Recently, Hellpellet and I were in Canada for a couple days to get away from it all. We had some free tickets to a show at the casino. The show is called “Dancing Queen – A Tribute To Abba“.
I’m not a raging ABBA fan, but I think that they wrote some solid pop music that was layered with groovy synths and harmonies. I figured the show would be fun, and it would be nice to be a spectator for a change.
The show turned out to be mostly about dancing, which given the title wasn’t surprising. There were two male vocalists, two female vocalists (you know, like ABBA) and a whole troupe of dancers. They performed to pre-recorded music that sounded like it contained some backing vocals. Overall it was well done, although it wasn’t all about ABBA.
The show started with a number of ABBA songs, then segued into some general ’70s territory (Bee Gees, Rose Royce, Village People), made a left turn at Motown with a brief detour to “Shout“-ville, and finally returned to the primary source material for the big medley ending.
I had to chuckle when the singers tackled the Motown and funk with all of the soul of a slice of theatrical Wonder bread topped with Velveeta. Aack, show tunes voice singing “Car Wash“.
So while I was giving them all due respect for the physical demands of dancing for 75 minutes (which I most certainly couldn’t do), I was explaining my more critical perspectives to Hellpellet over drinks afterward. “Afterward” lasted for quite some time, and we returned to the hotel at about 2:30 in the morning.
We got into the elevator to find ourselves standing next to one of the male leads from the show. I said, “You were in the show tonight, right?” while I noticed that he appeared to be about 18 inches shorter than me. Being on stage apparently makes people look taller.
He said yes. I told him that I was a musician, and that I thought that out of the four vocalists he had the most soulful voice. I explained that I had trouble going to the show and just enjoying it without being musically critical, but that I thought they had all done a good job.
He was very gracious and said to Hellpellet that it must be a “big complement”, then, coming from me. He got off at his floor. The elevator door closed.
It only took a minute to realize that I had just become “that guy“.
You know, the douchebag that puffs up his chest at the show and tells you that he’s a musician, too, and that you should “keep working at it”. Or maybe that you did a good job, but the horn parts “weren’t quite there”. The guy that you smile at and say thanks while you think, “douchebag“.
So, to the Canadian singer in the elevator: sorry. It was an unfortunate combination of Butler’s Pale Ale, Jim Beam and that old Niagara Falls air that made it all happen. I’ll know better next time.