May 25, 2017
Having originally been created by French musical composer Jacques Morali to target disco’s gay audience by featuring popular gay fantasy personae, the Village People with their catchy tunes, suggestive lyrics and on-stage costumes depicting American masculine stereotypes moved into mainstream and left an imprint for decades to come. Countless times the group has been referenced, imitated or parodied in TV series, movies, video games and music.
Having been warmed up by the pitch perfect and only ABBA endorsed group Björn Again, an homage to one of the most accomplished pop groups of all time, the sold out crowd warmly welcomed the Village People, whose 2017 tour marks their fortieth anniversary. With two original members still on board, i.e. Native American Felipe Rose and the Soldier Alex Briley, who originally started portraying an athlete, the disco act from Greenwich Village, New York came out to relive old memories and relive they did.
While they came out with great fanfare and delivered all of their hits in an engaging and energetic manner – especially given that some members celebrated their seventieth birthday this year, the show left a bit desired in the production department with the Cop Ray Simpson delivering admittedly a great vocal performance while the rest of the gang are miming to playback and synchronized dancing.
It would do a world of good for the Village People’s show to take a page from the Swedes Björn Again’s charming book to add character by performing and invest into more interactive stage elements with live musicians as if you strip the show of the hits, it was a bit heavy on the repetitive side.
The audience, part of which was dressed up for the occasion, still loved it, reveling in the life affirming energy of the disco tunes and spelling out the alphabet with their appendages.
Photos by KAVV
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