I read the news today, oh boy
Of course, cover bands might be the biggest culprit in perpetuating this trend, plodding through second-rate versions of songs that everyone usually is sick of anyway.
Now Athens, Ga., bands Cosmic Charlie and Fuzzy Sprouts have taken this a step further, coming together and touring under the guise of a four-piece entitled Abbey Road Live, which performs the seminal Beatles album in its entirety.
The concept is laudable. After all, if you're going to cover music better than your own, you might as well pick the absolute best.
Without a hint of hyperbole, Abbey Road is one of the greatest albums in rock 'n' roll history, not to mention the greatest album The Beatles ever made.
Indeed, a music collection without Abbey Road in it is no music collection at all.
So it was last Friday evening, as Cat\'s Cradle filled to half its capacity, mainly with people who were alive for the album's initial 1969 release and were ready for the show to come down upon their heads.
Acting as Paul McCartney, Dave Domizi's bass line announced the beginning of "Come Together," sung by Tim Conley, playing the part of John Lennon, down to the white suit.
That led into the always-beautiful "Something," George Harrison's finest Beatles cut, which proved to be an informal tribute to the "quiet Beatle" whose 61st birthday would have been Friday.
Abbey Road Live's attention to detail was a constant highlight, such as the lines of Italian included in "Sun King" or how the band suddenly stopped playing after several minutes of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)."
"We need to take a few minutes to flip the album," Wegner quipped after.
But, as on the album, the show reached its zenith with the second-half suite, a flawless collection of song fragments that never fails to give the listener that magic feeling.
For the album's climactic moment, in "Carry That Weight," Wegner pulled out a clarinet to reprise the horn line of "You Never Give Me Your Money," drawing the biggest applause of the evening.
The band left the stage following "The End" but soon rushed back, cheekily realizing they forgot something: the silly "Her Majesty," ending the performance on a high note.
There were natural limitations to a show of this nature. Since everyone in attendance knew exactly what the set list would be, spontaneity wasn't much of an option.
Also, as exuberant and faithful to the music as Abbey Road Live was, the four men performing Friday night weren't The Beatles. The fact remains that they're a cover band, albeit an extremely capable one.
In the end, enjoyment of a concert such as this wasn't based so much on the band's ability to recreate the music but on the constant reminder of just how monumental the original material actually is.
It's so heavy.