In the end, our seats were just fine. Antony himself was in full voice, the band was tight, and the between song patter as loopily strange and sweet and wise as only Antony--with his unique and fragile take on the world--can make it. Highlights of the evening included Antony making violinist Maxim Mostad blush while serenading him by way of introduction; guitarist and violinist Rob Moose's hep and jazzy socks; rockin' versions of "For Today I Am a Boy" and "Fistful of Love"; an even more stylin' cover of Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love"; and a delightfully wacky and surreal back and forth with the audience about disappearing salmon, rivers of milk, and environmental depredation that preceded a final encore of "Twilight." I include video excerpts of these last three for those of you who couldn't be there on Friday:
Antony told us at one point, during a long disquisition on cities, sustainability, and social engineering in the context of mega-projects like the Olympics (which involved an amazing analogy to beehives), that he was developing a special fondness for Vancouver. I took this to be a reference to his last visit to the city, which was as a special invited guest to the TransSomaTechnics conference organized by Susan Stryker at SFU Harbour Centre this past May. Generous person that she is, Susan arranged for me to interview Antony in front of the assembled conference participants, and then to introduce a command solo performance that he gave us on the grand piano that had been wheeled onto the stage of the lecture hall. It was an amazing experience, and memories of it made last Friday's concert all the more special.
Regarding my last post on Batsheva, Peter Birnie had an interesting column in yesterday's Vancouver Sun on the counter-productiveness of cultural boycotts.