Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Get Plugged in to Bit of Rock and Culture

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Get Plugged in to Bit of Rock and Culture

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Capitano

Phil Spector knew it. So did Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin: Nothing fills out a rock song like serving it with a side of symphony.

The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's Plugged In series showcases the drama of such gourmet musical mash-ups live and loud. On Saturday, you'll be able to take in those soaring masterpieces of symphonic rock - with the added benefit of bagpipes.

The show at the Times-Union Center will feature Celtic rock group Seven Nations in the Plugged In series. Seven Nations (named because there are seven Celtic nations, see?) has been playing live since 1993, and this is their third time partnering with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

I used the Internet to give them a listen, and, man, there's something about that Celtic sound. Bands just don't take advantage of fiddles and bagpipes like they should. Bagpipes are always a selling point, as in "you have to come to this party - the guy's cousin is totally bringing his BAGPIPES."

The band's sound is foot-stomping, folk-tinged modern rock, with Anthony Kiedisesque vocals and energized by a fiddle, bagpipes, even a tin whistle. When you factor in the symphony's violins, that makes for 16 players fiddling the night away, and that's just not something you get to see every day.

Adults are the norm at Plugged In performances, but if I were to put on my John Rosemond hat, I'd suggest that this would be a good thing for pro-music families to attend together. Provided, of course, the children are old enough and have the attention span required to behave in public. A Plugged In show is a good gateway performance for the young 'uns - culture shrouded in rock music is culture nonetheless.

In fact, the emcee started off the concert I attended by asking how many symphony first-timers were in the audience. About a quarter of the crowd identified themselves. …

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