The Local 518 Does The Beatles: Capital Records Live @ Proctors

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By Don Wilcock

Six Greater Nippertown bands will perform classic songs of The Beatles at Proctors’ GE Theatre in Schenectady this Friday night (March 23). But wait, as they say on the infomercials, this is not your grandfather’s cover band rock concert.

Each of these acts has its own unique sound. Each has a repertoire of original material. And each has an established following – in many cases playing in venues far flung from the Local 518. All of them have worked up their own take on legacy songs from The Beatles’ White Album and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that they’ll be playing at Friday’s Capital Records Live concert.

“A lot of these artists do a lot of originals, and typically they stay away from doing many – or in some cases any – covers,” says Proctors Marketing Manager Jim Murphy, who conceptualized the concert. “But this model is fairly common in other markets, and some of these bands I’m sure have participated in tribute nights, and they’ve certainly got their favorite artists that they probably noodled with in their own time.”

If it’s possible to imagine, these acts are as individual as The Beatles’ repertoire was.

Wild Adriatic is a rock band that’s played Bonnaroo, SXSW and the Gathering of the Vibes. “I’m blown away by them,” says Murphy. “I just saw them on a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. They’re hard to pin down. At times they are this great hard rock band, but then they also do this very accessible, almost Motown music when they slow it down. Then, they bring in the horns, and it has this whole different vibe.

“Out of the 33 bands on the cruise ship, nobody sold as many records as Wild Adriatic. I’m excited when a local band has that international following. It was cool to see Wild Adriatic in a totally different setting with people that have no vested interest in them being ‘local,’ and they rocked the ship. To hear Wild Adriatic play ‘A Day in the Life?’ I can’t even get my head around that.”

Roots sextet Eastbound Jesus calls their music Northern Rock – an answer to southern rock – and it has a smoky campfire feel to it. I’ve seen them live, and they’re world class. They will perform “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

“I’m astounded by Girl Blue,” says Murphy. “I’ve seen her a few times, and I have her first album. I think she should be in the same league as Lorde. I’m excited about hearing Girl Blue do ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.’” Rochester’s City Newspaper said of her, “Like an after-market, grunge lullaby, Girl Blue keeps the music beautiful with dashes of sonic color and unconventional chord patterns that shouldn’t make sense. And yet on several levels, they do, emanating a familiarity as if between strangers. It’s melancholy, but not mopey. Actually, it really rocks.”

“I don’t know Clear Mind, the hip-hop artist we have,” says Murphy, “but to hear a hip hop artists do ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite’… I can’t wait to see what he does with that.”

The Bryan Brundige Collective revives swing and blues from the early twentieth century, offering just the right jaunty feel to “When I’m 64.” Brundige is a trombonist and audio engineer from Albany who studied trombone at Schenectady Community College and recording technology at Mercy College. He has played across the nation and in Canada.

Saratoga Springs band Let’s Be Leonard will bring an indie-rock-jazz-jam-band fusion to “Helter Skelter.” COW, the group’s debut record, received notable attention from Relix Magazine.

“At Proctors, we’re putting our toe in the water. If the interest is there, we’ll keep going,” promises Murphy. “It might morph into other things. It could continue to be other classic albums to pull out, or it could be something else.

“This is just taking the Local 518 music scene to another level and trying to find ways to celebrate together, to get everybody on the same page, get them some recognition. Hopefully down the road we’ll find different ideas about better and different ways to do it, but this is a starting place – getting the musicians and audience in a room and just seeing what happens. However many people show up Friday, we’ll do it again and again.”

WHAT: Capital Records Live
WHO: Wild Adriatic, Eastbound Jesus, Girl Blue, Clear Mind, Let’s Be Leonard and the Bryan Brundige Collective
WHERE: Proctors’ GE Theatre, Schenectady
WHEN: Friday (March 23), 7:30pm
HOW MUCH: $25

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