Sunday, October 7, 2012

CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE: The Beatles' "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" (Guest Post)


"Guest writer" Michelle Wilson
returns with a review of
another tremendous
Classic Albums Live show.

The Beatles'
Rubber Soul - Revolver
King Center / Melbourne, FL

When I was born in 1967, my mother felt compelled to name me Michelle because she loved the Grammy Award-winning Beatles song of the same name. I spent years disliking (even hating) the Lennon/McCartney penned masterpiece. But as I matured and came to appreciate the beauty behind the ballad, I grew to embrace it. However, I had never heard it performed live until this past August, when I enjoyed yet another Classic Albums Live  presentation. Playing to a nearly sold-out audience, Craig Martin’s masterful musicians tackled two of the Beatles’ albums, 1965’s Rubber Soul and 1966’s Revolver. Are they The Beatles? Of course not. Are they great musicians who know how to wow an audience? Absolutely.

The versatility of vocals during this particular show lent a quality aspect to the performance. The cast included vocal and guitar gods David Love and Rob Phillips, bassist / vocalist Mark Stewartson, drummer / vocalist Marty Morin, keyboardist / vocalist Nick Hildyard, violinist / backing vocalist Michelle Jones, saxophonist Tom Dietz, percussionist Chad Berney, and sitarist Robert Kippenberger.

Highlights included the multi-dimensional Michelle Jones' spine-tingling violin on “Eleanor Rigby” (my favorite Beatles song), a beautiful rendition of “In My Life” and a fun karaoke-like version of “Yellow Submarine.” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and “Birthday” from The White Album brought fans to their feet, singing and cheering along. Other highlights included perpetual fan fave Rob Phillips absolutely slaying “Blackbird” and the show’s closer, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

 Classic Albums Live
Melbourne, FL - August 2012
(Photo: Michelle Wilson)

But I have to give credit where credit is due, and in no way does this diminish the abilities of anyone on that stage, but it was Robert Kippenberger and his sitar who stole the show. According to Kippenberger, who got his first sitar while in high school, the instrument is much harder to master than the guitar. Barefoot and cross-legged, he thrilled the crowd with his skills, plucking the strings of the exotic Indian instrument during Rubber Soul’s “Norwegian Wood” and Revolver’s “Love You To.”

I met up with Nick Hildyard during intermission, and I asked him how it felt to perform the music of the iconic Beatles. He remarked how fun it was because the songs are so quick and they just pop right out. And pop they did.

Alas, the Classic Albums Live series is winding down for this season, concluding with the last show in Melbourne on Friday, October 12. On deck is AC/DC’s Back in Black, one of the biggest-selling albums of all time. It will be loud, raw and gritty — I’ve got my ticket and I’m ready to rock! Look for my review—coming soon.

-Michelle Wilson
(October 2012)


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