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Beatles San Francisco Symphony concert wows Beatles and classical fans

by Katie Hickox

For the first time, the highly esteemed San Francisco Symphony performed an all Beatles program featuring the Beatles tribute band, Classical Mystery Tour, to a sold out audience last night at Davies Symphony Hall. The concert was an outstanding success that ended with everyone getting on their feet and dancing to Twist and Shout.

The evening began with the SF Symphony playing a Beatles Medley Overture with Conductor Sarah Hicks conducting. Then Classical Mystery Tour stole the show when they came on stage and started singing A Hard Day's Night.

If there was any question about who was more popular last night, it was the Classical Mystery Tour band. The fab four were represented by Jim Owen who played John, Tony Kishman who was Paul (and looks just like Paul), John Brosnan who was George (and all the way from London, England too), and drummer Chris Camilleri who played Ringo.

The San Francisco Symphony with Classical Mystery Tour

Among the many highlights of the show were the wonderful and fantastic string and brass sections that really shined in songs like Eleanor Rigby and A Day in the Life. Jim Owen did a fantastic job playing piano in A Day in the Life on what appears to be the longest grand piano I have ever seen.

The SF Symphony really made the rising crescendo and final end note in A Day in the Life a once in a lifetime experience, they were that good, and I'll never forget what a difference it makes to have a real full symphony orchestra play in songs like A Day in the Life and even I am the Walrus.

Tony Kishman who plays Paul has a splendid sense of humor when he started off his solo song Yesterday with what sounded like Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy song and fooled everyone for a laugh.

What was special about this joint production was that the Beatles never got the chance to perform live with a full symphony orchestra and so it was wonderful to experience the fullness of song and the coming together of so many fantastic musicians on one stage.

Also, a few of the Beatles solo works, Paul McCartney's 'Live and Let Die' and John Lennon's 'Imagine' were performed at the end.

Tonight's last show is also completely sold out, but you can check out Classical Mystery Tour's 2012 concert dates at their website.

Here is more information about tonight's last SF Symphony Tribute to the Beatles concert.

Published August 3, 2012

This article is Copyright © 2012, Katie Hickox, and may not be reproduced on other web sites or in print, in whole or in part, without expressed permission

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