Jessy, the malice

Last night it was time for me to see a rock opera. Not just a rock opera. It was a rock opera Eyes can't see logoof a local band, performed by Eyes can’tsee. Now I really love watching good local bands and I really like it when people with a passion set goals for themselves and just go for it all the way. Too bad that most local bands never will become any good. Most local bands don’t even realize that what they are doing is just bad, boring, uninspired or terrifying for the ears. Going to local bands you have never seen, therefore is always a gamble. Especially when the band has really worked hard to create something special, something new. And even more so if you know one of the band members…

… So I went, looking forward to it in excitement and with a skeptical reservation…

And I was blown away!

Of course I can sum up everything that could have been done better: There were grammatical errors in both the booklet and the projected videos supporting the show, they forgot to be consistent with props, they even had to run to set up some of the attributes at the last second, there was a second of feedback coming from one of the guitar players, etcetera, etcetera. But is it really fair to judge on such details when it comes to semi-professional band members who worked on a great show in their spare time? Yes. I do think so. They really worked hard for it so they should be judged on their performance as though they were professionals.

Danielle & Sabine

Danielle & Sabine

First of all, the story. I already read a bit about the story before I went to the theatre. A story about a boy, Jessy, who is treated bad by his parents, runs away from home, lives in the woods for a while with a group of outcasts. When his mother dies, his father comes looking for him. He observes his father but does not show himself, he hides away. His father goes home and after a while the boy is doubting about his choice of not showing himself. He goes home to find his father dying in agony. Jessy turns mad. His evil alter ego wins his internal struggle and Jessy decides not to prevent other children from ending up the same way he did. He gets a gun and shoots out on a schoolyard. Jessy is arrested and sentenced to therapy. Society does not except this mild sentence and even his therapist does not want Jessy to try and rebuild his life. The therapist talks Jessy into committing suicide.

At the first part of their show, I was afraid that I would have to listen to a less than average performance for 2 more hours. I was afraid that this was going to be it. The songs were a bit boring, not really working towards any climax and the vocals of the female singer were just not working. The feel of the songs was way too euphoric for the story they were trying to tell. There was a big empty space in the middle of the stage and I had to look from all the way to the left to all the way to the right to see the musicians play their songs.

But soon the empty space was filled with a great dance act. Soon another female singer entered the stage, singing like an angel and that while she is in her eight month of her pregnancy. Wow. Slowly the opera which started out a bit lame turned into a piece that catches your attention and will not let it go again until the last note has faded out. In the part where Jessy is fighting between is good and his bad alter egos, the songs are backing up the emotions. The movements of the dance and the singers are consistent with the feel of the music and the story is been told like the artists were the characters of the story. I loved the songs Broken Lines and Inner Fight! What was clear during this part was that the band had a great time. Though at most of the time the musicians were actors, at this point they became musicians too.  Energy started flowing!

Society against Jessy

Society against Jessy

Time for the break. I did not go out of the theatre because I was still tired from the last week with the TEDxEvent and school and work… And just because of that I had the chance to talk to both female singers and meet Tao, the dog of one of them. Such a cute enthusiastic animal.

The second half of the show was definitely more messy than the first half. But. The music was way better, if you ask me. Songs gently blended into each other. The songs were like they should be at this point in the story. There was a great vibe. It was a bit disappointing that the two female voices at first did not really fit together but slowly they found the right frequency and the show went on. I loved the entire part from the beginning all the way to the end. There were euphoric parts placed well in the story, there was a beautiful acoustic song played by Sander Lugtigheid, and up from the part where Jessy is torn apart by society who’d rather see him die, via the therapist who talks him into ending his life to the end where he does, the acting was great. I must say that I was impressed with the watery eyes of the actors playing Jessy.

The song Suicide is plain and simple a hit. This is a song of the quality that makes a rock opera a rock opera, this is a song that people can sing along to not realizing that the theme is actually very depressing. This is a song with an amazing bass solo. IMPRESSED!

Now there were some other things I need to point out to you. There was an awesome part with percussion at the end, where both the female singers and Sebas van Vugt were playing percussion while John Tol was beating up the drums. Though it was not perfectly executed, it was a perfect addition to the show element.

Applause!

Applause!

Then there is the fact that the people who worked on this piece really put a lot of thoughts into the show. Jessy was played by several singers. To make clear who was Jessy, Jessy was the one wearing a cap. And that worked. It worked well. Respect for this kind of details!

If Jessy, The Malice is performed again, I can honestly advice all those who like local acts to rush and get yourself a ticket! I am confident that the messy parts will be cleaned up for any performance of this rock opera in the future.

Rock on!

photos by Sabina de Vormer

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One Comment to “Jessy, the malice”

  1. I had a great time! I was well impressed with the complete package!!

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