Goosebumps at the Speedbumps… at the Canton Symphony

The Speedbumps at the Canton Symphony

Friday, October 26, 2012
Canton Palace Theatre

Speedbumps @ the CSO

As Callum will tell you below, this was one extraordinary night of music, brilliantly conceived and executed from concept to concert. I think audience comments on the Facebook pages for the orchestra and the band say it best. Here are just a few favorites:

  • The Speedbumps gave me goosebumps last night!!! Such an emotionally charged performance!
  • One of the best shows yet!
  • That show melted my face with its brilliance! What a great time.
  • We bought tickets not really knowing what to expect, but trusting the Canton Symphony Orchestra for something outstanding and it was! Just a great evening!
  • Wow! What a great show tonight with the Speedbumps and CSO. AWESOME!! Hope that was the first of many more pop/classical collaborations!
  • It was amazing start to finish!
  • Please do another concert such as this one! I had a few of those moments when your heart is just filled with happiness!
  • Enjoyed every minute! Please do it again!!
  • Speedbumps + Canton Symphony = Amazing show! Wish I had a CD/DVD of that evening.
  • You guys rocked. Cannot wait for round 2!!!
  • Loved the show, it was awesome!
  • I am sure you made a whole bunch of new fans last night. Show was amazing!
  • You ROCK! What an awesome concert!! Listening to a Speedbumps CD on way back to PA. Still feeling high from last nights amazing performance!
  • It was an AMAZING concert last night. Speedbumps YOU ROCK!!!!!!!
  • Your show was HISTORIC.
  • Friday night was purely remarkable!
  • You guys were totally awesome last night! You sounded soooo good with the orchestra and the grins on all of your faces told it all. Wonderful show….BRAVO!
  • The Speedbumps at the Canton Symphony was a rousing success last night… collaboration of Rock and Classical in a beautiful venue was a unique experience we’ll never forget.
  • Your concert was amazing! We are so glad that we were there!
  • Oh, I really hope you recorded that. That’s worth hearing again a few hundred times!
  • That concert was beyond fantastic. You are all so talented. Thanks for a wonderful evening : )
  • For some songs I laughed, and one other I cried; I’ve never had such an emotional experience at a music event before. Thank you all.
  • My sincere thanks and congratulations to the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Rachel L. Waddell and The Speedbumps for taking a risk, being adventurous and creative, and making music altogether extraordinary tonight at the Canton Palace Theatre. I came for the orchestra and was pleasantly surprised to find an incredible fusion of musical style, genre, and influence instead. Bravo to all of you for having the vision to see the potential for greatness in a collaborative effort. I was thoroughly impressed and amused by the concert tonight and did not leave without a CD. So much awesome music. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 Speedbumps @ the CSO

I just love those reactions and reviews, especially that last one. Before we get to Callum’s write-up, here are a number of informative articles, interviews, and other links that provide a glimpse into this unique, innovative, and ambitious collaboration:

From the Akron Beacon JournalCanton orchestra teams up with indie rock band

From the Kent PatchKent’s Speedbumps ready for orchestral concert on Friday

From WKSU News: A rare blending of club and concert hall (with broadcast audio of the interview)

From WVIZ/WCPN ideastream®:  Canton Symphony & The Speedbumps (segment begins around minute 20)

From Buckeye Music MagazineThe Speedbumps to perform with the Canton Symphony Orchestra

From the rehearsal: Concert Preview Video


Here’s what Callum had to say about it:

This was one of the best concerts that I have ever been to. I wish everybody could have been there to see it. There were a lot of people there, and they all loved it, but it’s too bad it was for only one concert. I’m really excited to tell all about it.

In this concert, there were three musical groups, basically two bands and an orchestra. They were Ashley Brooke Toussant, The Speedbumps, and the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Ashley Brooke Toussant performed first, and she basically said she was about 28 years old, but I thought she sounded like she was about 15 years old when she sang and talked. I’m not saying that she sounded bad at all, because I really liked it, but it was just really unique. I liked her songs. Almost all of them sounded like love songs. She also played the guitar, and she was really good. She also had two other musicians playing with her. One played the keyboard, and the other played the pedal steel guitar. They were both really good, but the man playing the pedal steel was really, really good. I thought he sounded amazing. I think it would be really hard to play it in tune. Some of it sort of sounded Hawaiian to me and reminded me of the music in Sponge Bob right before the show starts, because it sounds like they use a pedal steel guitar in that.

Then the Speedbumps came out. The concert was called The Speedbumps at the Canton Symphony, but the first time they came out was without the orchestra. They were completely awesome. Their music sounded like all different kinds sort of mixed together, like jazz, rock, blues, folk, and classical. I really loved their music. And I really liked the singer’s voice, too. Sometimes he sounded a little like Dave Matthews. He was also a great guitarist, and he was really funny, too. He was great with the audience. Sometimes he responded to people yelling and things like that. The whole band was funny and entertaining and seemed nice. You could also tell they were really excited to be there and play in front of such a big audience and play with the orchestra. One or two or three songs were really fun and loud. There was also a really great bass solo with the drums, and the drummer mainly used brushes during that. I hear that all the time in jazz recordings or concerts. They sounded really cool and seemed like they were having a lot of fun. One of the things that made this band different was that they also have a cello player, and he was amazing, too. And the singer and the bass player even played the ukulele on a couple songs.

Then there was an intermission, and then the orchestra came out on stage. I thought it was sort of funny that the orchestra was dressed in like jeans and t-shirts, but the band was more dressed up like an orchestra usually would be. When the Speedbumps started playing with the orchestra, you could tell exactly why they were chosen to play with the Canton Symphony. They sounded amazing together. The bassist wrote the parts for the orchestra, and it all sounded great. I thought it was funny that the singer said that when the bassist would play some of the orchestra parts for him on the computer, he always said “Dude, it just all sounds like Zelda.” Legend of Zelda is one of my favorite video games, and I love the music from it. But when the singer heard it with the real orchestra, he was just amazed and loved it. The band and the orchestra just sounded great together. It must have been hard for the orchestra to play in a completely different style of music than they usually play, and it’s amazing they did it all in one rehearsal. The musicians in the Canton Symphony are just amazing, and obviously so are the Speedbumps.

One funny thing that happened while the band and the orchestra were playing really loud together one time was that most of the lights and the speakers stopped working. But they all kept playing anyway until the song was over, and the singer even came out to the front of the stage in the dark to get closer to the audience so they could hear him. Nobody really knew what was happening at first, and I was worried that the rest of the concert wouldn’t be able to continue the way it was planned. But after a few minutes they got everything fixed again, and everybody was really glad.

The Canton Symphony playing with the Speedbumps just sounded so great. Rachel Waddell is the orchestra’s new assistant conductor. Other than Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this is the first concert for the Canton Symphony that she conducted. I think that this concert must have been a great experience for her. If I conducted, I would love to get this as one of the first times that I conducted an orchestra I just started working for. What a perfect way to welcome her to the Canton Symphony. She did an amazing job. This was such an awesome concert. I wish there were going to be more concerts with the Speedbumps and the orchestra, but maybe they can bring them back again next year, and hopefully other bands, too.

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