Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Beatles+Circle De Soleil "LOVE"

I went to Las Vegas with my beatlemaniac friend only to see the show "LOVE". It is Circle de Soleil's show featuring the Beatles music. I didn't like the CD of "LOVE", but all my beatlemanic friends who had seen the show praised it very much, so I decided to take a trip to see the show including an over 12-hour flight.

Before the Show

The Mirage, the hotel which held the theater that showed "LOVE"

Many signboards throughout the casinos.

The ticket office

The entrance featured the image of 60s

The symbols of Circle de Soleil and Apple Corps.

Near the ticket office, there is the bar "Revolution", which features many Beatles designs (but no Beatles cocktails)

The wall of "Revolution". Beatles songs.

The song names are seethrough, so we could see past the wall to see the next wall with more Beatles song titles including some rare songs – which they played before their record debut or wrote for other musicians.

The Souvenir shop.

A Real Hofner bass with all Four autographs.

The Concessions in the theater serves cocktails featuring the names of Beatles songs.

Before the show, I went to seat No.O7 in section 208, and sat in that seat even though it wasn't my seat. It was the seat in which Paul McCartney sat at the premiere of the show. Of course, after one-minute of sitting, I went back to my seat.
* you cannot move throughout each section in the theater. So if you want to sit in Paul or other member's seat, you have to purchase a ticket in section 107 to 208. See seat map (PDF).

The show had begun.

Having expected a quality show, nevertheless it exceeded my expectations.

Circle de Soleil performance was really great but the Beatles' was even better. The main character of the show, in fact, is the Beatles, not the Circus. This was the Beatles' show. It was totally contrary to my expectations. I had thought it would be the Circus's show featuring the Beatles' music.

How did I feel about the music? I hadn't like the"LOVE"CD because it was a mash-up of previous tunes like a result of children playing with Beatles music. If I had accepted it as an ordinary mash-up of any other artist's music, it would be OK for me. I could accept it as Giles Martin the producer, but not as the Beatles' music.

However, when I listened to the music at the show, I was impressed by it as if the fabulous four were there, performing their music with playful smiles, as Beatles' music. It was dramatically changed from what I considered "not-like music" to "a real Beatles' performance". I was deeply convinced that the reason why Paul and Ringo had permitted the show. I now think the "LOVE"CD must be released only for the audience of the show.

In addition, the sound quality was so high, like a real live performance. In particular, Ringo's drumming sound was most vivid. The special sound system of the theater, in which many speakers are equipped within each seat, each with their own tuning, worked so effectively.

Circle de Soleil's work was also excellent. I understood that they studied the Beatles in depth. Their performance featured proper understanding and interpretation of the lyrics of the Beatles songs. Of course, the music was played with their famous acrobatic (sometimes calmly and simply) juggling acts. I was surprised by the acts, especially "Walrus", "Lucy", "Help!", "Mr.Kite" and "Revolution".

I realized the reason why the DVD of this show will never be released. Any packaged media can't bring the reality of the show to a TV screen. The various spectacles and performances occurring simultaneously anywhere in my eyesight cannot be packaged into any disc. Even for the simple and calm stage performances, their subtlety cannot be packaged.

It was my first experience to shed tears at a live performance. I am rarely in tears in any situation, including movies and dramas, but the show got to me at the scene of "Get Back". I was really able to feel that the Beatles had come back from their last "rooftop" performance in London 1969 to Las Vegas in the 21st century, the middle of the show. I was thankful for "how lucky we are to experience these great performances and music together at one time" and for "The existence of the Beatles, who could perform even better than the great Circle de Soleil performance".

I was pleased with my choice to travel abroad from Japan to Las Vegas only for the show "LOVE". I am thankful for friends of mine who told me the show was great, for the co-operation of my family and co-workers, and for my friend who traveled there with me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Impressions of the US

I went to Las Vegas in January 2012. It was my second visit to the US; the last one was in 1995. So for me, it seemed like it was my first visit. I had some impressions of the US.

First of all, on the airplane, people enjoyed talking with the cabin attendants. The attendants also seemed to enjoy talking with the guests like they were friends. It was a nice and unusual scene for me because in Japan the relationship between guests and clerks is like masters and servants, not like friends. In old days, the phrase "guests are the gods" existed among merchants. Even now, when some people are guests they are arrogant toward shop assistants. I like a society in which people are on the same level everywhere.

Second, people are so big: taller and wider. All US people who visit Japan may see Japan as a country of gnomes. In Japan, it is not common to find overweight ladies even in a big city with a lot of pedestrians, but in the US, it is easy. On the other hand, there are rarely smokers. I hate smoke very much, so I really envy this condition. Japanese society is more tolerant of smokers. For instance, many smokers walk down any street, a lot of offices are equipped with smokers' rooms in the buildings (In the early 1990s, in my office, co-workers who were smokers often enjoyed smoking at their own desks next to non-smokers.). Maybe both the US people and Japanese people are conscious of their health, but their approaches are different.

Third, on the airplane again, I found other difference between American and Japanese society. I sat in my seat, on aisle seat. In front of my seat, sat a three-year-old girl sat in her seat. On the right side of her, sat her mother and her one-year-old sister. At first, the one-year-old baby screamed for over ten minutes, but her mother did nothing. Nobody else did either. In Japan, in the same situation, a mother may be conscious of her baby annoying other people, so she will try to control her baby. If a mother doesn't do anything, other guests will ask her to control her baby. I cannot form a clear conclusion from only one sample, but I was surprised to find such severe individualism in US society.