I spent a fair bit of the night gazing at my fellow audience members, as I often do when I go out, and it was frightening to see how many old people were gathered in one spot, under the same roof without being anywhere near a retirement village. It was then the first awful thought hit me – I was one of them. Sure I wasn’t the oldest member of the audience, but I wouldn’t have been the youngest either. I was surrounded by my generation, with all its wrinkles and flabbiness and fake tans and pot guts. Trust me; I did not like that thought at all. That thought made me shiver “like bad news on the door step”... ah but someone has already used that line.
The only thing scarier than an older audience dressing up like they did in their teens and getting all groovy with each other, is watching musicians in their 60s and 70s attempting to swivel sexily while croaking out the songs that made them famous. It is either awesome or embarrassing that they are still on stage at this time of their lives and I’m leaning toward embarrassing. There is something about the effects of emphysema and the use of a cane that detract from their overall performance.
Now I have nothing against any of these performers in their heyday – although there weren’t many that performed the other night that I actually followed in the 70s. But some music just doesn’t cut it when performed live by aged musicians. We aren’t talking Bach or Strauss here – classical music can be produced at any age, one only has to read the tabloids to follow the careers of virtuoso musicians from 8 to 80. We are talking full on rock and roll, which, when performed live, requires all the relevant hip jerking, sexually explicit grinding motions that normally accompany it. Not to mention the jumping up and down and around the stage. It is painful to watch someone 60+ attempting to make those same moves.
I went to the concert with a friend of mine. She had bought tickets for herself and her husband but he refused to go once he had seen the list of performers. Whatever I thought of the entertainment, I enjoyed the night out catching up with my friend and the other people on our table (total strangers) added a bit of comedy to the evening. She never stopped talking and he never stopped trying to shut her up, in between the chatter and the shooshing they drank copious amounts of alcohol and regaled us with stories from their youth.