The Beatles may very well be the most famous band in the western world. Therefore, most of their tunes are already imbued in our collective unconscious. That’s why Seattle Rock Orchestra has a completely original take on these classic songs, reinterpreting the band’s last two albums “Abbey Road” and “Let it Be” in this unique, orchestral backdrop.
The Seattle Rock Orchestra is a non profit organization bringing rock music to concertgoers in a classical setting. Since 2008 they have performed to much acclaim in the Pacific Northwest, not only playing to concerts but also festivals around the area, such as Sasquatch, and The Timber Outdoor Music Festival.
Led by bassist Scott Teske and conducted by Kim Roy, from the moment the ensemble stepped onstage their energy and enthusiasm was palpable. Not just as musicians, but the passion each member put into the songs and emotional weight of the music was enough to get everybody on stage dancing at one time or another! Kim began the show announcing she was moving her podium, just so that she could have enough room to dance!
The four vocalists moved less, but were no less exuberant in their delivery, and harmonically they were just sublime. This was especially highlighted in the heavy harmonic Beatles songs that put them as a chorus on display, such as “Sun King,” “Two of Us,” and the show stopping “Because.”
As familiar as the songs were, an event like this made it feel like hearing them for the first time all over again. Guitar solos were redone by saxophones, trombones, and violins, and heavy electric guitar chords were replaced with symphonic brass sections.
This was an especially well chosen period of the group to redo in the orchestral style, since they deliberately stripped back their high production from Sgt. Pepper to ‘get back’ to a simple rock band style. But by amping up the music with this symphony, it gives the songs much more weight.