Last Friday, September 2nd, for the final Fridays After Five of the season and as part of UVA's "Paint The Town Orange" night to kick-off the football season, our area Beatles tribute band, Abbey Road, entertained the overflow crowd at the Downtown Pavilion in Charlottesville with two sets of awesome Fab Four tunes.
This band is dear to my heart as two guys I grew up with, Barry Willard and Keith Winkler, are doing the Paul and John thing. Now when I say grew up with, I'm not kidding as I am talking about age 9, 10, probably before they even learned to play guitars. As a result, I already knew what HUGE Beatles fans these guys were and it's obvious they are having a blast nowadays!
Also in the band are Paul Olko on guitar, doing a fantastic job covering and expanding on George's original leads, Billy Ballard on drums, providing a great backbeat ala Ringo, and the multi-talented Mike D'Antoni on just about everything!!
Abbey Road is different from most Beatles bands in that they revel in some of those more obscure early tunes the Beatles did in their Hamburg days, especially the Beatles' versions of classics like "Johnny B. Goode" and "Shout". The guys do them up in supreme Beatle style and that's what they did in their final set on Friday night, as you can see from the video (especially "Shout"). They shine on Beatles classics like "Ticket To Ride". The finale was killer and then they returned for a highly interactive version of "Hey Jude"! Great show and true family fun! Gotta love seeing those 10 year olds singing these 40+ year old tunes word-for-word!
Not only that, but most importantly, they once let me get on the stage with them to sing the chorus of "I Should Have Known Better". It takes a really great band to cover that up. If there is anything that I am worse at than videography, it is singing....although I know that's hard to believe in light of my camera work here. :)
The band's web site is http://abbeyroadbeatles.com. They perform both public and private events.