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Review: 'Glee Live in Concert'

June 3, 2011

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?

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