Only two people seemed to claim their ticket money back when the demure announcement was made that An AUC Out of Hell, a concert of pop and rock music by Adelaide University Choral Society, would not in fact feature any songs by Rock Opera legend Meatloaf. Instead, the setlist put together by guest conductor Tim Marks was rather safe with such musical staples as Elton John’s Your Song, Isn’t She Wonder by Stevie Wonder and a selection of ABBA numbers.
As AUCS is a non-profit organisation of non-auditioned choral enthusiasts it would be unfair to criticise this concert too heavily. However, along with song selection there were a few aspects of the event which could have been changed to enhance the enjoyment for the average Fringe-goer. In the two hours the audience were in North Adelaide’s Christ Church Hall (not the actual Church as was advertised) the choir only performed for roughly half the time. The rest was taken up by three 20 minute intervals. This was not a problem for the majority of the audience as it was clear most people were there to see a friend or relative perform and could spend this time catching up with each other. However, as an average concert-goer, and this concert has been advertised to the general public, this did get tedious.
The whole evening had a much more serious tone to it than one would expect from the promotional material. With programmes such as Glee and the Pop Choir becoming a phenomenon all over the world there is an expectation of tongue-in-cheek fun along with a certain musical verve. AUC show was an altogether more serious affair with little in the way of musical inventiveness.
As a community event this was a lovely evening, the singing was adequate and the arrangements passable, there was even a raffle, but for the punter who wanted to have a fun evening of seeing popular classics transformed into something interesting and different it was a little staid. If I had known this at the beginning I may have joined the two Meatloaf fans and sat in the back of their van reciting I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) with a box of Goon.