posted on February 25, 2013 13:06
The crowd is just as important to the quality of a show as the performers on stage, and unfortunately the crowd that came to see One More Round’s tribute to Johnny Cash at the Pageant didn’t hold up its end of the deal.
Bill Forness, playing Johnny Cash, and his band delivered a solid recreation of a Johnny Cash concert, but the fans barely even clapped their hands together or bobbed their head along with the hits. They essentially sat motionless, with the exception of a few bouts of band-started claps and few couples dancing during “Ring of Fire.”
Regardless, Forness and company played their hearts out from beginning to end. They spanned the Johnny Cash collection playing hits such as “Ring of Fire” and “Jackson” with the help of his June Carter all the way through Cash’s career up to his covers of Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden.
The show began with the band decked out in full white suits singing “Cry, Cry, Cry” and other songs from Cash’s Sun Records era, with little to no reaction from the crowd. Forness tried to get the crowd involved with some audience participation for “High and Rising,” but had a rough go.
After a curtain drop, the band returned in full black suits and busted out “Folsom Prison Blues,” which, nearly 40 minutes into the show, got the first real reaction beyond obligatory applause.
Roughly an hour into the first half of the show, dancers emerged for Forness’s rendition of “I Got Stripes.” Unlike the dancers in the spectacle that is an El Monstero show, there were only two dancers and they seemed out of place. Not to mention, the lack of coordination between the two distracted from Forness’s performance.
I’m all for theatrics and trying to create a big show, but there’s no place for dancers in a Johnny Cash tribute show. Sticking to the basics would have made the portions of the show when the dancers took the stage much more enjoyable.
June Carter, played by Brittany Scheffer, sang a few solo classics such as “Wildwood Flower” and “Jukebox Blues” before launching into a few duets, including “It Ain’t Me Babe.”
The last portion of the show featured Cash’s later tunes, including a great rendition of the Nine Inch Nails cover “Hurt” and a cover of Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage.”
Forness and company ended with a selection Cash’s gospel songs and closed the show with the much anticipated “Ring of Fire.”
Forness and the One More Round band put on a great show with great performances, but the lack of crowd interaction made the atmosphere flat and left me wanting more.