IF YOU GO
* What: Abbey Road Live!
* When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11.
* Where: Track 29, 1400 Market St.
* Admission: $10 in advance, $15 at the door (all-ages show, but ages 18 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian).
* Phone: 423-521-2929.
* Website: www.track29.co.
For about a decade, Beatles tribute artist Abbey Road Live! has performed note-for-note Fab Four covers several times a year at Rhythm & Brews. On Saturday, Jan. 11, the musicians are changing things up with their first show at Track 29.
Relocating a few blocks down Market Street isn’t exactly a trek across the universe, says founder Michael Wegner (guitar/keys), but given the cross-generational appeal of The Beatles, the chance for an all-ages show was hard to resist.
“We’ve been playing Rhythm & Brews for 10 years, and it’s always been fun, but … we have parents who bring their kids, teenagers, 60- and 70-year-olds and college kids and everything in between,” he says. “This is our first chance to play for a younger audience in Chattanooga.”
Abbey Road Live! started out as a one-off performance in the late ’90s of the entire “Abbey Road” album by The Fuzzy Sprouts, an energetic party rock band from Athens, Ga. Three members of the Sprouts — Wegner, Andrew Hanmer (drums) and Tim Conley (guitar) — split off in 2002 to form a dedicated Beatles tribute.
Throughout its 12-year history, Abbey Road Live! has made a name for itself by focusing on re-creating the sound of the Fab Four rather than their look. A typical Abbey Road Live! show begins with a complete rendition of “Abbey Road” followed by another set featuring selections drawn from a potential catalog of about 130 Beatles songs.
For years, the members of Abbey Road Live! focused their efforts on learning later-era songs from the post-“Rubber Soul” studio years, but recently, Wegner says, they have expanded their repertoire to include earlier material as well.
With more years under their belt than The Beatles themselves, Wegner says it’s apropos that they also have begun incorporating material recorded after the band’s breakup in 1970.
“If you compare the timeline of this band to the timeline of The Beatles, it would be about 1973 for us now,” he says, laughing. “Maybe that’s why we’ve started covering [John Lennon’s] ‘Instant Karma’ and some other solo stuff.”
Whether their show at Track 29 is to newcomers or longtime fans, Wegner says he’s hopeful the crowd will exhibit the same energy and enthusiasm that has characterized the band’s Chattanooga concerts for years.
“The shows at Rhythm & Brews have always been pretty lively,” he says. “Some places, we’ll go and it’s more of a sit-down crowd that’s not as active, but we always think of Chattanooga as being more fun and rowdy.”
Contact Casey Phillips at email@example.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...