The Fab Faux - Live @ Radio City
- 10th Anniversary Concert
September 20, 2008
By Madeline Bocaro
This is just an informal review for my friends who weren't there, and those who were in a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
I'm really not big on imitations, especially when it comes to The Beatles, but this is an exception. This was the biggest show ever for the Fab Faux, on their 10th Anniversary. It's the closest you'll ever come to experiencing the Beatles live. Every note of every instrument is re-created as near to perfect as it is on each of their multi-tracked albums.
This particular show – the psychedelic Beatles - took these songs out of the studio at last, which was not possible for the Beatles to achieve in their time. The Fab Faux are Will Lee from David Letterman's show, Jimmy Vivino from the Conan O'Brien show, plus three more incredible musician/lead vocalists - Rich Pagano, Frank Agnello, and Jack Petruzzell who play various instruments. There were at least a dozen people onstage at all times, including wonderful augmentation by the Hogshead Horns and Crème Tangerine strings.
We set off on a two-hour long 'Magical Mystery Tour' (the first song of the night) through 30 Beatles classics, with stunning projected imagery. The evening was surprisingly Harrison-heavy; 'All Too Much', 'The Inner Light', 'Within You, Without You', 'Blue Jay Way'… with an abundance of Indian instruments. They even rolled out one of Radio City's two historic 75 year old Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organs for a theatrical rave-up prior to 'Only A Northern Song'.
Many thanks were given from the stage to each Beatle, to their producer George Martin, and to Abbey Road engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott who helped the band to achieve these sounds in the studio. The instrumental 'Flying' was a very cool surprise.
John was represented on 'I'm Only Sleeping', and 'Good Morning'. The warped tempo and pitch changes from the tape splicing on 'Strawberry Fields Forever' were right on key. For 'Tomorrow Never Knows', a tweaked megaphone was used for the spiritual vocal effect that Lennon wanted and described to Emerick years ago; 'like the Dalai Lama chanting on a mountaintop miles away'. 'I Am the Walrus' was sheer perfection. 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' was magical. The rare bird-chirping opening prefaced a glorious harp on 'Acrosss the Universe'. 'Rain' was incredible - backwards and forwards!
Paul's tunes were impeccable as well; 'Penny Lane', 'The Fool On The Hill', 'Baby You're a Rich Man', 'Got To Get You Into My Life', 'Good Day Sunshine', 'Lovely Rita', and of course 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' (Parts 1 and 2).
'Yellow Submarine' brought everyone to their feet. Most thrilling was the infamous grand octave-climbing orchestral crescendo at the end of 'A Day In The Life'. The sustained, dramatic final note would have been the perfect ending to the evening, as it was quite mesmerizing, but there was much more yet to come.
'All You Need is Love' was heralded by the oh-so-familiar trumpeting trumpets. 'Glass Onion' was announced as 'the last psychedelic Beatles song'. The show-stopper was 'Hey Jude'.
The Fab Faux will probably be in your area one day soon, performing any combination of Beatles sets; entire albums, the Cavern era, etc... Go and see them at least once in your lifetime!