Alfie has just begun a hectic schedule of events with two nights at the Boston Pops – and regular guest reviewer, Roberta Kappus was there for us. Here is what happened on Tuesday:
How can you not be totally entranced by a man who gives his all to every performance, whether it be for five minutes or two hours? Rock the Pops may have been a Boston Pops production but there is no doubt that the star was Alfie Boe. Alfie rocked Boston brilliantly, totally deserving Keith Lockhart’s praise as “the most absurdly versatile musician I’ve ever met.” We all knew that about Alfie but it was nice of Lockhart to acknowledge it.
The opening featured some Pete Townshend songs, starting with Baba O’Riley. Appropriately Alfie’s next two songs were from Classic Quadrophenia which Alfie and Lockhart had performed at Tanglewood. Perhaps to show the significance of Quad Alfie wore the same outfit as he had during that tour including the pin on the jacket. His songs were 5:15 which was amazing and Love Reign O’er Me, performed with an intensity that only Alfie can achieve. Then a switch to The Rolling Stones and You Can’t Always Get What You Want and Sympathy for the Devil. Hauntingly beautiful and indicative of Alfie’s versatility was Nights In White Satin done as an instrumental with Alfie offstage over voicing it. As usual, intermission came much too soon. The whole show went way too fast as is usually the case with Alfie’s performances.
The second half featured Led Zeppelin’s Goin’ To California, Who Wants To Live Forever (stunningly beautiful), We Are the Champions and the encore Sweet Home Alabama. With both We Are the Champions and Sweet Home, Alfie vigorously signalled to the audience to join him in singing and to get out of their seats; they did both. Standing ovations followed.
The Symphony Hall is a rather intimate venue and Alfie showed his ability to adapt to any environment. He did not have the full stage for his performance but only the section that would comprise the very centre stage. Alfie made full use of this area, bounding from one side to the other and constantly going to the edge of the stage and waving to familiar faces in the audience. There is no doubt that Alfie loves performing and certainly enjoys his audience. He includes them whenever possible and shows it throughout every performance.
Thank you Alfie Boe for an evening that only could have come from you.
Fabulous review Roberta – thank you!
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