Univ. Communications – “Performing, Promoting, Networking, Organizing, Managing, and Enjoying Music. It’s what we do.” That’s the motto of No Jackets Required, and on Friday, March 2, that motto came alive as the group presented a two-hour tribute to the Beatles. The concert featured more than 50 student musicians performing some of the Beatles’ most popular numbers.
This was a show that saw No Jackets Required return to its roots. When the student organization launched in 2007, the inaugural show also was a tribute to the British rock band, where musicians performed the legendary Magical Mystery Tour album in its entirety. In recent years, the group has collaborated with several campus performance groups, including UR Hip Hop, Off Broadway On Campus, and UR Swing Dance Club, to present an array of musical styles in an effort to strengthen the University’s music community.
“Our goal is to spread the performance and appreciation of popular music,” said Andrew Brink ’14, business manager for No Jackets Required. “By presenting popular music as performance art, we’ve been able to find really creative ways of bringing together musicians from around campus.”
This year’s concert featured three sets, the first of which took audience members through the Beatles’ earlier sound, including such Beatlemania classics as Please Please Me, A Hard Day’s Night, and We Can Work it Out. The second set was devoted to the band’s groundbreaking psychedelic era, sampling heavily from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, and the eponymous White Album. For the final set, musicians aimed to “Come Together” and reproduced the entire Abbey Road medley, as well as other choice cuts from that iconic album.
Because of the complicated harmonies that occur in several of the numbers, two back-up singers accompanied each lead singer, in addition to traditional rock instruments, including guitars, bass, and drums. Orchestral instruments including trombones and trumpets replicated the horn arrangements heard on several of the albums and select songs featured the unique sound of melodicas and kazoos. In addition to the three larger sets, acoustic interludes such as Blackbird and Yesterday maintained the show’s momentum.
Brink was optimistic that the concert would provide both the University and Greater Rochester community with a venue for music appreciation. “This show was a strong candidate to blend those worlds together,” he explained. “We’re excited that it brought people together to celebrate one of the greatest and most influential bands to ever have existed.”
Article written by Melissa Greco Lopes, editor of The Buzz and student life publicist in University Communications.
Photo courtesy of No Jackets Required.