The Beatles stopped touring in 1966, the same year they released Revolver. In fact, none of the songs from that album were performed on their final tour. The songs were too experimental, and their remaining material was arranged and recorded without fear of being recreated for the twisting and shouting stadium audiences across the world. By the time Abbey Road was released, the group had already announced their breakup.
But when Classic Albums Live presents The Beatles’ Abbey Road at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, you’ll be able to relive the last full breath of The Beatles’ final recorded studio material, right down the bookend, "Her Majesty."
As for cover bands, well, don’t even get Classic Albums Live founder, Craig Martin, started. He founded the concert series in 2003, picking "the world’s best musicians" to recreate revered albums, note for note, as a symphony orchestra would with the classical compositions of famous composers. "I was fed up with going out and seeing the music desecrated," Martin said.
The changing lineup of musicians performs over 100 shows a year across North America, playing through albums by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Queen, and many other bands. "We’re becoming the only logical choice that performs music faithfully," said Martin. "So much so that original artists are beginning to get in touch with us."
"We sound identical to the record," Martin continued. "We don’t jump around or wear costumes. We don’t talk to the audience. We just stand there and play. If a song fades on the album, we fade on stage."
The Classic Albums band promises to never take any liberties with the music. "Take ‘Octopus Garden,’" noted Martin. "We could easily sample the bubble sound, but instead we blow our own bubbles and go to ridiculous extremes to get the right tonality of the bubbles. We’re nerds."
Martin noted that he not only coaches bands on a particular album, but entire discographies. In fact, the band once performed the entire Beatles catalog in one 13- hour concert in their hometown of Toronto.
Audiences can expect to hear Abbey Road, with a break in between another set of songs spanning the entire Beatles catalog. "We hope the audience comes with hungry ears because we enjoying performing for an appreciative crowd."
Classic Albums Live presents The Beatles’ Abbey Road live Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Wilkes-Barre. Tickets are on sale now at the Kirby Center Box Office, by phone at (570) 826-1100, online at www.kirbycenter.org and at all Ticketmaster outlets.