Jon Anderson & The School of Rock

by Daniel Brouse

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I'm not sure if I can write this review now. Because... I'm still not sure if it was real.

Last night, I saw Jon Anderson (of Yes) singing and playing with a bunch of kids... I think?

Perhaps they were talented midgets? Or maybe mechanical "Disney-like" robots?

That must be it.

On the other hand, the audience appeared to be a lifeless cardboard cutout. Or, maybe pillows stuffed and poised to look like adults?

Hmmmm... I'll have to think about this a bit more... and get back to you. I mean how is it possible that these kids could rock your socks off... and the crowd wouldn't rise to their feet? Er, a... perhaps I should say much of the crowd didn't rise to their feet. This reviewer had to stand, dance and sing. The youthful interactivity between the youth and the audience made the whole scene all the more surreal. Was it just a dream? Jon Anderson and the School of Rock a dream? Yes?

time passes....

Well, though it's hard to believe, it's true! These kids rock. These kids roll out the loud sound. Ahhh. A wonderful thing.

It seemed my job; it seemed my duty to seek them out, and, it was well worth it. (Not that they were that hard to find. That is to say, "Get up off your butts adults, and go see these kids.)

Since the Jon Anderson experience, I've managed to see the kids on more than one occasion.

Pink Floyd's The Wall
So... like... it's hard to explain. But, some kids took me to see the kids from School Of Rock sing Floyd music about "school". (We don't need no education?) I just had to get up really close which was great until they tore down the wall. Did I hear them say that there wasn't a score for the entire album to be played like the movie? What a great band of children. The ability to play music like this and produce a show of shows is really a good thing. They played the entire Wall from front to back. It still seems funny thinking about the School Of Rock singing and playing about the evils of schooling.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any louder or the more the romp, I caught the School Of Rock doing Angus Young and Bon Scott, etal. Not just any AC/DC show, no. They did every song I ever wanted to see "played live" by The Brothers Young. They even played a bunch of my favorites from Powerage.

All in all, it's very hard to say how I rated this band. Spinal Tap did the 11 thing so I'd have to give them a 12 on a scale of 1 to 10? Time after time, watching these youth brought faith back in my hope for man.

Black Sabbath
As crazy as this train of thought may be, these kids put on a show of old Ozzy Osbourne music. Was it loud? My ears are still bleeding. The music was tight and the vocals, too. Songs like Black Sabbath, Sweet Leaf, War Pigs and Paranoid came to life. Just like with Jon Anderson, it felt like you were being given an opportunity to see songs performed live that you would never have had the privilege to see performed. The show was full of energy. There was a whole young audience getting to experience songs from long ago as if they were just written today. A mosh pit was allowed to form. This gave parents the opportunity to learn something new, too. From the looks in their eyes, they had never seen anything like this before. The very young had a free double bonus, old and loud power rock combined with new fangled power dancing.

Oh, yeah. One more thing. I'd told a youngster I wanted to go see the show for Ironman. But, when I arrived and looked at the 21 Black Sabbath songs, it wasn't listed. How could you have a Sabbath show with no Ironman? "Oh, well!" I thought to myself. However, after the melee subsided, there was an un-announced encore of... you guessed it... Ironman. The whole place went wild.

Perhaps quoting a young gal would be the best review:

"There was a mosh pit. I kinda stepped on someone's head. People kicked me. Someone stepped on my butt. There was a wet tissue in my hood. I can't hear anything. It was ASOMEISH."

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