That’s because Fab Faux, which Rolling Stone magazine called “the greatest Beatles cover band — without the wigs,” does meticulous recreations of the Fab Four’s songs, and they do it astoundingly well.
Members of the group are Will Lee (a member of David Letterman’s orchestra) on bass and vocals; Jimmy Vivino (who plays in Conan O’Brien’s band) on guitar, keys and vocals; Rich Pagano on drums and vocals; Frank Agnello on guitar and vocals; and Jim Boggia on keys, guitar and vocals. Accompanying them was a 4-piece horn section called Hogshead Horns, as well as a violinist and cellist from Crème Tangerine Strings.
Though the full-house audience consisted primarily of baby boomers, there were also many younger people present who clearly appreciated the music of the iconic British band that has had a profound impact on popular culture and music in general.
The Fab Faux, which is known for its profound respect for Beatles’ music, exhibited that high esteem in a rapidly-paced, two-and-a-half hour, adrenaline-inducing concert that included over 30 songs — some of which were studio masterworks never performed live.
The inclusion of those songs from the Beatles’ repertoire were made possible through the addition of the horns and strings sections, which allowed for the recreation of each tune’s complex orchestrations, such as that of “A Day in the Life” and “Strawberry Fields.”
Also facilitating the performance of those songs, and all the others in the program, was a well-oiled stage crew that continuously and efficiently switched off guitars and other instruments for the musicians.
“Dear Prudence,” “Nowhere Man,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Eight Days a Week,” “This Boy” and “Penny Lane” were just a few of the songs in Act 1 that kept the enthralled crowd cheering, screaming and singing along — some even took to the concert hall's aisles to dance to the nostalgia-tinged music of the Beatles.
The Fab Faux drew the biggest response during its first set with its virtuoso performances of “I Am the Walrus” and “Come Together.” Other crowd favorites were “Yellow Submarine,” which featured Hogshead Horns, and a magnificent piccolo trumpet solo from one of its members in “Penny Lane.”
Just a few songs included in Act 2 were “Drive My Car,” “Ticket to Ride,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “I’m Looking Through You,” “Revolution,” “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
A highlight of the Fab Faux’s second set was Lee’s and Vivino’s stupendous guitar solos in George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
The concert’s undeniable showstopper was Jim Boggia’s impeccable recreation of “Oh! Darling” — composed and sung by Paul McCartney for the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album — that revealed the singer’s astonishing range and impressive feel for the blues.
For its encore, the Fab Faux performed “I’m Down” and “Hey Jude,” which saw most members of the audience on their feet, with many waving their arms in unison and holding aloft cellphone lights as they sang “Na, na na, na na na na …” the song’s celebrated chorus, numerous times.
To experience a Fab Faux concert, which surveys so much of their heroes’ music in one fell swoop, is to be reminded of the Beatles’ incomparable artistry. One also comes away deeply appreciating the immense depth and scope of the Beatles’ musical contributions, the band’s impact on the lives of the millions it has touched worldwide, and the Fab Faux’s preservation of such a body of work with so much integrity and dedication.
For tickets and information about future 2012-2013 season performances at the Center for the Performing Arts, call the box office at (317) 843-3800 or visit www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org.
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