Disney Out? Disney In

Jack Singer Hall

Jack Singer Hall

The quickest way to get some culture in you is to attend a concert at the Jack Singer Hall. Last week, I got free tickets to see Disney in Concert performed by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (or CPO). I would have easily skipped the event because after living in Anaheim for a year and going to Disneyland almost every other week, you can say I was Disney’d out.

The tickets I received were pretty good. It was dead centre and in the orchestra section in Row O. From where I was sitting, I had a commanding view of the entire orchestra and stage. I felt sorry for the people in Row A and B because they were too close to the stage. If it was Celine Dion then they would have had an advantage over me but for the Disney Concert, I think I had the best seats in the house.

There’s something magical about the Jack Singer Hall. First of, it’s cozy and intimate versus the Jubilee Auditorium which is too large for this kind of venue. Second, the sound is incredible in the Jack Singer Hall. Everything sounds so natural and real. You could hear every instrument in its clarity and tone. And that’s why the CPO plays here and not at the Jubilee.

When the concert started, I was amazed at myself. I was actually enjoying the tunes and singing along too. They played all the favourites including Colour of the Wind from Pocahontas, Circle of Life from Lion King and A Whole New World from Aladdin. Along with the CPO, there were four vocalists that sung their hearts out. And they were good too.

The vocalists were Candice Nicole, Whitney Kaufman, Aaron Phillips and Andrew Johnson. One of them used to work for Disney and I can tell you, she played the part of Belle in the Beauty and the Beast and Ariel in the Little Mermaid very well.

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Recycled Percussion

Justin Spencer of Recycled Percussion

Justin Spencer of Recycled Percussion

We attended the Stampede the other day and had a chance to catch the popular act at the Bell Centennial Plaza where Recycled Percussion from Las Vegas performed. These guys are awesome! If you get a chance to see them, do so. They are so energetic, funny and talented. They were on the fifth season of America Got Talent and now they are performing in their own show in Vegas at the Tropicana hotel.

They are all percussionists. Justin Spencer is the lead percussionist and is the world’s fastest drummer. Ryan Vezina is the second lead percussionist and duels against Justin in their act. Matt Bowman is the guitar player and Todd Griffin (aka DJ Pharoah) is the Media Director.

They play everything from Queen to the Beatles. They accompany the music by beating on makeshift drums, made out of barrels, garbage cans, hub caps and an aluminum ladder. Justin and Ryan climb up and down the ladder, beating on the steps while Matt and Todd beat on the barrels. It is high energy and good sound.

Catch them at Stampede until Sunday or see them in Vegas.