Saturday, December 02, 2006

Doing Stuff: Day 4, Paul Green School of Rock Music


"Take a look to the sky just before you die
It is the last time you will
Blackened roar massive roar fills the crumbling sky
Shattered goal fills his soul with a ruthless cry"
-- Lyrics to Mettalica's "For Whom The Bell Tolls", as sung by a Harry Potter looking kid wearing a cape with black make-up painted on his face.

This article won't be very long, because there isn't so much to say about the Paul Green School of Rock. I'll keep it simple: it rules.

The Paul Green School of Rock Music is a noted music school that teaches kids music, with their lessons culminating in a full-fledged rock extravaganza. Tonight, Ilana and I saw their "Classic Metal 101" performance held in a church hall on the University of Pennsylvania Campus.

(And, yes, it predates the movie.)

The show had the perfect blend of irony and pure awesomeness. The kids seemed to embrace the ridiculousness of being clad in evil capes and in 1989 burnout gear, playing amongst a sea of headbanging and dry ice. But something like this has legs only if the kids surprise you with their ability. That, they did. All of their songs were tight and some blew the roof off the joint. The only way their cover of Pantera's "Walk" could have been more accurate is if a crazed gunman stormed the stage. They were as good as any of the myriad of metal cover bands floating around the area, except they still have hope and dignity.

I'm not breaking new ground here when I say that rock music, especially metal, was made for teenagers. Metal made BY teenagers reminded me of why I loved going to punk shows in high school and college, before I gave up going to shows due to the hipster posturing associated with the music I like.

"It's all about the music for us," said Michael DiCarlo, a 15-year-old drummer in the Paul Green School of Rock Music.

DiCarlo, who has been playing drums since the age of 5, listed Metallica, Slayer, Lamb of God and Mastodon amongst his favorite bands. And tonight, he got to not just play the part of a rock star, but he actually was one.

"Not everyone gets to do something like this," he said.

Ilana and I are definitely going to go to more Paul Green shows. The one I think that has the most potential is their "Killer Queen" night scheduled in January.

EDIT: Changed the spelling of Michael's last name. It's been a few while since I've interviewed people at a spot story. I forgot the general rule of asking for EVERYONE'S last name when I do an interview. Sorry about that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gregg...great article! You really completed the experience for Michael by interviewing him. BTW his last name is DiCarlo.

5:52 AM  

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