Band ready to rock
Horsham Arts Council’s latest production is taking bass guitarist Michael Peterson back to the ‘good old days’.
Peterson has returned to the long hair and is making the most of the high energy that defined the 1980s.
Rock of Ages hits Horsham Town Hall’s stage for the first time tomorrow at 8pm.
Live band Arsenal, a mix of rockin’ Wimmera artists, will be front and centre.
Peterson, Arsenal’s bass-guitar player, said he was rapt at the opportunity to ‘put on the ’80s gear again’ with a group of talented musicians and performers.
“All the songs we have been playing have a lot of good memories and good times associated with them,” he said.
“The show is pretty much the same as the good old days, with the hair, the eye-liner, big guitars and big drums.
“The band has been a really good bunch of guys to work with, and the cast is just amazing.
“You know, these are huge 80s rock anthems, they’re not easy songs to sing.”
Across eight jam-packed performances, Rock of Ages will bring Arsenal onto the stage, into the cast and among the drama.
Peterson said the unique incorporation of the band into the on-stage cast would throw audiences, particularly those in front rows, right into the rock ’n’ roll atmosphere.
“We’re front and centre on stage and no one is reading music, so it is as if we are at a rock concert,” he said.
“It is different because generally bands are hidden behind the stage – people don’t see them. But this time we’re up there and there’s a lot of interaction with the cast and the audience.
“If you’re sitting in the first three rows, prepare to be brought into the show.”
Director Erin Boutcher said cast members who had lived through the ‘golden era’ were an inspiration to herself and other performers.
“Michael particularly lives and breathes this stuff, and once they all put on the costumes it really brings that raw rock feeling to the show,” she said.
“To be taken back and to hear all the different stories – it’s been quite inspiring.
“And they’ve really put in the hard work. The musicians have learnt the entire show and feature more heavily than other Rock of Ages performances, which I think will be something different for audiences.”
There’s only one more sleep until Horsham Arts Council performers shred guitar solos and belt out an ’80s chorus for Wimmera audiences, and Boutcher said people could expect a show that ‘really kicks it up a notch’.
“We’re all more than ready and looking forward to having an audience, it’s really going to take it to another level for the cast,” she said.
“And I think that electric buzz will filter right through to the audience and around Horsham.
“If you’re keen to ‘rock till you drop’, visit www.horshamtownhall.com.au or call the town hall box office on 5382 9555 to buy tickets.”
• More pictures, page 26.
ROCK ’N ROLL ALL NIGHT: Rock of Ages’ live band Arsenal are ready to rock the stage across eight performances starting tomorrow night. Band members are, from back left, Nick Campesato and Josh Young, and front, Tony Block, Michael Peterson, Sean Wales and Shannon Waterworth.