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<i>Requiem</i> for a heavyweight
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BACK IN THE DAY when I did such things, I had the opportunity to see the band AC/DC in concert. Several times, actually, but I digress.

They’re a juggernaut onstage — no stage patter, no video pandering, only three or four seconds elapsing between songs. They play with an almost casual aggressiveness, in the manner of professional assassins.

I hope Peter Shannon forgives the tortured analogy to AC/DC — it’s intended as a compliment — but that’s exactly who he reminded me of when he conducted the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra this past Sunday in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

As he came out for the concert opener, Beethoven’s Corolianus Overture, all the musicians stood as per protocol, with the packed crowd in the pews clapping appreciatively.

Shannon shook the concertmaster’s hand, waved briefly to the audience, quickly turned on his heels and brought his hand down —boom — for the first note.

The note echoed throughout the Cathedral as people were still clapping, with the musicians having only just sat down in their chairs about a millisecond earlier.

Wow, I thought — this is a guy who clearly cannot wait to unleash some music on your ass. I was impressed, and the musicians and singers were clearly motivated to rise to his level of intensity (certainly the transcendent setting of the Cathedral had a vital role to play in that inspiration as well).

In all, the afternoon was a sublime demonstration not only of the genius of Western civilization, but of the best of Savannah, both musically and scenically. Kudos to everyone.

I’m particularly proud of this issue of Connect Savannah. If anyone knows of another local media outlet that offers so much content for such a low price — totally free — I’d be interested in seeing it.

We key our coverage of the Savannah Film Festival with Jim Reed’s long-ranging interview with guest of honor Malcolm McDowell. As per my usual effort to highlight local student productions, you’ll also find my interviews with several SCAD-affiliated directors. Next week look for my interview with Peter Weishar, dean of SCAD’s School of Film and Digital Media.

As usual, many thanks to Bobby Zarem and SCAD’s Sunny Nelson for their invaluable help in putting together our festival coverage.

The Film Fest isn’t all that’s going on. Look for Jim’s feature on Porter Batiste Stoltz, an art review by resident critic Bertha Husband, Bill DeYoung’s chat with Jason Aldean, a preview of Cardinal Rep’s Rocky Horror Show by Ashley Jensen, and just in time for Halloween, Lanie Peterson’s look at Acme Costumes. cs