Photos of Kip Winger and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at Boettcher Concert Hall, 01/18/13 (review)By Colleen Smith | January 21st, 2013 | No Comments »
Oil and water. Cats and dogs. Orchestral music and rock. Friday night in Boettcher Concert Hall, heavy metal hero C. F. Kip Winger and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra demonstrated that opposites can mix. A Denver native, Winger’s rock career included stints playing with Alice Cooper and Bob Dylan, singing with the Alan Parsons Live Project and fronting his namesake heavy metal band known as Winger. He’s had six Top 40 singles, but in order to express himself more freely, he has a softer side as a classical composer.
“I found that orchestral music reached a wider range of my emotions than rock,” Winger said. With guests who included longtime sideman and lead guitarist Reb Beach, Winger performed several rock tunes with the CSO. Some of the sparse audience turned out dressed down in jeans and sports jerseys—atypical symphony attire. Like the conductor and orchestra players, Winger wore all black, but accessorized with silver sneakers.
The Colorado Symphony’s “Shuffle” series explores junctions of musical genres. Friday’s program swung wildly from Björk to Ravel, from the Beatles to Purcell, including some of Winger’s favorite classical pieces. Soloist Sydney Brooke Fisher sang several numbers, adding her opera quality voice to Winger’s rock rasp.
A program highlight came when the orchestra backed Winger on Sir Paul McCartney’s “Eleanor Rigby”—the song that initially inspired Winger to pursue classical composition. The orchestra also performed “Ghosts,” a piece Winger wrote as a commission for the San Francisco Ballet.
At one point, Colorado Symphony resident conductor Scott O’Neil put down his baton and took his place at the piano to teach an informal lesson on chords He pounded out a bit of “Louie, Louie” to demonstrate a pop application. For an encore, the jovial O’Neil also played piano as his orchestra looked on for Winger’s rock hit “Miles Away.” Proof positive that on occasion, the twain shall meet.
Colleen Smith, the author of “Glass Halo” and “Laid-Back Skier,” is a long-time contributor to The Denver Post and other publications. Follow Friday Jones Publishing on Facebook and FridayPublisher on Twitter.
Jason Bullinger is a graphic designer, illustrator and photographer and a new contributor with Reverb.