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November 08, 1999 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-08

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Ex-Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart visits Borders Books &
Music. With his new book "Spirit into Sound," Hart will perform
some readings and sign copies for fans.

~IW £icdgan Nag
Lbdomat

Tomorrow in Daily Arts:
Check out a review of the Plastikman show in Detroit this
past weekend.
Monday
November 8,19995A

Boys' 'Millennium' tour woos Detroit audience

By Curtis Zimmermann
Daily Arts Writer
Whether you love 'em or hate 'em,
it is impossible to deny that the
Backstreet Boys are one of the most
popular and recognizable musical
sembles in the world. Saturday
night, this flagship group of the late
'94s boy band movement brought its
"Millennium" tour to the Palace of
Auburn Hills for
* the first of the
three sold out
shows. While the
Backstree1 boys have shown
Boys in the last year
Palace of Auburn Hills that they are
Nov. 6, 1999 indeed "Larger
Than Life," with
this performance
they demonstrat-
ed they are not
larger than hype.
The show did
have a few high
points. The
introduction was like something out
of a science fiction epic, or a really
Violin
uartet
Stea 'U'
B Jim Schiff
Fr the Daily
The world-renowned Emerson
Siring Quartet graced the stage of
Rackham Auditorium last Friday.
P rforming their all-Shostakovich
ogram, they played with a blazing
ensity required to pull off the
composer's powerful music. Violin
pjayers Philip Setzer and Eugene
Drucker, violist Lawrence Dut on
apd cellist David Finckel delivered a
performance that makes it easy to
s4e why they've earned four
drammies.
As a prelude to future recording

high class male strip joint. As green
lights flickered and smoke filled the
arena, the march of Darth Vader
began blasting through the speakers.
Four members of the group then
emerged on space-aged Burton
boards and flew over the crowd of
mostly screaming girls. Greeting
them as they landed on stage was
Kevin Richardson, who was side-
lined from all aerial stunts do to a
recent arm injury. After undoing all
the harnesses and saluting the audi-
ence they went into a rousing rendi-
tion of their current single "Larger
Than Life."
Now fast forward two hours to the
other solid aspect of the perfor-
mance, their closing number "I want
it that way." The song, which is per-
haps their biggest hit, culminated in
a massive sing-a-long, orchestrated
by the group from the top of a pyra-
mid at center stage. Beyond this,
everything in between the, opening
and closing of the concert was rather
bland.
The elaborate stage in the round

moves as their pop chart topping
counter parts N' Sync and Ricky
Martin.
Even when the group did dance,
the choreography lacked consisten-
cy. Also, many of the arrangements
were simply too long. This, com-
bined with their elaborate costumes,
which ranged from Star Trek style
combat uniforms to hot pink tuxe-
dos, sent the group off stage for long
periods of time.
Unlike most boy bands, the
Backstreet Boys have released two
albums. While enabling them to per-
form a wide range of material, it
showcased a real lack of musical
diversity. Most of their songs like
"Quit Playing Games with My
Heart," "I'll Never Break Your
Heart" and "The Perfect Fan" are
R&B edged power ballads that
appeared to be generated from the
same formula.
Even songs like "Spanish Eyes,"
which despite its title is not an
attempt by the group to break into
the Latin pop market, couldn't bring

the show out of the doldrums. Also
they ruined what could have been
show stopper 'Everybodv
(Backstreets Back)" by only singing
about 30 seconds of it
Despite these hindrances, nothin,
stopped legions of female fans from
going absolutely ballistic. In fact, it
was the group's lack of visibility that
seemed to contribute to the hysteria.
Because it was rare to see them on
stage for extended periods of time,
catching a quick glimpse of the stars
was all the more exciting for the
fans.
Perhaps the Backstreet Boys are
just a little too big for their own
good, and one only has to go as far as
the Howard Stern show to know that
the backlash has already begun.
While some anti-Backstreet propa-
ganda borders on the ridiculous, it
might be the beginning of the
inevitable. With such a dragged-out
show, which appeared to cover for
the boys' lack of moves and material,
one has to wonder just how long
"Millennium" mania will last.

DANA UNNANE/Daly

The Backstreet Boys show that they are "Larger Than Life-"

was more of a hindrance than an
asset because it became difficult to
follow the band's movement. To add

to this, 10 dancers clull tered the stage
surface and covered Up p the fact that
the boys didn't quite have the same

Maher serves laughter with
his 'Political' humor at Hill

Courtesy of IMG

Emerson String Quartet is considered one of the world's finest.

Emerson
String Quartet
Rackham Auditorium
Nov. 5, 1999
wrote these last

sessions, the
quartet is touring
with their
repetoire of
Shostakovich's
last three com-
positions in the
upcoming winter-
m o ,a t h s.
Shostakovich's
traumatic later
years were char-
acterized by ill-
health and dis-
ease. While in
the hospital, he
three of his string

the addition of the violins, then back
down again into the sweeping
melody. The listener felt as though
the musicians were conversing: the
viola called, and the others
answered.
The middle section of the piece
was dominated by 4 separate themes
going on at the same time, yet blend-
ing beautifully together. Towards the
end, the viola and cello engage in a
spectacular duet featuring their
lower ranges. And finally, a violin
taps on the belly of his instrument
while the viola ends the piece.
As the viola opened the first
selection, he started the String
Quartet No. 14 in F-sharp Major in a
bright mood. The violins soared over
the viola/cello foundation, and later
the cello introduced the melody.
Though the piece began on a happi-
er note, the chilling theme returned
in the 1st violin, played by Drucker.
The second and third movements,
played without pause, featured some
gorgeous major chords in two and
three-voiced combinations. A pizzi-
cato section was again present in the
violins. Near the end, all four instru-
ments connected in perfectly pitched
harmonies.
While the first two pieces had
frantic moments coupled by long

tones, the String Quartet No.15 in e-
flat minor focuses on the latter of
the two. The entire piece, with the
exception of the fifth movement,
was characterized by a feeling of
death and mourning. The minor
chords among the top three voices
sent chills down one's spine in the
second and third movements.
The limberness of cello player
Finckel was evident in his solo work.
Rhythmic pizzicatos and a cycling of
earlier themes punctured the fifth
movement, the funeral march. Lastly,
all instruments played a tremolo up
and down the scale, ending on a
haunting minor chord.
Throughout their performance,
the Emerson String Quartet effec-
tively captured the power and pas-
sion of Shostakovich's music. Each
member played exquisitely on his
own, and in combination, the chords
were always dead-on accurate.
Overall, it was a delight to see four
of the best string players in the
world right here in Ann Arbor.

By Julie Munjack
and Daniela Ashe
For the Daily
Jesus is a hippy. E irds iasturbate.
Clinton got stuck v vith "the chunky
chick who got the n >ail."
With his provonative language,
Bill Maher left a bl ittersweet taste in
the mouths of his audience, in his
performance Satui day night at Hill
Auditorium.
Maher, the cre ator and host of
television's Polil ically Incorrect,
captured a full
house of stu-
dents and par-
ents with crass
Bill Maher humor, publiciz-
ing people's
innermost
Hill Auditorium thoughts about
Nov. 6, 1999 sex, politics and
society.
Maher was
invited to cam-
pus by the
Student Alumni
Council to enter-
tain parents and
students during ; this year's Parents
Weekend.
Strutting acnass stage with confi-
dence and cly arisma, Maher shed
light on popub ar issues such as gen-
der difference s, abortion, religion
and public hea Ith.
Exposing I he truth about the

nature of men, Maher addressed the
ladies in the crowd. "I love women
... I'm pro-truth. Sometimes those
two concepts collide." He continued
by telling women it's time to under-
stand commonly unaccepted male
behavior. "You don't blame a moth
for eating your socks. Yes, we are
pigs and we're sick of apologizing
for it."
Maher's cynicism also surfaced in
his discourse on abortion. "I'm for
abortion," he said. "Up to the third
trimester in high school."
Both parents and students
applauded his sarcasm, specifically
when he attacked religious fervor.
He mocked football players and
celebrities who credit Jesus with
their accomplishments. "Jesus could
give a rat's ass if you win a
Grammy," he said.
Maher also interprets the language
of the Bible, equating it to a book of
MadLibs, a childhood pastime in
which random words are inserted in
sentences to create illogical stories.
"And then God created woman
from...a rib?" he asked.
Maher also questioned society's
backward priorities regarding public
health. Should we be concerned that
the U.S. government puts more
emphasis on creating "hair pills and
boner pills," than on finding cures
for AIDS and cancer?
In Part Two of his emphatic perfor-

mance, Maher, with slicked back
hair and a voice strung with cyni-
cism, transformed the auditorium
into a Jerry Springer-like forum.
People of all ages shouted quips at
selected audience members partici-
pating in a simulated talk show. Set
up like a living room, the stage fos-
tered an intimate environment for
participants and viewers.
Liberals versus conservatives, par-
ticipants debated issues such as Miss
America's sex life, premarital inter-
course and parental notification of
college students' experimental
behavior. Maher, playing mediator,
added sarcasm and wit to the serious,
and sometimes dull, discussion on
stage.
But despite his valiant effort,
Maher could not overpower poor
acoustics, inexperienced performers
and an antsy audience. The micro-
phones projected muffled voices of
participants who were already shaky
and generally inarticulate. These fac-
tors, combined with the show's
lengthiness, led a stream of viewers
to exit prematurely.
Despite these obstacles, the audi-
ence seemed to appreciate Maher 's
act overall, frequently bursting into
applause and contagious laughter.
Maher's show, both a lecture on life
and comic relief, left his audience
with a more cynical view of society
and jokes for the car ride home.

quartets. His preoccupation with
death is most evident in the final
piece, with its haunting minor chords
acid brief periods of shrieking
strings.
}The program opened with the
String Quartet No. 13 in b-flat
'or, Op.138 to a harrowing viola.
Sxt entered the cello with accom-
panying long, dark tones.
Characteristic of Shostakovich, the
piece jumped into frantic shrills with

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