First, let me say that I am aware that there is some Harry Potter like cult going on about ‘Keeping the secret’ of the show. I have no idea who started it, but I am trying to respect it and I promise I’ll be as vague as possible. However, there might be things in this review that people might consider spoilers. So: read at your own risk!
When? 25th January 2019
Location: The Space @Studio88, London
Price: 23 pound
Transport: Lufthansa (like always)
Favorite Song: It just won’t quit
Favorite song live: Delight/ what part of my body
Favorite lyrics: I just loved the lyrics of ‘Delight’; since I’ve only heard it once I can’t quote them by heart (yet)
Favorite quote: “I think I just bought the place, instead of just two Gin Tonic!”
Why the artists? I saw them for the first time in 2017 at the Colliseum, where they played Falco and Sloane in Bat out of Hell. I think you can gather from my post about that show, that I really loved their performances. When I went to see them again in December 2018, sadly Sharon Sexton wasn’t in that night and I was really disappointed (I moan about it here). Then a friend of mine found out that they released an album together called ‘Vision of you’ and that they would perform the songs live. We bought the tickets and here we are…
Location: The Studio88 is a live club with a fun concept. It hosts a live music event nearly every night, where the audience decides the playlist. Next to the main room is a smaller venue, called the Space. Decor wise it reminded me a bit of this one old school discotheque in Germany. The Space has its own bar, small stage and a dance floor, where chairs were set up. Problem was, that there are two large pillars in the middle of the room, so you had to try and glance around them in order to see something – depending on where the action was happening. Since the stage was nearly floor level it was hard at times to see what was going on, especially when the two singers sat or lay(?) down. The bar was closed during the performance, which made sense because it was too narrow for anyone to get up and not get in the way. I didn’t mind these things too much. What I thought was annoying however, was that you could hear the music that was played on the main stage in the other room. Especially during the quieter/ more emotional numbers it was irritating to have the rock/pop noise wafting in from the other room.
The concert started right on time at 21:15, no support act 😉 It was announced that the show would run for an hour and fifteen minutes and that filming and taking pictures was forbidden. (Please, store your luggage in the overhead compartments or underneath the seat in front of you…)
The concert started with something I can’t write about because I simply didn’t see it. I suppose it was some prelude to the first song. I think Falco was somewhere left of the stage and Sloane lay(?) on stage.
What I noticed pretty quickly, however, was the fact that this wasn’t supposed to be a normal album release concert, like I had expected. (Yeah, yeah, I know you should never…) Both singers were ‘in character’ for nearly the whole concert; there were many costume changes, some props, voice overs and some comic like videos (these were really cute). It was all fit around the songs, which were played in the same order as they are on the album; plus some new ones thrown in.
The songs on the album are an eclectic mix of pop ballads, musical numbers, a Jim Steinman song and a controversial Christmas favorite. It works very well and I love the album. I found out this week, there is something calming about listening to ‘Poison and Wine’ during take off on a plane, especially when, like me, you’re suffering from fear of flying …I can recommend it 😉
As I mentioned before, there were some other songs sung that evening, but in order to ‘keep the secret’, I’ll just say that I really loved the short version of a song, that was sung without a mic. The original has the most hilarious literal video. It was the first time I was able to listen to the song again without having the alternate lyrics “and they shouldn’t fence at night. Or they’re gonna hurt the gymnast” playing in my head.
The show (I don’t think the word concerts really fits) was all set up to tell the backstory of Sloane and Falco; as is the album, by the way. I have a rough idea now, after the seeing the show and listening to the album, what their story is supposed to be. However, I’ve only seen BOOH twice, and so there were many moments during the acting and the video sequences, when I just couldn’t understand what was going on, especially timeline wise. (Because of aforementioned spoilers I will not go into detail here. But I have questions about the plot(holes) and lots of them! Then again I make my living dissecting stories and plots, finding plot holes and rearranging storylines, so it might be a personal problem).
I really loved the drawings that were used in the videos, really cute and maybe an idea for a comic book?!
Overall, I loved the songs, the voices, the singers, the music and the piano man (Amazing! I especially loved watching his facial expressions while he played. He really gets lost in the music); I wasn’t really sold on the acted parts/the dialogue in between, or the costume changes. Not because it was badly done, which it absolutely wasn’t. Simply, because at times I had no idea what was going on and where it was coming from. It left me with more questions than answers. (Again, details are hard without spoilers. If you want to know, just ask here or on Twitter/ email…).
Sharon Sexton and Rob Fowler are still as amazing as I remembered them to be from 2017. They really have a special chemistry and the way their voices come together is something I’ve rarely heard before.
That said, I think my personal preference (and maybe expectation?) would have been a simple concert with only a piano, the two of them singing and then making use of the intimate setting by simply talking to the audience as themselves and not as Sloane and Falco. Idina Menzel at the Lincoln Center gig, anyone?!
Do it again? Yes and no.
No, because I don’t think I will be able to figure out what goes on on stage plot wise, before I find a novel or comic book (*hint*) with the whole story and read it before seeing it again. Plot questions drive me bonkers and I would wonder even more and probably have to start a self help group at some point.
Yes, because I’d love to see Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton on stage again, preferably together. However, either in ‘real roles’ in a real show/ production or simply as themselves, singing whatever songs they choose.
Random thoughts/ funny moments: Because I can’t write anything here without spoiling ‘the secret’, let me just say that as an ‘outsider’ I found the love and dedication to this show/the characters Sloane and Falco, both from the artists and the audience, very touching. I bought the album (only had the downloaded version so far) but didn’t want to interrupt the after-show chats and pictures by asking to get it signed. The queue in front of the stage was long enough and well deserved!
I hope I’ll be able to listen to them again soon in whatever roles they will be playing next.