Posted by: James Maxwell
I want to begin by giving credit to the entire Portland Cello Project for having such a unique platform and strategy to bring their music to more diverse crowds and smaller venues. I think it is an awesome idea to give artists a chance to collaborate with the ensemble that normally would not have the means to do so. With that being said, in regards to the Project’s Tuesday Night Performance at the Works, I personally have some mixed opinions.
I found the ensemble to be much more powerful and moving without the selected and apparently struggling singer/songwriters. The best moments of the show came from the pieces that involved purely instrumental work. The Pianist piece at the beginning of the show was genius and could have been a soundtrack to my life, no joke, I was taken to a good place. The lead cellists were terrific and were truly a master at their skills. I loved the intimate setting the Project provided at the beginning.
My problem with the show did not begin until a number of singer/songwriters jumped on stage ready to “wow” the audience with their personal strife and insight. I mean it just got a little much with the melodramatic lyrics and cliché sorrow looks on stage. I will give the Seth Rogen look alike props for his semi-witty cocaine joke but the lovers staying in bed lyrics lacked originality. And to the brilliant cellist who decided to venture to the front of the stage and sing about the hurtful American hands and guns destroying our world, we all know our country blows right now the lyrics are by no means a revelation.
I do not mean to be a hater and again I am certainly not trained in instrumental performance, I was just a guy trying to enjoy my $3 PBR and was disappointed with the collaborations. I respect the Portland Cello Project for their original ideas and talent but was more entertained with the conversation in the beer garden then the night’s performance.