You wouldn’t expect to hear the words “AC/DC’s Back in Black” and “recital” in the same breath, but that’s exactly what goes on each month at the Phoenix’s Classic Albums Live concerts.
The series features musicians performing an entire album from the classic rock canon, one song after another in a note-perfect recreation that includes (if warranted) reciting between-song banter, bringing in extra musicians to cover overdubbed parts, and sticking as closely as possible to the original tempo and timbre of the recording.
Past performances in the series, which will celebrate its fourth anniversary in April, have included The Doors’ L.A. Woman, Queen’s A Night at the Opera and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Unlike those guys who comb their hair forward, dress up in Sgt. Pepper costumes and try to impersonate The Beatles, the Classic Albums Live performers don’t try to look the part (which, when you think about it, would be just about as ridiculous as the TSO donning powdered wigs to play Mozart).
While we’re probably still many years away from the Roy Thomson Hall premier of Appetite for Destruction, it’s still interesting to bear witness to what is essentially the fossilization of rock music.
This Thursday at 8 p.m. you can catch a double-billing of U2’s War and The Joshua Tree ($12 in advance; $20 at the door).
Photo of musicians performing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band courtesy Classic Albums Live.