Before the headline act, the stunning Usher Hall is transformed into a clubbing scene. Between the repetitive thumping bass and an accumulation of plastic cups on the floor, the anticipation for the night to actually commence grows very quickly. For those who misguidedly arrived when doors opened at 6pm, there are 3 hours of suspense before Colours Classical comes on at 9pm. After just 20 minutes of two-stepping in the stalls to a monotonous track, I longed for a change of pace.
It is the ‘amped-up’ atmosphere that makes this a night to remember. The audience are eager to have great night out – so eager in fact, that even a cautionary fire evacuation could not quell their spirits. Surrounded by strangers singing and dancing together, unified by a love of music and the freedom to completely cut loose on a Saturday night, the ambience was euphoric…for most. I couldn’t help but notice a small section of the audience looking a little bored; this is not a show to be passively experienced and it does require you to work a little bit to have fun, especially before Colours Classical appears. A willingness to get your dance on and the company of some close friends will greatly enhance your night (a few drinks from the bar certainly wouldn’t go amiss either).
As soon as Colours Classical began to play, we knew we were in for a treat. Sophisticatedly combining the talents of the Scottish Festival Orchestra, Musichoir and Caledonia with dance anthems and house music from the last 20 years, the sound was electric. Host and lead vocalist, Peyton, effortlessly guided the programme and energized the audience. His voice was one among several breathtaking performances. Musichoir provided some elegant harmonies to the anthems, but were unfortunately hidden at the back of stage. Covered by the smoke and beams of bright light, the choir were barely seen, dressed in black against the black backdrop. It would have been nice to hear and see them used to greater effect. The orchestra were also clearly talented and well-rehearsed; when briefly stripped of the throbbing bass, their sound filled the hall with ethereal beauty. However, I did wish that we were given the chance to further appreciate their talent as they were often drowned out by the DJ.
Lighting, smoke, pyrotechnic, and sound aspects generally added to the night’s atmosphere. Overwhelmingly bright and loud, it is everything you might expect from a concert, leaving you temporarily deafened and with stars popping before your eyes afterwards, but this is what we came for. Whilst generally successful, feedback from the microphones was distracting and definitely unwelcome, often taking away from the music.
Unexpectedly emotional, the night ends by paying tribute to an icon of house music, the late Avicii, whose music is the perfect satisfying ending. Elated spectators pour out of Usher Hall still excitedly singing their favourites and dancing with their friends. While house music in its tendency for repetitiveness is not to everyone’s taste, lend your hearts and ears to the steady beat and it becomes a party like no other!
PHOTOS: Usher Hall