Junk Drawer: Favorite Live Performance

Alex: “Batman Live”

Ever since I can remember, Batman has been my all-time favorite superhero, so when I heard about a live performance called Batman Live that was coming to Green Bay, I knew that I had to see this show for myself. The overall plot of this live show centered around the Robin’s origin as well as how Batman and Robin got started in becoming the dynamic duo. Despite that fact that I saw this show when I was in high school, I can still remember this performance very clearly. One of the best ways to describe this performance is that it was like watching a mixture of the dark elements from the Dark Knight film series and the fake violence of the 1960’s Batman television show. While this show does not seem to be touring anymore, I still feel lucky that I got to experience this show for myself.

Ben: “Pericles, Prince of Tyre”

Last month I had the wonderful opportunity to travel with a group of Theatre students and faculty to the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI, to see “Pericles, Prince of Tyre.” I had no idea what to expect from this production, but what I experienced was a night to remember. The super condensed plotline is that Pericles is a young prince, who, after solving a wrathful king’s riddle, must escape for his life. Like many Shakespeare plays, there’s a little bit of romance, a little bit of death and a little bit of magic. What made this evening special, though, is the way the American Players Theatre gender-bent the cast, delivered emotional performances, turned a staircase into a ship trapped in a mighty storm and got to view it with other theatre nerds.

Heidi: “Aida”

Live performances are amazing because of the “live” aspect of them. The actors’ ability to sing is breathtaking, and sometimes even gives me chills. The best live performance I have ever gone to is “Aida”. It was, simply put, a beautiful musical. The songs were chillingly magnificent, filled with such emotion and hope. The characters are so intriguing, and there is enough intrigue and mystery in “Aida” that makes you guess what will happen with each revelation. The musical takes place in Egypt and centers on Aida, an enslaved Nubian who falls in love with Radames, an Egyptian soldier. I do not want to say anything more about the plot because I can’t reveal the twists and turns. “Aida” features music from Elton John and lyrics from Tim Rice, the same people who created the songs for “The Lion King”, so obviously the music is amazing. Though I have not seen a lot of live performances, “Aida” will always be one of my favorites.

Eduardo: “In Rainbows – From the Basement” (2008)

A not-so-typical concert setting from a not-so-typical rock band. Radiohead came back from their hiatus in 2007 with the album “In Rainbows,” whose release shook the entire music industry and remains as one of the most acclaimed records of the 21st century.  In this occasion we see the band, not in a massive arena, not in a small venue, but in a studio for a show titled “From the Basement.” This series was started by Nigel Godrich (who also happens to be Radiohead’s producer) to broadcast artists playing live on TV without a host. Here we see Radiohead performing songs from “In Rainbows” along tracks from their previous albums such as “Optimistic” (Kid A) and “Myxomatosis” (Hail to the Thief). “In Rainbows – From the Basement” offers an energetic and emotional delivery from the band during one of the greatest artistic peaks in their career.

Rebecca: Spontaneous Songs in the Park

In our lives, we often decide to do things at random. I often find that these spontaneous events are the most interesting and memorable. Over summer, my brother and I went for a walk. He wanted to catch a pokemon and wanted me to come with. I obliged and we walked through the streets of town, stopping as he needed. As we neared a park, music drifted our way and a small crowd, no more than twenty people, had gathered in an open area of the park. A few people of the community had brought out their instruments and were playing for those who stopped to listen. People clapped and sang along to the music being played, and children danced and played. I love this memory because no one worried about where they needed to be or what they had to get done. At this moment in time, the past and futures were forgotten and it was only about the then and now.

Sam: Flaming Lips

Earlier this year I saw the Flaming Lips perform live in Madison. I have always been a fan of their music, but had not gone to one of their shows. After about an hour and a half of absolute absurdity, I knew this was the best concert I had ever been to. The concert began with the song, “Race for the Prize” as massive cannons shot confetti into the air and giant balloons were spilled on top of the crowd. Other antics included: Wayne Coyne crowd surfing in a giant hamster ball and riding a unicorn through the crowd, giant inflatable robots and an amazing light show. The music was tremendous and the concert was an absolute spectacle. I credit Professor Reg. Kim for recommending I go to their show; I was not disappointed. I was also accompanied to the concert by the biggest Flaming Lips fan I know and she can attest that this show was pure magic.

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