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POP MUSIC REVIEWS : Mozart Not Up to Its Name

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart would be turning over in his grave if he had witnessed Friday’s Palace show by the band that purloined his name.

The L.A.-based operatic rock band Mozart scored a big-bucks record deal in 1991 and was being touted as the next Queen. By 1992 they were out on the streets, still forging ahead with their brand of ultra-theatrical rock mixed with old standards, sampling and extravagant productions.

Though Friday’s concept concert was titled “Requiem for a Heavyweight,” the only manifestation of that theme was a boxing exhibition a good half-hour before the performance, in a ring set up on the dance floor.

Nearly half the songs were non-originals, from Elton John to campy ‘30s cabaret to the Guess Who’s “No Sugar Tonight.” Singer Adam is charismatic and has a powerful, trained voice, but when he primped in front of the onstage mirror, tinkled the ivories on the white grand piano and posed on the tiered drum riser, his self-consciousness was almost a parody. Almost.

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The makers of this bombastic pomp are talented musicians, but Mozart’s humorless extravaganzas are probably better suited to the stages of Las Vegas than the rock venues of Los Angeles.


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