“Note for note, cut for cut.” That’s the hook of Classic Albums Live—a rock show in which Toronto musicians recreate, live and with precision, definitive albums from the '70s. They’ve already tackled Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Next up is Exile on Main St. by the Rolling Stones. If you’re thinking tribute band, think again. There’s no one on stage mugging like Mick Jagger or spinning like Stevie Nicks. “It’s about the music,” says concept creator Craig Martin. “It’s like a recital—like Mozart would be done by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.”
In other words, completely against the spontaneous and improvisational nature of rock ’n’ roll. But intriguing nonetheless. To
recreate an album perfectly, Martin, 41, gets creative. “For Pink Floyd’s Time, we had seven alarm clocks on stage and everyone was just ringing them,” he says. “Other performers would get a sample of a clock.” For Exile on Main St., there will be a 20-piece gospel choir on hand to sing Shine a Light.
The series, which will also feature classic albums by Led Zeppelin, the Who and the Beatles, plays to music fanatics in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, London, Ont., and St. Catharine’s, Ont. (www.classicalbumslive.com). “I know at every show,” says Martin, “there’s that guy at the back with the notepad, jotting down where we went wrong, thinking, ‘that scream was a bar behind.’ ”
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