Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Music: My favorite band ever

I'm a huge Beatles fan. I believe I have everything they've recorded on CD, and I was smart enough to keep some of my old vinyl records of their recordings, including stuff like Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour. These young men were musical geniuses, in my opinion. They shaped the course of rock music, and they continue to influence people today. The recording technology has gotten better, but the music has not advanced as much, in my opinion.

I'm a musician myself; my main instrument is keyboards, but I also play a passable guitar and am a fair drummer. I've played in a lot of bands over the years, and it seems we almost always covered at least one or two Beatles songs, even if it was just Twist and Shout and I Saw Her Standing There. But we've tried a ton of 'em...Harrison numbers like Something, Lennon songs like Glass Onion and The Ballad Of John and Yoko, and McCartney tunes like Back In The USSR and Lady Madonna.

Not surprisingly, there are tons of cover bands, groups playing the Beatles' catalogue, and some doing it very well. I've not seen a ton of Beatles' tribute bands. But the few I've seen are good. American English is a group that plays around the Midwest, and they try to look and sound like the Fab Four. The Fab Faux is a bunch of guys from New York who don't care so much about looking the parts; they prefer to do the music perfectly. Saw them at the Vic Theater in Chicago where they did the White Album in its entirety just before Christmas last year. (Did I say they do the music perfectly?)

The only other Beatles tribute band I've seen is this one: British Invasion. If you have visited Epcot and lingered in the United Kingdom pavilion, it's likely you've seen them too.

I'm led to believe (by my wife and others) that, as a musician, I look for different things than casual fans do. I listen for guitar riffs, for drum fills, for vocal harmonies, for bass runs, for all the little things that make the songs sound close to the originals. And I hear those things when I listen to British Invasion. They appear to be top-notch musicians, on the order of American English (the band I referenced earlier). And they appear to love the music they are performing.

These are just a couple of pictures I had in my camera of the band performing in their gazebo in the courtyard of the UK pavilion. I hope to catch a set by them when I'm there later this fall.

Rock on, British Invasion!


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