Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just don’t get it.
Queen, for example. I love hard rock. I love some pretty mediocre bands. But Queen? I understand and admire Freddy Mercury’s charisma. Listen to the band? No, thank you. I tried. And tried. Even owned Queen albums at one time. They never got through whatever haze I was in.
Seinfeld. People tell me the television show is funny. I worked with some of the smartest, most hilarious people you’d ever know. They loved Seinfeld. Could recite whole scenes together. Me? Watched multiple shows, to find out what I was missing. Nothing, evidently.
Alien. I don’t understand why people spend good money to have the shit frightened out of them. After seeing the creature pop out of John Hurt’s chest, I looked at my knees for the next two hours.
Olives, whiskey, Ornette Coleman. I didn’t like them the first time I tried. But perseverance showed me the value and beauty. Tripe, bourbon, ABBA? Not my thing.
That’s the way I felt about All Hell Is Breaking Loose, Honey.
From the Trailer Park Boys opening tableau of beer swilling lads wallowing in their spilled brew to the dance-floor show-off solos; from the thumping techno to the scratchy guitar; from the tongue-in-cheek interludes with choreographer Frédérick Gravel to the wave your arms in the air moments, everything seemed throwaway, an attempt to fill 90 minutes with anything they could dream up.
Gravel wryly told us at the very beginning that the piece was created in 2010, that he was then more naïve than he is now, that the group had not performed All Hell Is Breaking Loose, Honey in some time. I thought it showed. Shabby around the edges, some desperation improvisation, standing around looking like “what else can we do?”
If only all hell had broken loose.