Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Saturday Out

Any cassette left in a car for more than a fortnight turns into Queen's Greatest Hits.*

Friday was Lennart's 51st birthday. Not a major birthday perhaps, but still. I got him a nice little hardback copy of Samuel Pepys's diary, and tickets to see We Will Rock You on Saturday afternoon. So, knowing the tricksiness that is the underground system on weekends, we left here more than an hour early and after much readjusting of travel methods and train selections, and walking, we made our way to the Dominion Theatre. (Warning, Google maps places this theatre somewhere between Warren Street and Goodge Street stations. Not so! It's smack dab on top of the Tottenham Court Station. Do not be fooled! (This is the first time (so far) that Google has led us so far astray.))

In any case, we proceeded inside to the nifty, old foyer and deeper into the darkness to find our seats (Row B, Seats 5-6). We were very close to the stage and VERY close to the speakers. We noticed that there were concessionists much like you'd find at a baseball game in the US, selling popcorn and drinks and things. Something which hasn't spread to theatre on Broadway, which still has a sense of the formal. You can get a glass of wine at intermission, but popcorn? Not so much. It was neat, but a bit odd. In any case, we'd stayed up late the night before, so suddenly I was very snoozy. While we were waiting, I actually nodded off...

...and was excitingly and loudly awoken by the intro to Innuendo. I got goosebumps, and tears welled up in my eyes. In fact, I could hardly stop smiling and crying throughout the whole thing. It was brilliant and brought back many memories and feelings. It had less story than Mamma Mia, but there was no lack of excellent music. One has to be impressed with Queen...one of the few bands where each member has produced not one or two, but several hit songs. (And lead guitarist Brian May, an astronomy/astrophysics geek, is also an eclipse chaser, and was also in Scotland some years ago for the annular eclipse. Whee! Geeky!) We were dynamited by the Killer Queen. We were Radio Ga Ga. We felt the pressure. We bit the dust. The singing was excellent, but did in fact make it clear what an excellent singer Freddie Mercury really was. As Roger Daltry of The Who said:

"When we lost Freddie, we not only lost a great personality, a man with a great sense of humor, a true showman, but we lost probably the best, the really, the best virtuoso rock 'n' roll singer of all time. He could sing anything in any style. He could change his style from line to line and, God, that's an art. And he was brilliant at it."

And, of course, they saved Bohemian Rhapsody for last. Which just made me cry and cry. I couldn't stop. It's very weird. But I leave you with it now:










*Paraphrased from Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.