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“It goes out like a live show, but it’s edited and presented in a way that is campy and fun,” says Rod Thomas of his album release livestream on Friday, Sept. 18. The Welsh-born singer-songwriter, who currently calls Manhattan home, is better known by his pop moniker Bright Light Bright Light. And the record in question is Fun City, an ebullient, profoundly catchy, pop-perfect celebration of life in an extremely queer lane.
For the show, Thomas secured New York’s dazzling Club Cumming (“I asked them,” he says matter-of-fact, “and it was amazing of them to let us use it”), and everything was filmed in a socially distant, responsible manner. “It’s basically as if we’ve done a TV special,” he says. “You know, like when you have an evening with an artist, talk a little bit, and then present a song. There’s a costume change for every song, and we go through the full album, start to finish.”
A one-night-only event, Greetings from Fun City will be “livecast” at 8 p.m. in four different time zones: Australian, British, East Coast America, and West Coast America. A ticket allows viewers to watch it at any of those time zones. “So you can watch it early or late,” says Thomas. “Whenever you want.”
Guests include luminaries from across the LGBTQ spectrum. “It’s a mix of people from the entertainment world and political world. Musicians, actors, filmmakers — a really nice blend of people from every walk of life in the LGBTQ-plus community.” Among those stopping by: Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims, Australian bad boy of pop Brendan Maclean, the luminous singer KAYE, sassy Southern YouTube humorist Andrew Joseph Duffer, and elegant drag queen Jujubee, with plenty of additional surprises in store.
Thomas decided to produce Greetings from Fun City after his plans to tour the album’s release were derailed by the pandemic, a loss that impacts him on a perceptibly emotional level.
“The original idea of touring this album, for me, was to go and have local outreach with local drag queens, local queer performers, local charities, and build the story of how we need to have conversations about how to help everybody,” says the artist. “How we have to amplify voices and support people that don’t get the support they need. For me, the fact that we don’t get to do that is the most distressing thing about the shutdown.
“Hopefully, this broadcast will touch upon issues and suggest solutions and courses of action that people haven’t thought about, or need a bit of a reminder to do, and does it with a tongue-in-cheek and sense of humor, but also, like, a heart that is really hoping that people just work a bit harder to care about other people.”
Greetings from Fun City is Friday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m. across four time-zones. Tickets are $10 for the Livestream only, or $35 for the Livestream and a Special T-shirt. Visit www.brightlightx2.com.
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