BOBBY BARE JR. had the crowd's attention from the very first note on Sunday. He wasn't anything special to look at, but you just felt that he knew what he was going to express musically. And it was a tight, polished big-time sound.
Usually you can describe music by combining a couple music styles, but Bare incorporates many styles within his repertoire. You can't pin him down as country rock. He has originally crafted tunes with rock, country, pop, punk and a little bit of grunge. These many influences are splendidly backed up and belted out by his three band mates using guitar, keyboard and drums.
Bare's music defies convention and is radically twisted from the usual country music one hears, and the crowd loved it! Personal themes become part of his music. One of his songs advised that "I wish I was one of your dogs, 'cause you treat them better than me." At one point, Bobby switched instruments with his lead guitarist, and they both continued to play another infectious song without a hitch.
In the middle of another song, Bobby stopped playing momentarily, waited for his drummer to catch up to his beat, and then continued to unleash his rebel form of Nashville that had people dancing during the last quarter of the gig.
When his band came out for an encore, Bare enjoyed telling the crowd that bands initially leave the stage and give the impression as if they really intended to walk away. Don't walk away too long, Bobby. Please come back in a hurry!
- Jim McLaughlin is a loss-control consultant living in West Seneca.
After seeing the production of "GHOSTS," I was encouraged that Studio Arena can still produce interesting theater that was once its sole mission.
I realized that particularly the tragic ending here was, for its day, even more iconoclastic than Nora's decisive door slam or Hedda's "bored" suicide by gunshot. The death of Oswald, the son, must have seemed shockingly tragic to an audience in 1881, when the "sins of the father" resolution was less dubious to the uptight - we are led to believe - audiences they were!
Perhaps with a media accustoming us to every imaginable pathology, and the lucky discovery of penicillin in the 1940s, Oswald's plight seems less overwhelming and tragic today. The plot creates a bit too much in revelation on revelation. And Oswald's demise, with mother's help, comes on unbelieveably quickly for a neat shattering ending, which Ibsen was a master of in all his plays.
Regardless of these seeming weaknesses, the play was written even before Freud started probing at our psyches, and deserves to be seen as a compelling "period piece" tragedy, a forerunner of almost everything that has come in drama since. It deserves to be seen, if only as a compelling "text book" experience.
- George Miller is a retired teacher living in Kenmore.