Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: The Kansas City Chorale at Asbury United Methodist Church

My worst concert-going experience in recent memory transpired Tuesday at Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kansas.   It wasn't the un-amplified performance of the Kansas City Chorale that caused me grief.  The ensemble was wonderful.  At least, I assume it was.  

The problem was the boorish behavior of an alarming portion of the attendees.  Apparently compelled to hear the Chorale in the wake of the blitz of positive publicity that followed the receipt of another Grammy Award last month, the capacity audience included a few dozen people who made it clear that they really didn't want to be there.  The atmosphere was akin to dining at a trendy new restaurant while surrounded by an anxious clientele that suddenly remembered that they didn't care for that particular type of cuisine. 

I overheard one codger hectoring his wife about the price of tickets.  Even with their senior citizen discount, he complained, tickets were $20 each.  I paid $30 for the privilege of listening to the old guy complain throughout the first portion of the concert.  Several of his peers regularly emitted exasperated sighs.  Based on the steady barrage of noise he made, I can only assume that the old man seated directly behind me was focused on an intricate origami project.  While slightly more discrete, the women seated on either side of me transformed their programs into noisemakers when they weren't fussing with candy wrappers.

Conductor Charles Bruffy must have sensed the discontent.  He pleaded with the audience to limit applause so that the program could progress more quickly.  I trust that the next time I see Bruffy at work he won't feel obliged to rush. 

I walked out on a locally-based band last weekend when it launched into "Kansas City."  It's one thing to play the tired song for tourists at a downtown bar.  But the gig in question was almost certainly attended exclusively by locals.  I'd rather hear "Mustang Sally."  Cut it out.

Here's episode #10 of the KC Cypher series.  My favorite participants are Rondoe and Godemis of Ces Cru. 

I have no reason to believe that the rapturous reviews aren't justified, but I just can't bring myself to listen to David Bowie's new album.

After taking in the streaming version of last night's SXSW showcase by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, I gave the band's new Push the Sky Away album another chance.  Listening to it under the stars changed everything.  It rocketed to #8 on my ranking of the Best Albums of 2013.


Kansas City Click: My official picks are published here.

(Original image of the audience's version of a vuvuzela by There Stands the Glass.)

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