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Reservoir Music Notes - Fab Faux Review, Live Music Picks
February 16, 2012

Greetings, and welcome to my 50th column of Reservoir Music Notes! And baby, it’s cold outside, so come on inna my kitchen and warm yourselves up by my fire!
 
Last night, I braved the frigid temperatures to have a joyous time at The Fab Faux concert at UPAC in Kingston. What can I say about The Fab Faux that I haven’t already said in previous columns? Well, a lot, actually.
 
 
Racing to arrive on time so as not to miss the opening songs, I explained to my companion that the band was known to perform complete albums in each set. Therefore, as an example, I said that if they did the White Album, and opened with “Back in the USSR”, you wouldn’t want to walk in on “Dear Prudence” and kill the continuity. Well, we did manage to arrive just in time to hear the opening strains of…”Back in the USSR”! Once again, my musical instincts did not fail me!
 
Sadly, after “Dear Prudence”, they moved to a program of greatest hits. And I say “sadly” simply because it’s so nice to hear those albums in their entirety in the song order that has been imprinted on your mind for, like, ever! But it wasn’t really “sadly”. It was actually an ecstatic celebration of a certain time in our history when anything seemed possible and the future looked bright, and, of course, a celebration of the greatest success story in entertainment history, i.e. The Beatles!
 
When the band launched into “I Saw her Standing There”, it was an in your face reminder of how much fun The Beatles were when they first appeared on the scene. Just a simple rock n roll song with a cool guitar solo. So simple, yet so profound! But mostly, fun, fun, fun (to quote The Beach Boys).
 
Fab Faux really hit their stride with “I am the Walrus”, John Lennon’s psychedelic anthem with some of the most complex production values and audio effects ever, which the band somehow managed to duplicate perfectly! From there on out, it was just one moment of joy after the other!
 
Guitarist Jimmy Vivino shone on “While my Guitar Gently Weeps”. Guitarist and keyboard multi-instrumentalist, Jack Petruzelli blew everybody’s mind with his tour de force vocal on “Oh Darling”. Drummer Rich Pagano channeled Ringo to an amazing degree, right down to his body language and drum tunings, both of which captured the absolute essence of the Beatle drummer! Guitarist Frank Agnello sang a beautiful “Something”, and of course, the visual centerpiece was always the tall, pale, blond, rail thin bass player, Will Lee, with his chalk stripe pants, outrageous stage moves, and note perfect bass musings, who closed the show with “I’m Down”!
 
 
To make a point about The Fab Faux that I’ve made before and will probably make again, when Jack sang “Oh Darling”, as I said, it was a tour de force, and Jack sang it so powerfully that everyone in attendance HAD to take notice (Jack received a standing ovation for his performance), but what it drove home, at least to me, was what a truly amazing job Paul McCartney did on the original record! As great as Jack was on this song, it made you realize that Sir Paul’s take on it was even more powerful, and it made you appreciate, once again, how good The Beatles really were! This is something that The Fab Faux do over and over again. They give the listener deeper insight into the music of The Beatles, and that may be their greatest accomplishment, even greater than playing these timeless classic songs perfectly. Like a fine musician who tailors what he plays to the song he’s playing, The Fab Faux serve The Beatles music, and IMHO, do it better than any “tribute” band. “It’s not a tribute. It’s a recreation”! After a Fab Faux show at The Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan a few years ago, a fan walked up to Jimmy Vivino and blurted out, “Wow Jimmy! I don’t usually like cover bands, but you guys were great”. To which Jimmy replied quizzically, “Cover band? Do you consider The New York Philharmonic a cover band”? Pretty much says it all! This is the classical music of my generation, and every generation to come after rediscovers and loves The Beatles, and that’s why they are the best band ever! And the funny thing is, when I was younger, I was a Rolling Stones fan. I loved The Beatles too, but The Stones were my favorite band for twenty years. Ironically, The Stones had the bad boy image, while The Beatles were thought of as cute and cuddly. The real truth is that the two bands switched realities for images. The Beatles were juvenile delinquents, where The Stones were mostly middle class kids! And as time has gone on, I’ve grown to appreciate The Beatles more and more. I doubt that any artist will ever equal them, in either creative or financial success. And while The Stones are rock royalty, The Beatles, and people forget this, were Gods! My heartfelt thanks to The Fab Faux for doing what they do and bringing so much joy to so many people, and to Chris Silva at The Bardavon/UPAC for making this review possible by graciously hooking me up to attend this concert. A splendid time was guaranteed, and had, by all!
 
After The Fab Faux, this week’s naturally gonna be a little bit of a letdown, but there’s always some cool stuff to do, and this week’s no exception, so here we go with this week’s live music picks.

Actually, it’s shaping up to be a pretty awesome week. Have a great one!


 
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