Review by Judith Caldwell
When the cat is away the mice will play. On Saturday Boris Brott was away attending the wedding of his son. While he was away Brendan Hagan, his apprentice conductor, led the Brott National Academy Orchestra in a rock concert featuring the music of the rock groups KISS, and “Queen”.
The orchestra was abetted in this by the group Jeans n Classics consisting of Jeff Christmas on drums; Don Fulton on keyboard; guitarist David Dunlop; Mitchell Tyler bass guitar; the appropriately named Katalin Kiss & Kathryn Ross as back-up singers with Michael Shotton on lead vocals.
The evening was M.C.ed by a very engaging Michael Shotton, who kept us all clapping in time, dancing in the aisles and generally rocking to our heart’s content.The opening part of the evening was given over to the music of KISS and for this Hagan led the orchestra with his face painted in the familiar back and white comic book face paint used by KISS. Shotton led us through KISS hits from their 1976 album, but the show really came alive when we got to ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ from 1979. The audience really responded and began singing and dancing along.
After intermission we were treated to the much more diverse and innovative music of Queen. We sang and rocked to ‘Radio Gaga’; ‘Another One Bites the Dust;’ ‘We Are the Champions’ and the familiar stomp/stomp/clap beat of ‘We Will Rock You’. By this time the only audience-members who were not on their feet where those who could not stand. One young lady in a wheelchair was bopping away in the front with the rest of us. Shotton did most of the vocals, but also got Don Fulton to do one and that was a treat. He also jokingly got Brendan Hagan to sing and it turned out that he can more than carry a tune vocally.
This was fun evening… the orchestra and Jeans n Classics all seemed to enjoy it as much as the audience. The Brott Summer Music Festival continues, go to their web-site for future concerts.