In one of music’s hallowed venues, the Fab Faux threw a Beatle fest that thrilled, delighted and energized an overflow throng of baby boomers and Fab Faux devotees. Will Lee (bass), Jimmy Vivino (guitar), Rich Pagano (drums), Frank Agnello (guitar) and Jack Petruzzelli (keys) were joined on stage by Erin Hill, Jim Boggia, the Crème Tangerine Strings and the Hogshead Horns, who rounded out the sound. Although the two-and-a-half-hour set was billed as “The World Heavyweight Songwriting Championship” pitting John Lennon’s songs against Paul McCartney’s, the electrifying evening began with Ringo Starr’s “It Don’t Come Easy,” followed by George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun,” a sure sign that the show’s theme was not to be taken literally.
Unafraid to improvise during the 28-song performance of such revered music, Lee and Pagano, each on their own drum kit, treated concertgoers to polyrhythmic syncopation midway into “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Make no mistake, these are superior musicians, not part of merely another cover band.
This musical journey back in time featured organic sound; pre-recorded sampling was used sparingly, creating a more personal concert experience. Vivino brought out a sitar for “Norwegian Wood” while Jerry Vivino’s sax solo on the solo Lennon number “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” brought the crowd to its feet. Petruzzelli’s voice shone on McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” and Agnello electrified with his lead vocals in “Band On The Run.”
The multi-talented Erin Hill performed without her signature harp, but added angelic background vocals, energetic keyboards and drum fills while guitarist Jim Boggia admirably handled lead vocals and guitar on McCartney’s “Jet.”
When the Fab Faux bring their dream-like, ethereal performance to your part of the planet, you owe it to yourself to experience it—especially if you somehow dismissed the Beatles or have forgotten their impact.
– Howard B. Leibowitz
All photos by Derek Meade