As a Beatles fan I get a little particular about cover versions. A few years ago I went to the Opera House to see a bunch of musos play Abbey Road and Sgt Peppers. Against my better judgement, I absolutely loved it! You can read about it here.
The White Album tour came first, I think, and this is the third time it has been toured, so I had to go. And when it came to Newcastle, even better. No one was interested, and that doesn't stop me anymore, so I got a ticket for one.
The backing orchestra featured many musos from the other concert, including string and brass sections. The singers were Tim Rogers, Phil Jamieson, Chris Cheney and Josh Pyke. I was super impressed.
So The White Album...again, another set of music The Beatles never toured, again experimental, and also the album marking the beginning of the end. The White Album does divide, it is a mix of amazing and experimental and I love it to pieces. I rotate between The White Album and Abbey Road as my faves, but honestly I just love everything they did.
I should have not been concerned, Chris Cheney totally owned the opening track, Back in the USSR and the show just soared from there!
The show was seamless, with the material divided up mostly by style, Cheney taking most of the rock, Pyke, the ballads, and Tim and Phil the quirkier stuff. They sang solo, or as a group etc. It just worked so very well. The backing band were something else, remarkable stuff indeed.
I am not a huge fan of The Living End, but Cheney owned the rockier material on the album, including an amazing rendition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. And then an absolute kick arse version of Helter Skelter as highlights.
Same goes for Grinspoon, not that much of a fan, but I do have a huge crush on Phil Jamieson. Phil got a lot of the quirkier songs and that totally suited his style. He hammed it up, dancing and being silly, often with Tim Rogers and he had me in the palm of his hand. I loved him doing Sexy Sadie.
Josh Pyke, who I quite like, landed the more gentle songs, his version of Julia was beautiful.
Tim Rogers, who I love so very much, was brilliant. He hammed it up, especially to Piggies and Happiness is a Warm Gun, adding in a reworked John Lennon cockney crack every now and then. "Rattle your light rail tickets" got a lot of laughs. And also did a superb version of Revolution 1.
They played every song exactly as it was meant to be played, with songs played in album order, down to every odd sound and whistle.
And the audience - and myself - loved every single minute of it.
The variety of musical style, the genius of their collective writing, the excitement of hearing the songs, evoked The Beatles for every second they were on stage.
My highlights were Ob La Di, Ob La Da, Blackbird, and Revolution 1.
After the final song, Good night, they left the stage but we all wanted more.
And the four came out with guitars and did a trio of lovely acoustic songs, Two of Us, Across the Universe, The Ballad of John and Yoko.
This was simply outstanding and quite frankly jaw dropping unexpectedness, you wanted them to jam all night. These were their versions of the songs, and respectful and brilliant.
The orchestra then rejoined them, and they did a stunning version of All Things Must Pass, followed by a rock the joint version of Revolution.
I could have watched these guys all night. It was a really big deal that this worked for me.
If the whole world could watch this just once, there would be world peace I am certain. I felt so good and refreshed and happy and wonderful at the end of this concert. Good music will always be good music if played as it is meant to and played well.
Bless John, Paul, George, and Ringo for creating musical history and perfection.
Bless Chris, Phil, Josh, and Tim for recreating it!