AMHERST – The Fab Faux approach the Beatles’ classic and more adventurous songs with the intent of playing them live as closely in musical reading and in spirit as possible.
Their first appearance at the UMass Fine Arts Center (FAC) will be a performance of the iconic Abbey Road album in its entirety, and a mixed set of other favorites from across the Beatles’ wide repertoire.
Accompanied by the Hogshead Horns and Creme Tangerine Strings, The Fab Faux will perform at the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on April 25 at 8 p.m. Ticket-holders are also invited to a pre-show dessert party on the plaza from 6:30 p.m., with free desserts, live entertainment and a cash bar.
With a commitment to the accurate reproduction of The Beatles’ repertoire, The Fab Faux treat the seminal music with unwavering respect, and are known for their painstaking recreations of the songs (with emphasis on the later works never performed live by the Beatles). Far beyond a cover band, they play the music of The Beatles so impeccably that one must experience it to believe it. Fab Faux audiences hear complex material like “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “I Am the Walrus” performed in complete part-perfect renditions; or such harmony-driven songs as “Because,” “Nowhere Man,” and “Paperback Writer,” reproduced not only note-for-note, but with extra vocalists to achieve a double-tracked effect.
The Fab Faux’s appearance at the UMass FAC will include a performance of the acclaimed album Abbey Road (1969) in its entirety, as well as many other Beatles’ favorites. Abbey Road includes celebrated songs like “Come Together,” “Oh! Darling” and “Here Comes the Sun.” Side two of the album also features an intricate medley of shorter songs blended together.
These complex songs require layered vocals and fairly elaborate instrumentation – a non-issue for The Fab Faux since all 5 principals contribute vocals, and the Hogshead Horns and Crème Tangerine Strings fill out the complex arrangements.
The musical virtuosity of The Fab Faux – in actuality, five of the hardest working musicians in New York City – completely up-ends the concept of a Beatles tribute band.
The Fab Faux are a labor of love that was born in 1998 when Will Lee (who’s played with all 4 Beatles), bassist for Paul Shaffer’s CBS Orchestra on the Late Show with David Letterman, decided to organize the greatest Beatles band without any props (sans period wardrobe, fake accents, wigs), and focus on the intricacies and soul of the music.
Rounding out the line-up are Jimmy Vivino, Music Director/Guitarist for ‘Conan’ and long-time music partner of Levon Helm, John Sebastian, and Laura Nyro; lead-singing drummer/producer Rich Pagano (Rosanne Cash, Roger Waters, etc.); guitarist Frank Agnello (Marshall Crenshaw, Phoebe Snow, etc.) and multi-instrumentalist Jack Petruzzelli (Rufus Wainwright, Patti Smith, etc.).
All five principals sing live, making the Faux’s soaring harmonies as resonant as their multi-instrumental chops, which are further enhanced on select shows by the four-piece Hogshead Horns and The Creme Tangerine Strings.
The Faux’s high energy shows have generated serious buzz not only at top NYC venues, including sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall and The Beacon Theater in New York City – with Beatles fans, movie stars and world-class musicians in attendance – but at major dates in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Park City, Utah (Sundance), Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Toronto, among other locales.
They’ve headlined five of Liverpool’s annual Beatles Festivals, playing before 35,000 Beatles fanatics (while in England, they had the rare honor of recording an original song at Abbey Road Studios), and also delighted the masses performing live on the Howard Stern Show and The Mark and Brian Show. Benefit and corporate dates have included events for JVC, the NBA and the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Research Foundation. TV appearances include The Late Show with David Letterman and “Conan.”
“It’s not just a cover band,” Pagano said. “This is the greatest Pop music ever written, and we’re such freaks for it.”
Agnello added, “Even more difficult than the later period material is recreating the exuberance and energy of the early records, but we love to play it all.” The mixed set planned for April 25th will allow audience-members to see it all, from Meet the Beatles to Let It Be, artfully recreated.
Tickets for The Fab Faux are $60, $55 and $20; Five College, GCC, STCC students and youth 17 and under are $20, $15, $10. $75 non-discounted ticket includes premium seating and Meet & Greet Reception.
For tickets call the box office at 545-2511, toll-free at 800-999-UMAS (8627), or purchase online at fineartscenter.com.