Review by Amy McBride
Tonight was my first night back reviewing the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony since last season, and the concert was electric. The Classical Magical Mystery Tour: Music of the Beatles had the audience fully participating and calling for an encore- which turned out to be 4 more songs. The evening started off with an orchestral mash-up of some memorable Beatles tunes, including ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’; “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite”, and ‘Let It Be’, …as usual the orchestra performed amazingly. The opening number was probably the only time that the orchestra performed as a unit; the four-man “Beatles” band took over for the rest of the evening.
John Lennon (Jim Owen), Paul McCartney (Tony Kishman), George Harrison (John Brosnan), and Ringo Star (Chris Camilleri) not only look like the Beatles but also sounded much like them vocally. They obviously have fun with their show and the audience was wrapped up in the excitement of the night.
hey played 11 songs by the Beatles before the intermission with the help of the orchestra. Including, ‘Hard Days Night’ with a rocking percussion, a perfectly passionate rendition of ‘Yesterday ‘with Kishman’s acoustic guitar as well as the first violins. ‘All You Need is Love’ was a great crowd pleaser; I especially liked their retro military garb, the electric guitar and Owen on the piano. Sargent Pepper included sound effects that made the audience feel as if we were in the midst of a battle of sound. Chris Camilleri had some exciting drum beats going in With A Little Help From My Friends, and Kishman sang All the Lonely People assisted by the KWS strings.
During intermission you could feel the energy, and everyone was excitedly talking about what songs might be played next. Fortunately we did not have to wait for very long to find out! Opening with A Mystery Tour jingle, Kishman and Owen sang as Camilleri beat the drums and the percussion section piped in. Owen said that I am the Walrus was “a delightful little ditty that had to played,” although not one of my favorite Beatles songs it was upbeat and fun. It was Camilleri’s time to shine when he sang and played the drums at the same time for A Yellow Submarine, which the crowd got right in to. Owen then came out in an all white suit and donned a longhaired wig-perfectly emulating John Lennon, while singing Come Together. The cymbals and keyboard managed to chime in for this tune. It was just a night of fun, with a touch of humor as four talented men took to the KWS stage and brought Kitchener a piece of musical history. Luckily the audience cheered loud enough to entice a four-piece encore, which had the audience standing and participating, clapping and singing along.
Beside the fact that the orchestra itself was not front & center at this event; Kishman did note that the Beatles never had a chance to play with a live orchestra, nor did they ever say “check out our website”. For more information on the Classical Magical Mystery Tour go to http://www.classicalmysterytour.com/main/index.htm. The concert; the guest performers; the entire evening was certainly a smash hit.