To the editor:
Sunday night at Newton Senior High School sounded an awful lot like the sixties. The Abbey Road Band played many of the iconic Beatles tunes and joked with the audience. Monty Madison, the man who would be Paul McCartney, introduced the band and indicated he realizes they do not look like the Beatles, “but you don’t look like 10,000 screaming girls, either.”
The band sounded like the records, and I count that as high praise. Sounding like the recording means they have an attention to detail not found in many other cover bands.
The guitar tones were spot on and the vocals were extraordinarily close, with the exception of the spoken intro on Rocky Raccoon, the band is from Rapid City, South Dakota, but it is difficult to mimic McCartney’s comical take on the southern accent.
The show featured music predominately from the Fab Four’s mop top era. Many members of the audience had seen the original Beatles first performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. The Abbey Road Band did their best to make the audience feel as if they were in Ed’s theater. Screaming like a teenager was encouraged.
As I mentioned, much of the music came from the early years of the Beatles; missing from the performance was the more serious or psychedelic songs that came in the later years. Those who loved Love Me Do, I Saw Her Standing There, and She Loves You would have been well satisfied. Penny Lane and Hey, Jude were well received, and the George Harrison of the band, Don Lerdal, duplicated the sitar sound from Norwegian Wood capably.
Each of the band members captured the qualities that made the Beatles’ music loved by generations of fans. Tony Johnson, in spite of using some electronic drums, matched Ringo Starr beat for beat, and Fred Gondzar sang John Lennon well and provided many of the sounds the Beatles created with non-traditional instruments.
I enjoyed the show. I grew up on the music of the Beatles, and The Abbey Road Band play Beatles’ music very close to the album. It does not take mathematician to put two and two together.
I would have enjoyed more songs from Abbey Road, Sergeant Pepper’s and the White Album, but I can chalk that up to preference due to age (I was born shortly after Yoko broke up the band). I would recommend The Abbey Road Band as a live alternative to classic rock radio.
Like so many of the Allied Concert Series acts, The Abbey Road Band proved to be a crowd pleaser. For information on the 2013-2014 Jasper County Concert Association season, please visit jasperconcert.homestead.com.