Review: ELO Again @ St David's Hall
St. David's Hall, Cardiff
Saturday 27th February 2016
Firstly, I would like to say I wasn't able to stay for the full show due to a severe migraine, which in some regards took a lot of enjoyment away from the night for me, but I did stick with it until the break. Anyway, here we go.
Now, ELO is an old band, much like ABBA or The Beatles and I can hear it in your head: "Why is this girl - who must be young - reviewing this music?". I will tell you a little memory of mine.
My dad had records (now, I mean the original huge discs) and he had an ELO one that I loved because of the cover. It looked like a spaceship, and when he was out late with work or just because I was missing him, I would hide myself in the front room and play this record. My mum always knew I was missing my dad when you could hear Callin' America or Hold On Tight coming loudly from the front of the house...
If you're a Doctor Who fan, then you might remember Mr Blue Sky being played in one of the episodes with David Tennant back when he still had Rose Tyler with him. Billy Madison, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Austin Powers in Goldmember are just a few films that have used ELO's music. I'm sure you youngsters know at least one of these and if you don't, then shame on you as you're missing out on some brilliant comedy there.
Now, onto the actual reason for this piece!
As I have said many many times, I love Saint David's Hall for a show and have been there many times. I loved the use of the screen with which they showed what seemed to be a shooting star zooming through space before it turned into a ship, which was the ELO logo we know now. The band came on and went straight into playing some of ELO's well-known songs as an overture, several little bits of songs melded as one.
At first when ELO Again came on stage, the music was really loud and I'll admit that I couldn't understand the words and the use of lighting. While it made an impression, it also killed your eyes when the bright light flashed in your face. However, I did like how they had some strip lighting, which looked like a spaceship landing; it was very impressive.
The band were trying a bit too hard at first but, after saying hello to the crowd, they settled in better. The music eased up to a good tempo, so even I was singing along to the odd song I knew and tapping my feet. I'll admit that I've never seen ELO live but I would say these guys are the closest you can get to the real thing and I loved it. I have seen some bad reviews out there and I can understand their point of view as the main singer could not hit all the high notes and his fake accent did falter at a few points in the songs but I really enjoyed it myself.
So, even though I had to leave early, I'd highly recommend seeing ELO Again even if it's just a treat for your parents... just keep in mind this is a tribute band not the real thing, so they might not be as good.
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