Weird and wonderful
I hate to get all identity politics on ya'll, but, here I go: I live in the suburbs-slash-countryside outside NYC. I am always looking for the camaraderie of other queers and otherwise radical folks. And that's why, even though the Antony & the Johnsons
performance I attended at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Friday night wasn't the best
I've seen, I'm glad that I was there, surrounded by other deviants.
The first time I saw Antony & the Johnsons was at Carnegie Hall last year, and it was thrilling. I love the blues and torch singers, and Antony references those rich musical histories as well as current queer life. In our regressive political time, it's nice to see someone expressing feelings and experiences more layered than the scrubbed-clean gay persona that's been "accepted" by media and advertisers. The crowd, too, was over the top, weird, and gorgeous.
This time, Antony performed with the Brooklyn Symphony, and the historical Brooklyn theater was transformed into queered space, filled with beautiful people that I rarely get to see outside of dingy bars. There were fewer songs riffing on blues history, but the performance was, as always, experimental. We sat in total darkness for too long, we had to strain to hear and to see at various points. The integration with the symphony wasn't entirely smooth. But though we weren't always comfortable, we were happy. The crowd especially appreciated the hilarious and twitchy cover of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love,"
and the emotional closer, "River of Sorrow," a tribute to (likely murdered) trans activist Marsha P. Johnson
, whose body was found floating in the Hudson River.
Thank you Antony & the Johnsons and NY queers for this evening among friends.