The Fab Four

The Fab Four


Leonard Zwelling

No, I am not going to bore you with a blog about the Beatles. Rather, I want to focus on their music as the tribute band the Fab Four does.

We saw the Fab Four perform Rubber Soul in its entirety and then some Sgt. Pepper stuff and assorted Beatle, McCartney, and Lennon songs. The band basically does a note for note rendition of the famous songs to an audience comprised mostly of Boomers (no surprise). Finally, I went to a rock concert and I wasn’t the oldest person there. Close, though.

Now remember, no one in the United States has seen the Beatles perform live for almost 60 years. Most of us experienced the music through the records (not CDs or streaming) and many of the songs were first heard in monophonic sound on AM radio. Besides, by the time the Beatles got to Rubber Soul, the studio was a fifth instrument for them and we always wondered could that music be played live on stage for we really never knew? The Beatles were no longer a touring band.

Wonder no more. It can and it is.

The Fab Four who we saw (and I believe that there are more than one group in the franchise as there are tour dates on the web for Fab Four concerts in two places on the same night), didn’t really look like the Beatles other than the guy who was John Lennon who looked and sounded just like him. No, they aim to reproduce the sound of the records live. And they do it with no tape loops, pre-recorded music, or electronic trickery. It’s guitars, drums, bass and keyboards and what I gained was a far more intimate understanding of the music by watching it being played and hearing it live simultaneously.

In particular, the McCartney bass lines are so intricate and drive the music so much that his genius comes through even if it is others making his music. It’s sort of like a Beethoven concert and I believe that the Beatles’ music may well live as long as that of Ludwig Van.

The work it took to dissect the recordings and distill the charts down to be playable live must have been arduous, but there it was on a stage in a small, beautiful theater in Fort Lauderdale.

Not only was the audience transported back 55 years, but the musicians really strove to embody the essence of the Beatles’ personae—their movements, their speech, their costumes. They succeeded admirably.

If you are at all a Beatles’ fan and get a chance to see the Fab Four, do so.

Next on our Beatles Bucket List is the Fab Faux, highly skilled studio musicians who take the Beatles’ music to another level beyond the note-for-note reproduction to modern interpretations.

Hopefully we will see them back in Florida at the end of January. I have yet to see either band appear in Houston, but I’ll be watching for that.

If you go to these concerts expecting to see the Beatles, forget about it. This is far more in line with going to Jones Hall for a classical music concert being played by great musicians who learned the music from the charts and from hearing it themselves. The closest pop music experience like this is seeing Brian Wilson as a solo act with great studio musicians behind him playing Fun, Fun, Fun without the rest of the Beach Boys. It’s still great music, just not the original.

That’s the Fab Four. The greatest of great music, just not the originals. I’m just glad I was alive to see the originals on Ed Sullivan in 1964 and to live through the era of the original discovery of that music when each LP was released. I still remember my first listen to Revolver and not grasping Eleanor Rigby at all or Sgt. Pepper and wondering what Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was all about.

You had to be there. Since you can’t, The Fab Four is about as close as you can come without watching it on a TV set. Go.

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