Thursday, March 05, 2009
Rock-It Science Festival
First, full disclosure: one of my closest friends produced this one-night event at the Highline Ballroom, in which noted scientists who happen to rock and roll were on the bill with science-friendly musicians. The show was thrillingly eclectic (and at 25 bucks the bargain of the century): there's surely never been an event before where you could see one of the world's most important neuro-scientists stradding a guitar one minute and hear downtown entertainer Anna Cabana play "Enter Sandman" on the xylophone the next. The evening was anchored by a stunning thirty minute set by Rufus Wainwright that opened with "Grey Gardens" and included top-drawer gems like "The Art Teacher" and "Going To A Town". Other science-friendly acts included elegant jazz singer Pamela Luss, a house band featuring Lenny Kaye and Steve Wynn, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, and the three Broadway leads of Rock of Ages on stage together for the first time. First on their feet in the audience to rock out old school for Dee Snider's set, Constantine Maroulis and Amy Spanger soared spectacularly through a hair band ballad before introducing James Carpinello, who tore up Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead Or Alive" like a genuine rock star.