Jack Frost out in full force

Todd MacLean
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In retrospect, I feel as though I made the wrong choice for last weekend's Out and About review.

Not because the show that I went to - Pop Idols: A tribute to Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Lady Gaga as part of the Jack Frost Festival 2012 - was bad in its performance.

For what it was - a show for families to have some fun bopping around to - it delivered exactly what it needed to do. And I'll comment more on this later.

No, really, the main reason I feel I may have made the wrong choice about last weekend is simply the little but important factor that the night was freakin' colder than a well-digger's keister!

There I was in my typical urban-hipster-esque attire surrounded by kids in snow pants, ski jackets, toques, mittens, scarves, the whole deal, with parents who were intelligently dressed in the same way, and all of them havin' a great time. Meanwhile I'm the dummy who's shivering with numb fingers typing notes onto a freezing i-phone on the metal bleachers with the butt of my H and M pants stuck to the friggin' seat.

I talked to Sam, House Front Productions' sound woman extraordinaire, who confirmed my observations about the "under-your-skin" kind of frigidity, saying that it had just dropped in temperature a couple of hours before that, as a very wet cold had set in on the grounds.

But the outlook on the evening was exacerbated by the fact that I had realized earlier on that day that I could have scheduled a review of the Dave Bidini, Carmen Townsend and friends show that was starting around that same time down at Marc's Studio on Sydney Street.

This would have been great - particularly because it's been a while since I've seen Dave Bidini perform - and it would have been warm.

But instead, there I was surrounded by sledding hills and outdoor skating rinks - which again, was superb for what it was, there at its cool location behind the Charlottetown Mall. But as I watched the tribute of singing and dancing going on before me, the main chorus going around my head was that of co-ordinator Mark Carr-Rollitt warning me, "You're going to do a review of this? Um ... you do know that it's mainly for little kids, right?"

But again, for what it was, it was a good show.

So, here is the run-down on it, with info collected from the notes of my now-thawed-out i-phone.

It was Beyoncé who kicked things off that night (after an unbelievably long and flamboyant Jack Frost fireworks display), as she fired up the crowd of squealing girls and pre-teens crowded around the stage with songs like Single Ladies, Put a Ring On It and Crazy in Love.

The pop baton was then handed to Katy Perry, who got the mitts clappin' along to hits like Hot and Cold (I would've omitted the first part of that title), Teenage Dream and (most appropriately) Firework.

These two same performers costume-changed and then came out as Rihanna (in a bang-on wig and sunglasses, singing Only Girl in the World and Please Don't Stop the Music) and then finally the shiny golden-haired Lady Gaga (who addressed us with "Are you ready my little monsters?" as she began with Poker Face).

"This is a very cold evening," Gaga said to us just before her last number. "And you know what makes people warmer? Dancing. So let's just dance," she said, as the crowd happily warmed themselves bouncing to the beat.

It was fun to watch. For 10 seconds. And then I warmed myself by booting it back to the car.

Yep. Jack Frost was out in full force, in more ways than one. And, for the target audience of kids and parents, what a fantastic time Jack Frost once again truly seemed to be.

Next time, I'm gonna bring snowpants.

Next week: Time to be warmed up by the new Brazilian-influenced music of David Myles, tonight and tomorrow night at The Mack.

Todd MacLean is a local freelance writer and musician. If you have a comment or suggestion for a review, you can get in touch with him at tmaclean@theguardian.pe.ca or at 626-1242. But he won't be offended if you don't.

See Page 2 for Todd's Picks


Organizations: The Mack, Confederation Centre, Homburg Theatre Biggest Kitchen Party

Geographic location: 5. P.E.I., East Coast, Britain Peter Charlottetown Murray River Tyne Valley

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