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London Rocks at 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 07/28/12 6:40 am | updated: 07/28/12 6:40 am
It's once more time for the Olympics and over the next 16 days of glory we'll get Bob Costas spinning us a 1000 different human interest stories out of the actual sports that are going on. I do thoroughly enjoy the Olympics for the games, especially since we don't get to see many of these except for every four years. I get enough excitement out of the actual winning, losing, competition, and athletics. I don't care too much about the fluff. That's why the Opening Ceremonies usually don't appeal to me. There is something about thousands of people doing some kind of strange dance to an atmospheric orchestral arrangement trying to tell a story that doesn't make much sense that is not very appealing. I always give it a chance though because there is something special about the Olympics, and the parade of nations is interesting.

Tonight's ceremony was tasked to producer/director Danny Boyle. The lavish production in Olympic Stadium in East London told of the history of London. It turned from a lush agrarian society to the dirty industrial revolution, eventually showing scenes from modern day and a young person's life. It was all very beautiful and grandiose, like most Olympic ceremonies are. This one started out, musically, subdued with compositions by Edward Elgar, choirs from around the nation singing songs such as “Danny Boy” from Northern Ireland, and William Blake's “Jerusalem”.

However, when Danny Boyle brought on electronic duo Underworld as music directors he was looking to add a little punch to this night's performance. Throughout the night they showed a little bit of wit, sometimes guts, and broke through the unsaid barriers of reserve normally set aside for these events. When they went to delve into the best of British music of course there were some of the usual characters of British rock: Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Queen, Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, and Pink Floyd, although surprisingly no Elton John, Police, or Led Zepplin. The real treats were in the secondary sections. Punk pioneers Sex Pistols and The Clash alongwith 2 tone ska act The Specials added extra flavor throughout the night, especially the Pistols “God Save the Queen”. New Wave era acts like The Jam, New Order, Eurythmics, OMD and Pet Shop Boys were also worked into the night. Modern days acts included Muse, Adele, Kaiser Chiefs, Coldplay, Prodigy, and Amy Winehouse's “Valerie”.

There were a few live performances during the night from Arctic Monkeys, Dizzee Rascal, Emeli Sande, and Paul McCartney who closed the show with “Hey Jude”. Even when you thought they'd get back to task with a symphonic performance of the theme from "Chariots of Fire" (completely appropriate for the Olympics in London), Rowan Atkinson playing Mr. Bean sat in on synthesizer for all his comedic effects.

Once the mix of music caught my ear as something different it kept me intrigued to see what they'd play next, even if just for a few bars here and there. It was a great way showcase the tremendous amount of great rock/pop music that British artists have contributed on the stage that has the world's attention.

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