What do you get when you cross Kenny Loggins, John Miles, Michael McDonald, Nile Rogers & Chic, John Miles, the Pointer Sisters, and soprano Natalie Choquette with classical music orchestra, Il Novecento? America’s first iteration of Night of the Proms.
Having played in Europe for the past 30 years, Night of the Proms has gained an international reputation as a musical event of the year; combining classical music with pop, Night of the Proms creates a wholly unique concert going experience. While stateside, we’re at least somewhat familiar with rock bands performing with a classical orchestra (Kiss, Dennis DeYoung, and recently, Rush, have all done this), Night of the Proms takes that experience to another level, by packing the bill with top name talent, and letting the electronic instruments take a backseat to the orchestra.
Night of the Proms opens with a classical piece performed by the orchestra, Aslo Sprach Zarathustra, before leading into Carmen, from the opera with the same name; it’s not often that a classical orchestra, and a diva can get that kind of response at an arena in the Midwest, but Night of the Proms is not your typical experience. The Pointer Sisters quickly followed, performing a collection of their biggest disco hits. If you’re listening to opera one minute, and disco the next, you either have a very unusual channel set on Pandora, or you’re at Night of the Proms The audience at the Sprint Center didn’t seem to mind, after all, they gave Kenny Loggins a standing ovation after he performed Footloose, and showed the same respect the orchestra and choir after their haunting rendition of Carl Orff’s O Fortuna from Carmina Burana.
The Proms are a new venture in the United States, and the Sprint Center was far from full; but the audience was heavily engaged, with several of the artists inviting members of the crowd to join them onstage to assist in one bit or another. Nile Rogers invited some 30 people up to get their “freak out.”
The producers of the Proms event are optimistic about its future here, having announced they will be bringing it back to the Sprint Center next June. Even if one isn’t a fan of classical music, or opera, there’s no denying that seeing both the Pointer Sisters, and Kenny Loggins on the same bill is not likely to occur again.
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