Wednesday, 13 August 2014
Rolling Thunder Vietnam
My bride shouted me to this show in the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba last week.
I enjoyed it, but mainly because of the music, rather than the storyline or production. In fact, the storyline really only functions as a means to link the songs.
The music is well-chosen, although I would expected more Motown. Perhaps that's simply a consequence of my obsession with that genre, and the memories that listening to it evokes.
And it is a nostalgia trip for people of my generation, especially veterans. The themes are all covered, if lightly, almost as if they form a checklist. It's all there, the initial enthusiasm, the political references, the loss of public support for the diggers and the personal stories are woven through.
What can't be faulted is the enthusiasm of the performers, none of them yet well-known. They were universally energetic, full of life and connected well with the audience, which, incidentally were mostly over fifty.
I have no idea what the younger people in the theatre made of it. Perhaps it was with a thought for them that the sound levels were a hazard to auditory health. Perhaps it's a function of the Empire's sound system, as the last show I saw there (Paul Kelly) was also over the top when it came to auditory levels.
I left the theatre with a vague understanding that this particular performance reminded me of another live show.
Then I remembered - it made me recall "Hair" live on stage, that I saw (with my sister) in Sydney in late 1969, when I was preparing for service in Vietnam.
You could say I've come full circle............
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