Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Freddy Mercury, and quite recently George Michael and Sharon Jones… What do these rockstars all have in common? That’s right, they’re dead. Nevertheless, those who know their music recognize that because of their multiple albums and top hits, their melodies and their stories live on. Immortalized in the sound waves that pump through our headphones, these rock n roll legends have never really left us.
The Rec Room, located on the east side of downtown Houston across from Minute Maid park (go ‘stros), is just the spot you are looking for if in need of some dead rockstar mourning. However, you won’t find any tears (at least the sad ones) or sorrow here…
On a mission to mix-up the usual Friday night routine, I headed out to the second annual Dead Rockstar Sing-A-Long Club, celebrating the music of George Michael and Sharon Jones at the Rec Room. What I now adoringly like to refer to as “Karaoke on crack.”
After a short walk from our dinner spot, we arrived at the Rec Room. From the moment we walked in the door, it was clear we were about to experience a night to remember!
Side Note: Each audience member receives a songbook with lyrics for all of the numbers to be sung, just in case one needs a little lyrical help.
The Dead Rockstar sing-a-long has no intermission, so pre-show drinks were quite necessary. As wine and beer were our options, in their adorably decorated bar, we went with a
2016 Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir from Sokol Blosser Winery (Dayton, Oregon)
With subtle notes of fruity deliciousness and just a hint of that dry finish one looks for in a Rosé, I was completely blown away and ready for a second glass. (Do I sound like a wine aficionado yet !?!)
(To our delight, the Rec Room encourages you to not only grab drinks in their bar before the show,
but continue to drink them in their theatre throughout the production. Double YAS!)
Now, finally getting on to the performance…
the lights lowered and after a brief introduction by the house manager, the show began.
First up, the crowd favorite “Faith” by George Michael. With the initial guitar lick, the small but mighty crowd went wild. As a life-long “choir girl” I have often experienced the exhilarating feeling of group singing, but this was something different, quite otherworldly and unique. It wasn’t until the final number, “Freedom”, a George Michael must, that I finally began to understand what I was feeling. As the song dwindled, we all joined in on a final chorus that fades into the outro and ended in a roaring applause. While the cast of this production was quite impressive and full of talent, I’d like to think that we were also applauding our sing-a-long participation as well. Go team!
As a classical musician, one of my biggest pet peeves is the exclusivity the genre often perpetuates. The Rec Room cultivated an experience that was not only inclusive, but collaborative.
Classical world, take note.
Overall, I have always believed that music has the power to unite.
Maybe it was the wine, but there was a distinct buzz in the air that I am confident all could feel.
One of excitement, reverence, inspiration, and revelation.
These Rockstars may be dead, but their songs live on and “Gotta have some faith in the sound.”
Until next time rockstars, i'll catch y'all for cocktails at intermission!