This evening we decided to celebrate the autumn equinox (I know – a little late – was March 20) but better late than never. We took ourselves off to the stadium, and after a delicious supper of ham, salads, and bread rolls, washed down with a delicate lager and lime, we were entertained by a refreshing range of musical numbers performed by a Finnish chamber music quintet.
The Celts referred to the autumnal equinox as ‘Lughnasad’ – a time of harvest – and, rather than signaling a starting or stopping point, from their perspective, an equinox marked the mid point of a continuum – in our case, from midsummer through to midwinter. I’m interested in engaging with our (my) own seasonal markers – the northern hemisphere models just don’t work for me as well – there’s simply no point in looking at midsummer in June/July. And of course, we southerners can make a midwinter festival like (Matariki – 5 June in 2008) our very own.
Our autumnal equinox festival was very, very good. I loved Lordi, and was pretty much satisfied after their storytelling. Alice Cooper had lost none of his theatric charms either. Kiss – weirdly, felt a bit contrived, a bit jaded to me – I mean, they were hard out, albeit with Gene Simmons looking a bit on the corpulent side; but other than the extraordinarily bright lighting and pyrotechnics there wasn’t a lot going on in a story telling kind of way. That is, until the encore, when they unleashed ‘I was born for loving you baby…’ and then joy of joys, from where we were sitting we could see Drusilla, monster of rock, getting down and getting funky. Yep, Dru is clearly an early KISS fan as you could see her ears shaking as her head moved from side to side. Perhaps it has her handler’s dancing, but I think not. Surely a creature able to breath smoke and have lasers beaming out from her eyes doesn’t need handlers to be a boogie thing.
Congratulations to Phil Sprey and the organising team – it takes real balls to put on a event on this scale, and while I suspect the event would’ve benefited from an extra 10,000 or so people on each night, it was a truly awe inspiring effort, and everyone can feel hammered, but proud of their efforts – and they’ll have great stories to tell friends and family forever.