Friday, November 12, 2010

The Fab Faux@The Orpheum Theater-Review by Kevin O'Neil


I went to see The Fab Faux Oct 23 at the Orpheum Theater here in Los Angeles. I've heard about them for years. If you like the Beatles (and who doesn't?) and haven't seen the Fab Faux, make a point to check them out next time they are through your town. As it turns out they will be back at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles around this time next year. Go, you will not be disappointed.
The band is made up of music vets, with Will Lee (from David Letterman's band) on bass & vocals, who has incidentally played with all the Beatles. Jimmy Vivino (Conan O'Brien's bandleader) on guitar, vocals and he doubles up keyboards as well. Other members include Rich Pagano on drums who is a fabulous singer as well. Frank Agnello on guitar, vocals and electronic gadgetry. And Jack Petruzelli on keyboards, vocals and guitars and really anything else.
In addition to the band they also had a two piece string section, dubbed the Creme Tangerine Strings with a violin and cellist and the Hogshead Horns, a veteran horn section made up of former Blood, Sweat & Tears, and SNL alumni rounding out the sound. Also on hand was a harp player they brought out for Eleanor Rigby. She also played auto harp on another tune on Sgt Peppers.

This band does not really do copies of Beatles music like say a normal tribute band does with each member playing the part of John, Paul, George or Ringo. They all play or sing whichever song suits their ability best. Sometimes the drummer sings a John song, sometimes the keyboardist sings a Paul song or Jimmy Vivino in fact sang a Ringo song. It doesn't matter. What matters is the interpretation and the musicmanship. They do spot on recreations of the songs and in this concert they they did the complete Revolver and Sargent Pepper's albums. What a treat that was and from two different eras of the Fab Four's repertoire. Will Lee was just fun to watch and he is so over the top excited to play this music as it was so obvious by the good time he was having, dancing around, jumping, running around and behind the stage during the songs. Don't get me wrong, the others had a great time too, and they all played and sang wonderfully.
From the opening notes of Taxman right on through Revolver it was as though you might've been there at some point listening the Beatles go through their set, but in this 5 piece interpretive way. Imagine five part harmony Eleanor Rigby done live. One of my favorite songs on Revolver, And Your Bird Can Sing with it's doubled harmony guitar was just great to hear live along with the 3 part harmony vocals. There were things you'd never think to hear in a concert as many times the musicians had to double up on instruments, or little additional things like triangle, bells, whistles, snapping their fingers, etc. You never think about how many parts were recorded in a Beatles tune until you actually watch a band try and put them all in live. I've never seen a band change guitars as many times as this one did. They really kept their guitar techs busy every song.

They took a break between Revolver so you could stretch, get a beer, or a t-shirt in the great looking lobby of the Orpheum. This was the first time I'd been to the Orpheum and it's a grand old theater and it was recently remodeled in the last few years, and I highly recommend going to see a show there. The sound is great from anywhere in the room and it wasn't overpowering either. The band then returned to the stage with the opening chords to Sgt Pepper's to which everyone just loved. They powered on through Sgt Peppers until striking the last chord on A Day In The Life, to which Jimmy Vivino set his guitar down on the floor in front of the amp letting it feedback.
For the encore they did a 6 song set, which included songs like Money, & Ticket To Ride. Jack Petruzelli came out and sang an emotional Oh Darling, which really put it over the top. I think only Mr. McCartney himself does it better and not by much. They ended with a great version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps featuring Jimmy Vivino on guitar solos and as a special bonus at the end, the original acoustic guitar demo version of George Harrison's was dubbed into it while Jimmy played searing Eric Clapton like solos over it.
Like they say, they are not a cover band, they perform the songs part perfect and dig deep into the music to recreate all the parts live, even if they were multi-layered, or overdubbed to great lengths as the later Beatles stuff was often done. You may hear things you never heard before on record or even thought couldn't be recreated but they are. Out of a score from 1 - 10, I give it a 12.

Check out their website - The Fab Faux

Check out their wiki page - The Fab Faux Wiki

Neato video of I Am A Walrus on Letterman's show

Neato video of While My Guitar Gently Weeps

PLUS!! There's this neat video by OK Go - called Last Leaf. Animated entirely on TOAST! Yes Toast! Some may say, "can you animate on toast?" to which the answer is "Why yes, you can animate on toast!"

Plus!!  Plus!!!  Don't Tell Betsy's brand new single, "The Way I Do".  Give it a listen.

If you'd like to own this song, it be available below.

No comments:

Post a Comment