Call me crazy, but I never expected to see Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” Rufus Wainwright’s “Hallelujah,” and a self-proclaimed “enchanted forest” interpretive dance to Led Zeppelin all at the same concert. But that is exactly what I got at Tuesday night’s Rock-It Science Festival at New York’s Highline Ballroom, an evening dedicated to rock and, uh, science. (Rock-It Science. Get it?) Proceeds went to The Sensation and Emotion Network.
Headliners included Wainwright (pictured), Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, former American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis and fellow cast members of the forthcoming Broadway musical Rock of Ages. (I have yet to figure out some of these artists’ connection to science, but hey, it’s a good cause!) A vast assortment of other acts graced in the stage, a fair number of them were themselves scientists who moonlight as rock stars. You wouldn’t even know it, either – nearly everyone on stage seemed poised and comfortable, if a bit flustered over technical difficulties here and there. I do have to say, however, I was half-expecting to hear something likeColdplay’s “The Scientist.” I mean, with a festival called Rock-ItScience, a couple of more puns were to be expected, right? Of course, Wainwright stole the show. He prefaced his set by saying, “I failed every science course I ever took,” which must be really embarrassing since his mother got her degree in physics. Ouch. Wainwright played eight songs, including mainstays “Grey Gardens” and the stunning (and I guess moderately science-y) “Pretty Things.”
Did anyone else attend this bizarre concoction of a concert? More importantly, have you gotten goosebumps while seeing Rufus Wainwright perform? (I mean, that voice!) And to the audience member who correctly shouted Summer Heights High at the Australian MC: I salute you. She totally could be Mr. G’s next sidekick.