Legend's verdict: the greatest show on earth
July 25 2012
Creative Generation - State Schools Onstage, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, 20-21 July
On stage and outstanding: from the spooky laser-lit orchestral Dr Who opening to a closing gospel and blues explosion of youthful exuberance worthy of the end-of-Olympics ceremony, Creative Generation - State Schools Onstage did it again in 2012.
It's not so much that it's hard to credit that this three-hour extravaganza of music, dance and all-round feelgood entertainment is delivered, by and large, by school students. From the start, this simply stops occurring.
Such is the slickness of performance and production that the contributions of seasoned professionals, who in some cases have mentored the new generation on stage with them, seem to act as seasoning in the mix rather than an ingredient per se. They're certainly not the 'heroes of the dish', as George or Gary or Matt might put it.
The bloke with the trumpet was one who, understandably, couldn't fly under the radar. Jazz legend James Morrison, just in from Europe, told the audience to forget all that. This, he declared, is the best show in the world.
But singling out individual performances really does the show as a whole a disservice. It's an annual joyous explosion of coming together, an enormous undertaking pulled together in a remarkably short period of time which does huge credit to its producers, organisers and crew.
And, of course, its performers. Mingling outside Door Number 1 with parents waiting to collect their primary schoolers who have made up the 600-strong massed choir (bright-eyed despite having just delivered back-to-back performances in a long, long day; soon no doubt to be bleary-eyed and asleep in the back of the car) is where reality checks back in.
That diva in the ballgown who bedazzled with her soaring solo, now giggling off to one side with her girlfriends; that brass player from the James Morrison Creative Generation Big Band, a schoolboy again. They were state school students all along... and yet, for a time, so much more.
And you just know they will never forget it.