Each time I go to a School of Rock show, I think it can't get any better. The first show I saw was the All Star students playing Yes with Jon Anderson at the Keswick Theater. How could you possibly beat that?
Perhaps it wasn't that each show was better than the one before, but surprising, each show has been a gem in it's own right. In the two weeks prior to tonight's concert, I'd seen the Black Sabbath show in Fort Washington followed the next week by the regional Best Of show (which was in center city Philadelphia at the Trocadero theater.) Both of these shows were stellar. It seemed unlikely that the third week in a row would rank as high.
So, just to be fair, I decided to go to the first night alone. If I were to write an unbiased review, maybe I should see a show by myself. The previous two shows I had attended with a group of people. Maybe I should try an independent observation?
Over the years, I've found that's the best way to review adult bands. Why not treat a kid's review with the same professional respect?
That's just what I did. I showed up for the show not as a concert goer... at least, not as "just" a concert goer. This time I arrived as an incognito writer with the intent of writing an unbiased review. :)
The Friday Night Show
Finding the best seat I could, I positioned myself with a good line of sight and near the sound. There wasn't much time before the show started, so I didn't get much of a chance to look through the program. However, one part did jump out at me, "LED ZEPPELIN IS THE MUSIC OF THE DEVIL!" Later that night, it was also mentioned between songs. It became a topic of debate.
I thought to myself, "This is a good thing -- talking about evil." As ridiculous as it may seem, many parents try to censor these types of discussions from their children. Recently, I had some discussions with youth about this same sort-of matter. In two popular songs, Panic! At The Disco's,. "I Write Sins" and Fall Out Boy's, "This Ain't A Scene", the radio versions have the word God censored. Parents having discussions with their children about such things seems like a rare thing these days. But, here I was... sitting amongst a whole auditorium of them. Hurray! Learning from kids is something we could use more of, isn't it? Thus, it was like climbing a stairway to heaven getting to listen to the kid's philosophy, as well as, their music.
Here is part of the quote from the program:
It is well known that Jimmy Page has a fascination with Aleister Crowley (the English magician who dubbed himself "The Beast 666") & the occult. He owns Crowlery's home/temple on the shores of Loch Ness, and owns the 2nd largest Crowley book collection in the world. His ZOSO sign is a stylized version of 666, taken from Crowley's books. He had inscribed in the vinyl of Led Zeppelin III "Do what thou wilt. So mete it Be.", a famous Crowley principle.
Zeppelin's lyrics & imagery are filled with references to paganism, the occult, and Satanic doctrines....
... Fact or fiction? Coincidence or Satanic design? That, my friends, is up to you to decide. But one thing has been decided for you. You will be entertained by some of the best young musicians in our area playing music by, in my opinion, the best rock band of all time. Enjoy!
As promised, some of the best live music in the area was performed. I made a point of keeping my eye on the audience. When you are with your own group of people, it is easy to forget that you are part of an even bigger group. Attending this concert solo, brought home the point of being an independent observer. I spent a lot more time watching the audience.
Sure enough, in this crowd more than a fair share of individuals found themselves rocking. Literally, rocking in their seats. There were 8-year-olds rocking. There were 28-year-olds rocking. There were 68-year-olds rocking. What a special thing to experience -- grand parents getting A Whole Lotta Love from their grandkids! Ya gotta love it.
The Saturday Night Show
Over the next day, I thought about other writing assignments I might undertake. What band should I go see next? The Foo Fighters, Cobra Starship, Lenny Kravitz or The Bravery are all playing in the area? Hmmm... no, there really wasn't anyone in the area I'd rather go see than The School Of Rock. What a bargain, too. In fact, it's by far the cheapest concert ticket around. Plus, the money goes towards kids playing Zeppelin on a fine crafted guitar, etc. What more could the Gods of rock and roll ask for? And, as for a minion like me, What else could I do but go see them two nights in a row?
It turns out I was very lucky to have this opportunity since the second show SOLD OUT. Now, that my independent observer role had been fulfilled, I wanted to hangout with kids close to the band the second night. Hangout backstage so-to-speak. However, when we got to the door, they were quite disappointed to hear we couldn't get in. But, with a little persuasion we made it through the door. Later, I found out quite a few of my friends had been turned away. Next time, I'll be sure to get tickets in advance.
Saturday's show was basically the same show as Friday's show. Nevertheless, it was just as powerful. There were many Zep tunes born again. The kids brought back to life classic songs including: Rock & Roll, Black Dog, The Ocean, The Immigrant Song, Misty Mountain Hop, Heartbreaker/Livin' Lovin' Maid and as an encore, Stairway To Heaven.
You see, even though the show was basically the same show as the night before, I had obtained a new favorite song Friday night. What a favor these kids did for me by re-introducing the song, "In The Light." This was a Led Zeppelin song that I did not know very well. Seeing it Friday was an eye-opener. Or, maybe I should say an ear-opener? Saturday's show was like knowing I would see my favorite new song performed. Beautifully ironic -- the youth shedding The Light on love through music. Thanks for letting me listen. Thanks for letting me listen to your music. Thanks for letting me listen to your philosophy.