The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, December 10, 2007

Uncle Moishy Concert Review UPDATED

Q. What do The Who and Uncle Moishy have in common?

A. Because of the insanely high decibel level, attending one of their respective concerts results in permanent damage to one's eardrums.

Yesterday morning, MHW and I shlepped The Toddler to the Uncle Moishy Chanukah concert at the Young Israel of Woodmere.

First, a few observations about the crowd.

There were many people our age at the concert. Except that they were all hauling grandchildren; we were about 20 years older than the next youngest parents.

Our age also showed in the following way. We totally forgot to bring snacks and drinks to keep TT occupied while waiting for the concert. Everyone else seemed to have a Mary Poppins-sized bag with all kinds of goodies. Luckily, the shul was selling snacks in the lobby so we survived.

Now, on to the concert.

Team Uncle M has the formula down pat. Before the good uncle began, they opened with some painfully goofy gags presented by a "funny man". These gags did work for the 4 and 5 year olds in the crowd.

Uncle Moishy then came on stage and did a few numbers, most of which were very familiar to the crowd, both young and old. Had the decibel level not been about 20 levels too high, it would have worked even for me. TT was into it but I noticed that a lot of kids, especially those in front, were having major sensory overload issues, presumably because the noise level was nervous-system wracking. A number of parents walked out with their kids. I just stuck my fingers in my ears.

Interspersed with the musical numbers, our funny-man friend came back on stage dressed in "Yochi the Bear", Rabbit, Frog and Dog costumes, each time engaging in more painfully goofy banter with Uncle M. The appearance of these animals was, by far, TT's favorite part of the gig. She kept asking for more.

After a number of songs there was a 15 minute intermission designed to separate parents and grandparents from even more of their money in the form of Uncle Moishy CDs and DVDs. (You haven't lived until you've seen an Uncle Moishy DVD. Oscar worthy stuff.)

MHW and I were scheming to leave at intermission (TT is too young to know from intermissions) but, l'maisa, she was having a very good time so we decided to stay. Mercifully, the second set was very short, another couple of animals appeared, and a good time was had by all. My hearing came back about three hours later.

So, in conclusion: Team Uncle Moishy did a very nice job entertaining the kids. As corny as the jokes are, they did work for the little people and the adults got a kick out of watching their little potato heads laugh. The music was very familiar and the kids and adults enjoyed singing, dancing and clapping along. The "animals" kept the interest of the very little ones (other than those who freaked out in terror).

One last question: Didn't anyone do a sound check? Why must the decibel level be ear-splitting? The volume level made the concert incredibly unpleasant for me and I'm sure did damage to every one's hearing. I just don't get it.

UPDATE: A couple of commenters noted that the volume level at UM concerts that they attended was fine. It then occurred to me that the regular sound man (and one of the Mitzvah Men), Eitan Kantor, was not there yesterday. Eitan is an accomplished musician and sound guy (who runs a wonderful recording studio in West Hempstead where some of my first CD was recorded). So, to be dan l'kav zchus, Eitan's absence was probably the issue.



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