Left – Stuart Smith and Jon English
Testament to the brilliance of The Rock Show, you can take someone born in the 90s, with no knowledge of rock history, and she’ll be screaming for more. Jon, I don’t care how old you are, I love you! Though, actually, some of those young boys up there… wow. The stage was bursting with talent, the performers feeding of each other’s energy to create the wild atmosphere, reminiscent of a garage performance, that was relaxed and fun while still being masterful.
The Rock Show has taken songs from a huge range of 60s and 70s rock classics, and put their own spin on each, creating acoustic versions, inserting solos with an instrument you’d never associated with the song before, or just using their own voices and vibes reinvent some of the greatest songs, doing each one justice.
Honestly, I can’t say I knew the name, artist or melody of every song. Yet I couldn’t care less – the beauty of this show is that whether you’re from this generation or not, the musical and performing talent of these musicians will make it a night of delight.
I did, of course, recognise a few. I loved Stuart Smith’s version of The Rolling Stone’s Satisfaction, and his amusing portrayal of Jagger. I also loved their Beatles Medley, My Generation, and I almost cried during Jon’s Six Ribbons. His performance of this song is famous, and I was delighted to see it live, better than ever. Jon’s voice is impressive – how it’s held up so well after 50 years of abuse, we’ll never know! His raspy vocals blended wonderfully with the five or more vocalists out of the ensemble, all with unique and great voices.
This ensemble made the show. Jon English is brilliant, but these guys lift him to another level, so much so that Jon is lost in the madness of the show and it’s all one brilliant band, jumping around on stage, having a ball, and pulling out different instruments for every song! They are an incredibly talented bunch. Special mention has to go out to Stuart Smith, the show’s director, for a) making it all happen and b) being such a fantastic part of it. He looks more like a modern rocker, something out of Good Charlotte, so hearing him sing rock classics creates a fun contrast that epitomises the show. Isaac Hayward also has to be mentioned as musical director. For someone only in his early 20s, he took the songs like they were his own and brought them to life again.
This is not a tribute show. THIS is a rock show.
The Rock Show
Director Stuart Smith
Venue: Her Majesty's Theatre, Adelaide
Date: 20 January 2012
Tickets: $69.00 – $59.00