"Love" at the Mirage
Concert review from RecessionFest 2010 by Bay Area Tom
lAhhh…because the stage is round…it blows my mind.
I was introduced to Cirque du Soleil at the Santa
Monica Pier in the late 80’s, at the time, it was relatively unheard of
in the States.
The show was a bit of a hodge podge of balancing
acts, rope gymnastics and I remember this guy who stood upon a ball that
about 4 feet round, moving about the stage like
one of those lumberjacks on a log in the water. Later on, I saw Saltimbanco,
Quidam, Varekai…you get the picture. Every
time, I left the tent a changed person. Over the years, the stunts
and acts got more
elaborate, and the music became a bigger part
of the show. Live musicians, performing authentic pieces, to a live
that dazzles…Cirque du Soleil has always been
a triumph of human creativity and physical prowess.
As with many great entertainment acts; the Cirque
was lured to Las Vegas, where everything is larger than life. No
to a few tents in a parking lot, the shows expanded.
Mystère was an extension of the concept…with crazy costumes, and
Then came O. It had been out for many years
before I finally got the opportunity to see it…and I thought I’d never
be blown away
like that ever again. The stage, the music,
the water and fire…O was a visual masterpiece, with bodies flying through
diving into water, dancing and tumbling on a
stage that was unprecedented. I still haven’t seen Ká, and
I’m sure it will be wonderful
…but nothing prepared me for Love.
Let me first get this out of the way, I’m a big
Beatles fan. Being a big Beatles fan, one must also realize the brilliance
of Sir George Martin…
and when I heard that Cirque du Soleil was going
to do a Beatles show in Vegas, I bought the soundtrack the week it came
It turns out that George Martin’s son, Giles,
was given unfettered access to the complete recordings of The Beatles.
The first thing
that I noticed was that the sound quality was
incredible. The second thing I noticed was that having access to
everything in the Beatles’
catalog, and the freedom to do whatever Martin
wanted to do, offered a look into the music that was truly magical.
“Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite” with “I Want
You (She’s So Heavy)” and “Helter Skelter”…well…I was in for a real treat.
As a big Beatles fan, I tried to pick out all
of the subtle additions, mixes, twists and versions of the tunes, and I
was in heaven.
RecessionFest 2010 was winding down, and I took
my good friend, also a Beatles fan, to the show. As a seasoned Cirque
du Soleil fan,
I sort of knew what I was in store for, and sitting
down in the theater, immediately realized there are no bad seats in the
The stage is in the middle of a circle of seats…being
closer doesn’t really make much of a difference. Then the lights
and an a capella version of “Because” literally
surrounded us. It turns out that they managed to do it again, those
This time, instead of music being performed to
augment the show…the show was performed to augment the music. I’ve
seen a lot
of live shows…but I’ve never heard sound like
this. In any venue, in any environment. Over 6,000 speakers
make up the system…
it wasn’t until about half way through the show,
when I closed my jaw and leaned back into my seat, that I realized there
speakers in the seats! Yeah, this was gonna
I’m not sure I caught the whole Parkour/Freerunning/Breakdancing
vibe to Beatles music, but like I said, this show wasn’t so much
about the folks doing crazy stuff on the stage,
or floating through the air in space suits. It was about the music.
The depth, range,
variety…the utter brilliance of The Beatles.
There were moments of joy, moments of tearjerking beauty…a peaceful vibe
transcended the hustle and bustle just a stone’s
throw away in the casino. The show was a story, and it was told visually.
There were fun subtleties – like the VW bug props
with the license plate “28IF” (check out the Abbey Road cover)
– and there were dazzling moments like a starshower
during “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”
In the end, however, it was about the music.
If you find yourself in Vegas, and you can get
a seat to this show, don’t hesitate. Don’t worry about getting up
isn’t a bad seat in the house. It will
take you to Strawberry Fields, and when you’re applauding the wonderful
you’ll realize, all you need is Love.
Tom from the Bay Area
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