While listening to the self titled debut album from All Star Opera, I was inspired by the theatrical composition. The further I began to review each song, the more my notes turned into a short story. Each feeling that the songs evoked are reflected in the scenes below.
Read my story first then dive in, or listen to the album while you read along. Experience it anyway you please really, I’m not here to tell you what to do.
Setting the Scene
It’s a dark October night, and you’re outside of a dive bar. The city lights gleaming down on a dark alley. Illuminating a concrete staircase with a sign pointing down the stairs. Dark, mysterious figures shuffle down as music trickles in and out with the motion of the door. Your curiosity grows so you follow that beat. Hanging from the wall in the doorway is a haphazard chalk sign that reads: All Star Opera.
Scene One: Rafiki
As you nestle into a corner table dimly lit by a lone candle, soft piano chords quiet the chatter. A spotlight flicks onto a deep voice speaking with the purpose to re-educate your soul. As the brass builds, the lights come up and reveal a six piece band.
Scene Two: Building Blocks
The crowd applauds, and the band claps back. A boisterous bass line takes you on a ride, as the psychedelics that the bartender slipped into your drink start to take hold. Don’t let the acid trip you up though, these emcees have ferocious bars. You want to beat box during the breakdown but your face begins to melt. You start to envision roller skating through a field while wearing colorful matching outfits with the band. It’s clear that you’re not in Kansas anymore, but in another land.
Scene Three: Flying with the Fishes
Now it’s the next morning and you wake up in bed. The bright orange glow from the sun shining through your drapes. A couple birds are perched on the branch outside your window. You have a vague recollection of a tie-dyed night. With a little confusion you embrace the day. With your feet strolling the sidewalk, you spark another up and your head is off Flying with the Fishes.
Scene Four: Still Feels Like Home
At happy hour you sit behind another glass of liquid courage. You can’t help but long for the feeling you got last night. Losing yourself in your own emotions you stumble around until a familiar place smacks you in the face.
Scene Five: Mr. Ed’s
The gentle tap of a cymbal and bass drum brought you back to that mysterious alley. A place they call Mr. Ed’s. The anticipation is killing you, so you hurry inside.
Scene Six: Keep This Light On
“If anybody can hear me, let me know“. You walk in and there are no more people or tables. You’re in the front row of a theater sitting center stage. It’s a private debut of the newest musical play. The choir harmoniously looking at you to keep the lights on. Accidentally you hit the switch and they’re gone.
Scene Seven: Indigestión
You scramble trying to turn everything back on. You search, and you search but the switch is nowhere to be found. But the band is still there. “I can see it … anything you imagine I can be it.” An ominous feeling overwhelms you as they flip the switch and a red light comes on. A man walks up to you and starts singing in Spanish. You don’t understand. You’re trying to fight the indigestion but you give in and let the melody consume you.
Scene Eight: 1,000
It’s the witching hour now. You’re no longer alone with the band. Goons and goblins start to surround you. It’s surreal, you try to find any sense of reality. You reach out to touch one of the monsters, but nothing feels right. “Everything is dead to the touch.”
Scene Nine: Clocktopuss
There’s a Clocktopuss on the wall, you glance to check it. No hands to tell, just eight legs spinning around and around as time means nothing anymore. The Opera wants you to dive in. Is this a dream? Are you still on acid? “If there’s nowhere you want to go, if there’s nowhere you got to be, honey, come swim with me.”
Scene Ten: A.S.O
You rise to the surface of this dream and see the stage. A reminiscent haze lingers as visions of mixtapes past float by. The orchestral strings begin to waiver as the curtains begin to close. Just as the last string settles the curtains, the band marches out to take a bow.
It was all a dream. You weren’t reading Word Up! magazine, this was a show for your mind to see. This was the story of how the Opera came to be.
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