When you have a hankering for a band that brings old school swagger back to the party, you need Yacht Rock Revue! Recently, I got to see the Yacht Rock Revue in a special Beatles incarnation of their smooth, slow jam lovin’ selves, which they called Please PleaseRock Me. Yacht Rock Revue’s Beatles tribute band alter ego took over the Earl Smith Strand Theatre in mid-November and the band plans to hold their Third Annual Yacht Rock Holiday Special on Friday, December 9, at The Buckhead Theatre (formerly the Roxy) (more on their holiday special here: http://atlanta.thebackstagebeat.com/2011/11/yacht-rock-revue-holiday-special/) .
So how was the Please PleaseRock Me show different from Yacht Rock Revue’s normal antics? Well, I can’t fully tell you because I promised that I’d keep it a secret and/or this may have been my first time seeing this famed Atlanta cover band because they sell out venues faster than their audience can pound beers or drink martinis! What I can definitely tell you – (1) I love the retro Hollywood movie theatre glamour and atmosphere of the Earl Smith Strand Theatre in Marietta and (2) the band lived up to their loose, boozy, party rock reputation. So, first, the restored and renovated 1930’s theatre is utterly charming with its art deco details, gold and royal red color scheme, low wrought iron stage-protecting decorative gates, theatre style seating with famous movie star or donor name plates, a super friendly staff, a lobby with art dedicated to musician portraits and traditional art themes, and a large marquee outside with the cute little rounded light bulbs underneath that formed a deco pattern shining down on the bricks that patrons had purchased to support the theatre. (It was truly delightful to experience such a classy theatre outside of downtown Atlanta!)
Now on to the party! The seven musicians that compose Please PleaseRock Me (the artists formerly known as Yacht Rock Revue in a more recent decade) donned suits, ties, Converse sneakers, and wore moustaches and their hair in a variety of shaggy ‘60’s looks (a couple of members braved wearing short hair, one had a Fedora hat on, and two even opted for the shaved head look). With the ambiance set, Please PleaseRock Me played the Beatle’s entire Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album from start to finish. Before I get too much further into their act, I would like to give a nod to the one female usher who wore a Sgt. Pepper inspired usher band uniform! Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with Please PleaseRock Me’s vocals, musical stylings, wit, charm, and instrumental change ups. Luckily, I sat next to a drummer for a Marietta-based cover band who was happy to explain the more unusual instruments to me when I asked him what they were and what sounds they made (in between sets, of course). Please PleaseRock Me rocked out vocals with a plethora of guitars, bass guitar, drums, horns, keyboard, maracas, and other more unusual trippy, psychedelic sounding instruments. I’m pretty sure that I saw a kazoo and a jingle bell stick at one point in time and they even included an alarm clock in, “A Day in the Life.” At the end of their Beatles set, Please PleaseRock Me offered up a happy ending in the form of their own psychedelic trippy ending, which inspired a standing ovation, sing along, and dancing to the Beatles’ “I Am The Walrus.”
In between sets, a man and his young daughter danced down the aisles and in front of the stage to get everyone excited for the second half of the show. All the members of Please PleaseRock Me took a mini break to rehydrate, grab beers and martinis, and update their look from the ‘60’s swinging Beatles to ‘70’s Pink Floyd-esque rock stars – jeans and t-shirts abound and a switch up of lead singers with this one wearing a cowboy hipster style button down shirt. The drummer wore headphones and quick tracked the start of their performance to “The Wizard of Oz” movie and away we went. (Side note – the Please PleaseRock Me drummer had the most gorgeous sparkling baby blue drum set that I’ve ever seen!) Instantly, I felt like I was back in college trying to find connections and meanings between the music and the movie. I was nervous about this part because I was the one in college who couldn’t make the connection no matter how many times – at least three – that I tried to connect the music with the movie. Luckily, I explained this to my Pink Floyd t-shirt wearing drummer seatmate during the break. Since Pink Floyd is his favorite band, he saved me the embarrassment of non-connection and pointed out some cool things to me in the movie, like how the ringing sound the band made matched up to the mean Miss Almira Gulch on her bicycle (it would’ve sounded like a bicycle’s bell or a warning) and the song “Time” played when Dorothy walked up to the traveling fortune tellers wagon which had something about “Past, Present and Future” painted on the side of it. So finally, x amount of years later, I see the connections and it’s pretty damn cool indeed. I will say that it’s more amazing and phenomenal to hear and view LIVE. Oh, and during “Money,” the band threw out play money to the audience. I now have $22 worth of souvenir play money and I tipped my drummer seatmate a $20 as well. Whether you got to see the bands live the first go round or not, definitely go see Yacht Rock Revue or Please PleaseRockMe – I bet you’ll forget this is a cover band and become completely immersed in the party rock experience!
Yacht Rock Revue
Please PleaseRock Me
Earl Smith Strand Theatre
117 North Park Square
Marietta, GA 30060
Friday ,December 9:
The Third Annual Yacht Rock Holiday Special will be held at the Buckhead Theatre. Doors open at 8pm and the show begins at 9pm. All-ages. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the show. You can buy tickets at the Buckhead Theatre Box Office or ticketmaster.com.
3110 Roswell Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
Yacht Rock Schooner (a fast, light, backwards version of the Yacht Rock Revue mothership) will be held at the Dixie Tavern in Marietta. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. $10 cover charge.
2319 Windy Hill Rd SE
Marietta, GA 30067
Buckhead Tacky Christmas – Part Deaux will be held at the Buckhead Theatre. Tickets are $35 in advance for general admission, $75 for open bar, and $150 for a backstage pass. Doors open at 7 p.m. Proceeds from this event help benefit Toys for Tots. You can buy tickets here: http://www.xorbia.com/rsvp/ci/buckheadtackychristmas/tickets.cfm.
3110 Roswell Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
Yacht Rock Revue New Year’s Eve Party at Park Tavern. $115 for tickets. NYE always sells out, so buy your tickets today! This is an all-inclusive event including food, drinks/cocktails, and music into the wee hours of the morning. Doors open at 9 p.m. For more information: http://www.parktavern.com/upcoming-events/live-music-events/
500 10th Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
January 14, 2012:
Please PleaseRock Me will be performing three sets – (1) selections from the Dazed and Confused soundtrack, (2) the “Led Zeppelin IV” album in its entirety, and (3) Pink Floyd’s entire Dark Side of the Moon album with the first 43 minutes of the original The Wizard of Oz movie playing in the background at the Variety Playhouse on Saturday, January 14, 2012. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; Show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the show.
1099 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad
Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.
Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”
Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.
The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.
Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair
The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.
What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.
Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.
Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.” The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.
Years & Years at Royale Boston
During winter storm Juno, UK electro pop group Years & Years were forced to cancel the first show of their two-night stint in New York City back in January. After the snow finally melted, they made the rounds again this past March, playing several shows in California, South by Southwest before finally landing in Boston.
Due to popular demand, the show was moved from The Sinclair to the Royale in downtown’s Theater District.
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