There is no failure.

I did this interesting thing and followed my impulse and booked a flight on Southwest points to LA to see the fourth of a four-show series by Taylor Mac. He’s performing a 24-Decade History of Popular Music, and each decade is an hour. AN HOUR. So the original show was 24 hours long. In a row. Twenty-four hours in a row of singing, dancing, performance art, entertainment, elaborate costumes.
The show I saw was only 6 hours.
And, as everybody warned, it flew by. I never once said to myself, “How much longer is this show?” (Which I frequently do in other contexts.) People I know seem to have either heard about this show and rave about it, or have never heard of it. Doesn’t seem like there’s an in-between.
Aside from the performance and music, the politics were one of the most incredible pieces of it. I did see the most recent 6 decades, from the civil rights era to now, so that was all very relevant, but my understanding is that it was woven throughout. He was so damn smart about so much.
Honestly, I have no idea how to explain it. I’m not going to try. I didn’t know what to expect when I went. I decided to go for it because a friend who had seen it was raving about it, and rather than actually understand the descriptions that were coming out of her mouth, I understood the energetic transformation she was describing, and I was intrigued by the way she lit up and was in awe, just recounting her experience.
It felt like the first time someone tried to explain their experience in a Body Electric workshop. I didn’t know what they were talking about, but I recognized and wanted the feeling of it.
Here’s the little trailer for the show he does. He’s still touring with it, for a little longer, going to visit Tempe and Tallahassee and Philadelphia and London and a few other places. If you happen to have some airline points hanging around and want to have an artist’s date with yourself, I highly recommend it.
— Zed