Mama Says… (Disco Inferno Concert)

17 Aug

When Mama tells me about a free concert in my town, I’m there! The cover band Disco Inferno took the stage at a town park, where masses of residents swarmed in like mosquitos (and apparently drove the actual buggers out as there was a noticeable lack of buzzing in my ears and on my veins) down to the waterside to hear hits from the 70’s and 80’s performed by an ensemble whose energy was as present as their songs were cheesy (so, very high and extremely).

There was a woman on lead vocals with a man on backups, a drummer, brass section, and a couple of bassists and guitarists for good measure. I feel like cover bands have a bad rap, lots of bad connotations surrounding them. Being a skeptic, I went into the concert, well, skeptical. Was I going to feel embarrassed just listening , seeing them making fools of themselves singing songs whose target audience was more than likely too deaf to appreciate today. However, after all this negative build up I am pleased to report that they were anything but- they got the crowd out of their beach chairs and shakin’ their groove thangs till they just couldn’t boogie no more. Even I, the girl with the grace of a headless chicken, tapped a toe or two though the grin on my face did stay there the entire set. And, in fact, so did the bassist’s. Even from my viewpoint a ways away, I could see his pearly whites- I felt like he and the other members of the band were genuinely having a great time, and their enthusiasm was contagious.

The flow of the concert was an interesting one- instead of playing a song, waiting for applause, then beginning another, the band merged from one song to another. In a traditional concert where groups play their original material, I’d find that to be annoying because I might not be able to catch all the songs, I might not remember exactly what songs had been played, or even just be able to appreciate them fully. However, the songs on Disco Inferno’s setlist were all ones that are as familiar as old friends to many, so it worked.

I was especially impressed with the brass section. Crisp, clear, bright notes that took the performance from the casual, fun level to that of a band one would specifically seek out for their merit. During Boogie Oogie Woogie their section was featured, and the two trombone players and the saxophonist ventured out into the field and played among the people. Honk up-close-and-personal honk!

One funny little detail was the wardrobe. All the members of the ensemble were head to toe in black, aside from the male backup singer who sported bright white pants- I wonder how he pulled that one off!

Setlist (partial):

1. Turn the Beat Around
2. Shake Your Groove Thing
3. Funky Town
4. Boogie Oogie Woogie
5. Car Wash
6. Stayin’ Alive
7. On the Radio
8. Ladies Night
9. We Are Family
10. Get Down Tonight

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