On October 30, Classic Albums Live performed their rendition of the Beatles’ popular album, Abbey Road. The show was held at Sanderson Centre and drew a larger than expected crowd of Beatles enthusiasts both young and old. The show included what the group calls a “note for note, cut for cut” recital of the album, among other classic Beatles tunes. All of the album’s quirky sounds were captured and many of the musicians played a range of instruments, from clapping hands to hammers. The main quartet consisted of Rob Phillips and David Love on guitar, Mark Stewartson on bass and Marty Morin on the drums. The stage was also graced with the presence of Will Hare on keys, Amanda Penner on violin, Alex McMaster on cello and Braxton Hicks and Steve Dyte on horn. Each musician carried his or her weight tremendously throughout the performance and every note hit was uniquely profound. The show was executed brilliantly, with a particular highlight being the song “Because”. The harmonics and on-stage chemistry stunned the crowd in to silent gawkers, who looked as though they were being brainwashed by the romance of 1969.
As someone who has seen Paul McCartney live and tons of Beatles footage, I can honestly say that the Classic Albums Live performance sounds more true to the album than when the Beatles perform it live themselves. The stage presence was surreal and the music didn’t come across as a mere cover or interpretation. The musicians played each note as if they had a hand in creating it and owned the album as if they were the ones who recorded it.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Classic Albums Live and there is no doubt that the musicians involved will continue to produce great concerts while reproducing the work of other great musicians. The show was a delightful surprise and to call the group merely a “cover band” is grossly underrating their immense talent and precision.