Review: 'Glee Live in Concert'

June 3, 2011
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For those clicking on this blog for the first time because you googled “Glee,” and “concert review,” welcome to Indianapolis (at least, online). I’m glad you could stop by.

If you did google those terms, you are probably a “Glee” fan and, therefore, want to hear how fabulous the “Glee in Concert” show was at Conseco Fieldhouse on Thursday, June 2.

Before I get to the show, though, I should make clear, first, that I haven’t watched a full episode of the show since the beginning of the first season. Nothing against it. I just didn’t catch the bug.  I have been exposed to “Glee” through osmosis, though (I’ve got teen daughters) and I’ve admired “Glee” for its ability to broaden the musical horizons of a generation.

For a while there, it seemed like the music business was bent on categorizing everyone. And online options made it easier to just stick with what you know—and what you were told your demographic should like.

“Glee” gleefully bucked that trend by mixing pop hits with standards with Broadway tunes (popular and obscure) with hair-band songs from the 80s and singer/songwriter tunes from today.  Not since “The Ed Sullivan Show” has there been this sort of musical mix in prime time television (FYI: On the same night that The Beatles famously appeared on that show, the cast of the Broadway musical “Oliver” also had a spot.)

The range of selections tipped more heavily toward pop at the Conseco Fieldhouse show, although a  “Get Happy”/”Happy Days are Here Again” blend shared the stage with the likes of “Jessie’s Girl,”  “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and the obligatory “Don’t Stop Believin’”

The show presented the performers in character, so I’ll say that, Mercedes and Kurt were terrific—and hearing them through the screams and the muffled sound system left be hoping they do a duo cabaret concert at more intimate venues.

Rachel didn’t display any diva qualities (and she rained on my parade a little by not singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade”). Instead, she seemed to enthusiastically give herself over to the group. Rival club The Warblers were in fine form in a trio of “Teenage Dream,” “Pretty Love Songs,” and “Raise Your Glass.”

In short, if  you love “Glee,” there wasn’t much not to love here.

Except maybe for the tiresome opening dance act LXD which included charisma-free “Glee” supporting cast member Mike Chang, who continued hogging the spotlight into the main show.

And the interminable half-hour gap between the opener and the actual “Glee” show.

And the nagging question of how much actual live singing was going on. And I’m not talking about the obvious and deliberate lip synching and dance sequences, such as Kurt and a tribe of women dancers doing “Single Ladies.”  

Your thoughts?

  • Glee
    I've fallen out of love with the storylines in the show (save anything with Kurt or when Sue shows her humanity, like with her sister's passing). But I still adore the music. And enjoyed the concert. I couldn't tell if there was any lip-syncing, doubtful any the lead singers of the song were. We definitely enjoyed it. Though, $40 for a Warbler's T-shirt? Ouch.

    Note to Lou: PTY is the Michael Jackson song Artie and Mike Chang performed. LXD is his dance group. Which, at first, I didn't get into, but later decided it was no different from watching, say, Gregory Hancock Dance Company, only in a much bigger venue.
    • correction
      Yeah, I realized the error when I proofed but, for some reason, failed to correct it. It's is now fixed.
      Thanks for reading,
    • Lots of fun
      Loved the concert - it was as produced and fun and energetic as I wanted it to be. I have also grown weary of the show this season (I think they read too much of their own press), but the show last night was great. I was too far away to tell but I think the back up singing (at a minimum) had assistance.
    • Glee Live
      Lou's review is on target! We're big Glee fans in our household! We enjoyed the concert but were dissapointed with the quality of the sound. Had hoped the sound technicians would have made adjustments as the show progressed; however, throughout the ooncert it was difficult to actually hear the lyrics. Pleased with the overall energy of the performers and the number of songs they packed into the program.
    • not a fan
      Don't really watch much of the show, but my wife is a fan. Took her to see them cause I knew she would enjoy it. Thought to myself "This is gonna suck big time". To my surprise I really enjoyed it. Those kids did an amazing job! The only part I didn't like was that it had to end! I hope they had as much fun doing the show as we did watching it!
    • Loved glee and lxd
      I love the show and thought that it was the most fun concert thatni have been to. I disagree with Lou and his comment about LXD. I thought they were incredible and the audience proved that because they received a standing ovation. I guess some people who write about the arts that don't understand it seem to have a skewed perspective. They are an online series that has won many awards including an Emmy.
    • question
      I'm going to the show tomorrow night in Boston, with two 12 year old girls. Can you tell me how long the total concert was? Our starts at 7:30 and I'm trying to estimate when it will be over.Thanks!
      • JP answer
        In Indy, it was called for 7:30. Opening act went on at about that time. The dance group finished around 8, then there was a gap until 8:30. "Glee" show started at 8:30 and went until about 9:45.
        Hope that helps,
        • thanks!
          Thank you so much - that's very helpful!
        • Glee Repeater
          I have bailed on watching the show this year. Comments above seem to justify my decision. But I am going to the Glee concert in Philly tonight. We went to the show in NYC last year and it was great. I'm hoping they make me a Gleek again.
          Last year's show seems to be timed similarly to this year: LXD, intermission, Glee all wrapping up by 10PM.

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