Tribute artists in my opinion are here so you can be transported back to a time or a place and relive the excitement and the music all over again, and this evening, I'm seeing T-Rextasy at the Opera House, Manchester presented by Sweeney Entertainments.
Now, I should point out I'm only 23 years of age and as I entered the theatre; I was probably one of the youngest there, and I expected that, Mark Bolan tragically died in 1977 in a car crash so most people of my generation would maybe not be the most ofay with the T-Rex music.
As the show started and the support act, 'Beltane' came out, a thought had crossed my mind that this wasn't my kind of thing, that I was too young to understand it, I was wrong, boy was I wrong.
As T-Rextasy took to the stage, with Danielz aka Marc Bolan wrapped in a green feather boer and green flares, the audience took to their feet, not just one or two, not just a section or couple of rows, the whole audience took to their feet and what's more, they stayed on their feet dancing throughout the whole performance, of all the tribute artists I have reviewed; I have never seen an audience reaction like it.
They loved it!
And no wonder, a couple of songs in, and T-Rextasy play the opening bars of '20th Century Boy'. It was fantastic, you could feel the energy of not only the band but all of the audience too, it was electric, the stage was simple, as it would have been back in the 70s, with just a T-Rextasy banner flag behind the band and that was all they needed, they let the music do the talking, with Danielz on vocals, Neil Cross on Rhythm Guitar, Rob Butterfield on Bass and John Skelton on Drums. As the set continued, I found I knew more and more T-Rex songs than I had originally thought and as I danced long to hits and B sides alike from Marc Bolan's career, I looked around me and the whole audience had a new lease of life, it was like being transported back to 1974 and experiencing the T-Rex music for the first time, even for people who were diehard fans, people were dancing, people were singing and most importantly, people were just happy. It was friendly, it was fun and everyone felt like friends.
If I had to pick a couple of highlights of the evening, one would be the fantastic 'We Love to Boogie' which had a fantastic break down section in the middle were the audience participation was the best I'd ever seen in the theatre and secondly, 'Children of the Revolution' which this evening felt like an anthem, it had passion and Danielz and the band made it feel very special.
Now with tribute acts, it can be hard to live up to the expectations of the performer they are paying tribute too, but Danielz was a fantastic Marc Bolan, a very skilled musician and a fun personality meant that it didn't feel like you were watching a tribute act at all, and Danielz has really dedicated a good amount of his life to T-Rex, this is evident from the numerous times throughout the night when audience members would shout songs from Marc Bolan's discography and within two seconds, he's playing to everyone, word and note perfect; that's somebody who is dedicated to the music, to the legacy.
T-Rextasy is the legacy Marc Bolan deserved! It's fantastic.
And as the audience made a united chant for more before the encore, I realised that this music doesn't have to remain in the past, and it doesn't, what T-Rextasy is doing; is letting the music live on and allowing people like me who weren't born first time to experience T Rex for the first time, and it's something which is more than worthy to be enjoyed today or any day, it's timeless.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend everyone to go and see it, from die hard T-Rex fans to people who aren't, I know you'll love it, I did, this is a tribute band with a difference.
Reviewer: Max Eden
Reviewed: 10th September 2016
North West End Rating: ★★★★