Big Band Swing weekend 2015
It has been a dreary winter so far in North Carolina with many cloudy and rainy days. Usually our really cold days start around January, but there have been many cold days as early as November of 2014. You can tell that people are just not use to it and flu-like sickness has been dominating our schools and work places for many months. It was exciting to see that the weather for the weekend was going to be sunny and clear as we were planning to be out of town.
This weekend was one of our annual outings to Asheville, NC, where we attended the Big Band Swing weekend. This year featured the NC Revelers Orchestra on Friday evening and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra on Saturday evening.
We have been attending this event for about six years now, and we have seen the NC Revelers for all three years they have played at the event. This year the band left me feeling a little disappointed. Their musicianship was not in question and they all performed and sang at a professional level. I think that what seemed to be missing this year was the diversity, as the entire show was just mediocre up until the last set of the evening.
Looking back at my blog from last year on this event, I remarked that the NC Revelers played a very wide variety of music the entire evening. Unfortunately not so much this year as the dance floor was left empty on more than one occasion, once even going empty for two songs back-to-back. This is a very bad sign, as it is my belief that bands who claim they like to play for dancers, which the NC Revelers say they do, should know that their song selections need to inspire people to dance.
If no one is dancing, the band is playing songs that do not inspire people to do so, so in effect they are not doing the best job they can do. Last year the NC Revelers took requests from the audience, while this year they announced a contractually limited play list. Performers of all varieties, whether it happens to be theater, music or dance can decide to just “mail it in”, or “go through the motions”. There is no real heart put in to what they are doing. This can affect the entire experience, which is what I believe was the case this weekend.
Suffice it to say, I will continue to attend this event and hope that if the band returns next year, they will bring with them a return to 2014 form. Though I was slightly disappointed in the band, my students enjoyed the evening, so all is well that ends well. We all look forward to the next dance outing!