|The Fab Faux - photo by Colleen Ellis|
The Beatles are part of a select group of artists whose music can truly be called timeless. Their songs continue to resonate across multiple generations. A perfect example of this was found in the audience for The Fab Faux’s show at New Haven’s College Street Music Hall on September 22. Fans of all ages were in attendance, ranging from parents and grandparents well versed in the music, to children getting their first taste of Beatles tunes in a live setting, and of course, just plain old loyal fans. If you want to see the music of The Beatles performed live, nobody does it better than The Fab Faux. The group regularly tackles music from a specific period of The Beatles career, or plays an entire album from beginning to end. For this show, the first part of the night was a mix of Beatles favorites, followed by a second set featuring Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band performed in its entirety. It was a magnificent night, filled with extraordianry musical performances that electrified and enraptured the audience.
Things kicked off with a rock steady version of “Back in the USSR.” The rest of the initial set ranged from expert renditions of “Ticket To Ride” to audience sing-alongs on classics such as “Yellow Submarine” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” In fact, the audience was singing and dancing along on every song. How many current groups can say that about their music? As always, the band was at the top of their form, with the marvelous Will Lee on bass, the fantastic Jimmy Vivino on guitar, the sensational Jack Petruzzelli on keyboards and guitar, the wonderful Frank Agnello on guitar and the incredible Rich Pagano on drums. Of course, the whole band takes turns on lead vocals (and plays other instruments) depending on the needs of the song. One of the highlights in a set loaded with them was the spirited percussion duet between Lee and Pagano, which climaxed the band’s incredible version of “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
|Will Lee of The Fab Faux - photo by John V|
After a short break, it was on to the second set, during which The Hogshead Horns and The Creme Tangerine Strings joined the group for an amazing performance of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. That iconic album is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. It’s not an easy record to play live, with it’s challenging sounds and intricate arrangements, but The Fab Faux knocked this one out of the park, and then some. It was a masterful set, featuring excellent versions of every track, including “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” and one of my favorites, “Lovely Rita.” It all climaxed with a stunning rendition of “A Day In The Life.” But things didn’t end there, as the band returned for an encore featuring the Rubber Soul cut “Wait,” followed by a bring everyone to their feet finale of the ever-popular “Twist & Shout.” A splendid time was most definitely had by all.
The Fab Faux, like the rest of us, are clearly ardent fans of the music of The Beatles. Their sheer joy and passion in playing these memorable songs is contagious. Every member of the group is supremely talented, and performs in various other bands as well as doing session work with many top-level artists. But when they come together to pay tribute to the music of The Fab Four, it’s really something special. College Street Music Hall is a terrific venue for the band; an intimate space that allows you to really feel the music. Wherever you can get out to see this superb group, I urge you to do so. I’ve seen them several times now, and each time has surpassed the last. This music is part of our collective memory now, and you simply won’t see it performed any better than by these brilliant musicians. If you can get out to see one of their concerts while they're on the road, I highly recommend it. Here’s a link to The Fab Faux’s website: http://www.thefabfaux.com.