see such a wide range of people dancing and singing along to these era defining songs. 

There was nearly a different performer for each song.  Some of the classics had been redone to personal interpretation, but mostly they were sung as we know them.  Children and adults alike all over the dance floor shouted Yellow Submarine and Octopus’s Garden as if it meant something so much more (and it did).  It is comforting to know we can always count on music to close the generational gap, sometimes without even recognizing it. 

Though I was still horse from my evening at Carnegie Hall, I danced and sang like I hadn’t practiced the night before, showing off my superior twisting skills.  When my voice was completely gone, my hips sore from twisting, and I had decided my new life goal was to learn to play the ukulele, I left. 

Theorem: Twisting and shouting have an inverse relationship.

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