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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Joe Peppercorn’s Beatles Marathon

Written by Raad Shubaily
Love is an exceedingly complex concept. Yet, the Beatles somehow managed to present it perfectly in their music.  Last Thursday at Kobo, Joe Peppercorn’s Beatles Marathon would not have let down any member of the world’s most famous rock band.
            The young, the old, and everyone in between showed up to the point that Kobo hit capacity.  It was a hot, sweaty, old-school-head-bobbing extravaganza for the ages. The word “packed” doesn’t even begin to describe that night, as a line quickly grew down the block waiting to get in.  Indeed, love was present in the air. In fact, a friendly attendee noticed me hunched in a corner, scribbling away in my tiny notebook, and offered me her seat... twice.

            The show lasted all day, beginning at 4:30 P.M. and ending when the bar closed.  The concept was to play all of the Beatles studio works in one day.  It wasn’t only a tribute, but a literal marathon. It was the kind of event where one friend I was talking to said “I’ve been here since 4:30, and I have to go pick up my friend from the airport at 9:30. Then, I’m coming back after that for the rest of the show.” In other words, this was one show not to be missed.
            I got there just before the band started Rubber Soul, and needless to say, all the songs sounded great. Blasting through amazing versions of “Day Tripper,” “Norwegian Wood,” and  “Nowhere Man,” the songs came complete with the very same vocal harmonies the Beatles used.  It’s not even worth it to keep listing specific songs, because they all sounded like the original versions. 

The cast of characters Joe Peppercorn put together, from local bands Ghost Shirt and The Whiles, are such serious musicians. They even paid attention to truly replicate the Beatles’ sound, including the use of multiple guitar changes and an enormous rack of keyboards and synthesizers.
It’s incredible that the Beatles essentially stopped touring late in their career, ending up spending most of their time in the studio, and yet musicians still play their music to this day. The level of noise at Kobo seemed reminiscent of the noisy rooms the band’s performances actually must have taken place in.  It just goes to show that music is never ending - that over 40 years after a band breaks up, people might still come out in droves simply to hear their music. That is the definition of love: An intense feeling of deep affection.

Guitar/vocals: Joe Peppercorn (The Whiles)
Guitar/vocals: Branden Barnett (Ghost Shirt)
Bass/vocals: Chris Bolognese (The Whiles)
Drums: David Murphy (Ghost Shirt)



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