There was nary an empty seat in the 5,700 seat pavilion and fans were cheek to cheek on the lawn area hill above which purportedly holds 13,500 (final figures show that nearly 12,000 were in attendance making it one of the most popular if not THE most popular concert of the season). What show would bring this many people out to Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls on a Sunday evening? The Cleveland Orchestra with “Classical Mystery Tour” performing “The Beatles: A Tribute”, that’s what. This was not merely a show; it was a happening, a love fest, a sing along and a trip down Penny Lane.
Classical Mystery Tour is made up of four young men from around the country who look and sound like the original fab four. They are Jim Owen (rhythm guitar, piano, vocals – John), Tony Kishman (bass guitar, piano, vocals – Paul), David John (lead guitar, vocals – George) and Chris Camilleri (drums, vocals – Ringo). They dress in the same stage costumes as well as play the same instruments as the original group.
What is remarkable with this show is the fact that with a full orchestra behind them (and a little special effect sound magic) the group was able to recreate the Beatles sound just like it was first recorded on the records. It was uncanny how the orchestra and group combined was note for note perfect on every single song (over 20 during the regular concert with three rousing encores).
The concert began with the Orchestra performing an up tempo version of “Eleanor Rigby” (as arranged for orchestra). While adhering to the high standards that we have come to expect I found it sounded too much like a James Bond theme. Classical Mystery Tour then took the stage and in no particular order (and pardon any omissions) they performed: “Magical Mystery Tour”, “Got To Get You Into My Life”, “I Am The Walrus”, “Hello, Goodbye”, “Yellow Submarine”, “Here Comes The Sun”. “Penny Lane”, “Something”, “With A Little Help From My Friends”, “Come Together” and “Sergeant Pepper’s Lone Hearts Club Band” (plus the reprise).
After a short intermission the Orchestra returned with “Lady Madonna” that reminded me of my father’s Longine’s Symphonette 101 Strings collection. It was nice but not really memorable. The Orchestra did hit full stride with their orchestral arrangement of “My Love” which was breathtaking. The lads then returned to perform some of the most complex of Beatles music with the Orchestra fully up to task as back up. Their repertoire included: “Yesterday”, “She’s Leaving Home” (which brought many a tear up), “A Day In The Life”, “Long and Winding Road”, “All You Need Is Love”, “Live Or Let Die”, “Imagine”, “Carry The Weight/I Never Gave You My Money”/The Love You Take/The End”, and “My Love” with the group this time (another one to turn on the tear ducts).
After thunderous applause and cheering the group returned three times for encores that all turned into sing-alongs. The first was “Hey Jude” and as the Na Na Na chorus came up everyone in the Pavilion and Lawn Area pulled out their cell phones and waved them back and forth and sang their hearts out. It was a magical time. The four outstanding musicians were quickly called out again for a rousing version of “Twist and Shout” and a third time for “Can’t Buy Me Love” thus ending the show.
This was the Beatles in all their glory from their mop top start through the Sargent Pepper era through the psychedelic phase and into their solo careers after the break-up. There was something for everyone.
What really makes this concert so special is that there were probably many in the audience who had never attended a symphony orchestra concert and would have no reason to. This night perhaps will convince them to experience more of the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom and Severance Hall. With this kind of response I would love to see a Pink Floyd Tribute (complete with flying pig), a Led Zeppelin tribute and may be an "All James Bond Concert" (with special singing guests). If you agree, call the Cleveland Orchestra and suggest it.
Family-friendly “Under 18s Free” tickets continue at every Blossom Music Festival concert
The Cleveland Orchestra continues its mission to offer free tickets to young people 17 and under for every Blossom concert again this season. More than 26,000 young people attended Blossom Music Festival concerts through the “Under 18s Free” ticket program in 2011 and 2012.
The “Under 18s Free” initiative is an integral part of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Center for Future Audiences, which was created to provide broader access for the Northeast Ohio community and is endowed through the leadership and generosity of the Maltz Family Foundation.
Single Tickets are still on sale
Pavilion tickets range in price from $25 to $100. Tickets for the Lawn and the General Admission sections of the Pavilion for Blossom Music Festival concerts are priced at $20. Individual tickets are on sale by telephone at (216) 231-1111 (or Toll Free at (800) 686-1141), in person at the Severance Hall Ticket Office, and online at clevelandorchestra.com.
The Blossom Box Office opens for the season beginning on Saturday, June 1, and will be open throughout the summer on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. through intermission on concert days.
Lawn Ticket Books include free “Under 18s” and Pavilion Upgrades
Lawn Ticket Books of ten tickets are available for $150 (a savings of 25% off the single-ticket price). Two “Under18s Free” are admitted with each adult Lawn Ticket and the Lawn Ticket Book includes two free Pavilion upgrade coupons.
All artists, programs, and prices are subject to change
Remaining Blossom Music Festival Calendar for 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Blossom Festival Orchestra
Richard Kaufman, conductor
Whitney Claire Kaufman,vocalist
Family FunFest at Blossom
* Denotes fireworks following the concert, weather permitting
Sponsor: The J.M. Smucker Company
Sunday, August 31, 2014
The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Cleveland Orchestra European Festivals Tour Send-off
Widmann - Con brio: Concert Overture for Orchestra
Brahms - Symphony No. 3
Brahms - Symphony No. 4
All artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.
About Blossom Music Center
Blossom Music Center, which opened in 1968 as the summer home of The Cleveland Orchestra, is located 25 miles south of Cleveland just north of Akron, Ohio. The Center’s name honors the Dudley S. Blossom family, major supporters of The Cleveland Orchestra throughout its history. Blossom is situated in the rolling hills of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which protects 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland. Blossom lies within the city limits of Cuyahoga Falls, an Ohio community first settled in the early 1800s, at 1145 West Steels Corners Road in Summit County. Blossom reopened in 2003 following the completion of the Blossom Redevelopment Project, which featured a highly-acclaimed renovation of the facility and improved patron amenities. The Blossom Redevelopment Project was the first major capital improvements project in the history of the facility, which serves more than 400,000 visitors each summer. The Blossom Festival is a smoke-free environment. Smoking is not permitted at concerts and other events during the Blossom Festival.
Blossom Music Center address: 1145 W Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223