Aucoin’s performance at Fortune Sound Club on September 16 transformed visuals into raw sound, and music into otherworldly sight. Never have I been so impressed with an artist’s ability to connect with his audience. I honestly did not really know what to expect walking into Fortune on a Tuesday, of all nights.
When Aucoin jumped into the crowd, embraced the chaos he was swallowed into, and came out as king, I didn’t have any doubts. Here was a legend. There wasn’t a single soul in the room that wasn’t entranced by the emotions he channeled through his lyrics, emotions that buzzed with barely contained passion on the edge of his skin, and echoed in the sweat drenching his entire being.
He told the crowd to form a circle around the middle of the room and the speed with which the audience followed his instruction was incredible. Fire-eaters and magicians on the street struggle to enthuse the crowd, forced to ask onlookers copious times to come closer or clap in rhythm to their stomping. Not Rich Aucoin — as soon as he directed, the audience acted.
A girl I didn’t know pulled me into the inner circle, right in front of Aucoin, slung an arm around my shoulders and grinned broadly at me. I grinned back. We both turned back to watch Aucoin fling himself from one edge of the circle to the opposite end, from one corner of the crowd to another. Girls screamed; guys whooped.
Aucoin’s amazing presence could turn the quietest of quiet mice into a screaming, flailing beast. His infectious grin made you extend your arm to the stranger next to you and embrace them as if they were your closest friend.
I was talking to a girl while standing in line at the entrance, and she told me she’d seen Rich Aucoin perform in Halifax before. “He brought out this huge parachute and tried to get everyone underneath it. Of course, not everyone could fit . . . Although some people actually chose to stand outside of it, the neanderthals. Why would you want to miss out on the magic?”
Apparently, the parachute is a trademark of Aucoin’s performances because it descended upon us that night. Streaks of yellow and green and purple and red floated on the energy of two hundred hands, and the disco lights pressed down through the canopy like the swirling headlights of flying cars and eerie reflections of owls’ eyes.
Yes, it was exactly as crazy as it sounds. Then the roof was pulled from right over our heads and, on Zeus’s command, the disco ball sent down bolts of illumination in time to the wild, crazy music; it was an epileptic’s nightmare, but a raver’s heaven.
You just need someone as inspiring as Aucoin conducting the madness, and everything truly feels possible. Why would you want to miss out on his magic?