London closed the 2012 Olympics with the Symphony of British Music. It was a tour of the history of British music. From all-time greats to new up and comers, the show was essentially one amazing concert. Here are some of my thoughts on the show.
I really liked the show kicking off with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody followed by John Lennon’s Imagine. It was pretty cool how they showed Lennon singing on the big screen. I wish they had done this with more of the singers who are no longer with us. It is one thing to hear the music, but it means more to see them. It brings back the memories of yesteryear. Never underestimate the power of nostalgia.
Some of the acts who were either not there or no longer with us were shown with a quick medley of their greatest hits. This was done with Queen (through Brian May and David Taylor would reprise We Will Rock You with Jessie J.), David Bowie, and others. I wish they played a full song in these situations like they did with Lennon. It was fun to see the crowd do the vocal improvisation with a clip of Freddie Mercury.
Speaking of Jessie J., I have no idea how she landed the gig of singing We Will Rock You. When she sang her song Price Tag, I thought it sounded rough live as compared to the recorded version. Not a surprise with some of the artists of today, however, knowing that, why give her the second gig of singing We Will Rock You? With all the great singers there had to be a better choice.
On the note of live singers, I was impressed with Taio Cruz. He performed Dynamite almost as well as the recording. It seems so rare to hear today. It is amazing how far technology has come in regards to voice alteration. Producers may even be able to make a singer out of me… okay I doubt it, but I can dream.
Monty Python’s Eric Idle did a choreographed performance to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. I found it to be very funny. I am a fan of British comedy, but, for whatever reason, never fully got Monty Python’s humor as a kid. Maybe it is time to revisit.
The worst kept secret of the night was the reunion of the Spice Girls. Entering on five British taxis, the Spice Girls sang Wannabe and Spice Up Your Life. They sang and performed better than I expected. They all ran with it and had fun. Nice to see no one thought they were above it or embarrassed by it. They were professional through and through.
The passing of the Olympic flag to Brazil for the 2016 games was cool. The performances were interesting and culturally significant, but felt very odd coming off the heels of a night in tribute to British music. It was nice to see Pele as a part of the festivities.
All in all, it was a great closing ceremony. I am sad though. What will I watch after work now? I love the Olympics. I wouldn’t find it overkill if they happened every two years as opposed to four. Thank you London for an amazing Olympic Games!