This letter is my reaction to Allan Kozinn’s review, posted Feb. 27, on the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at 50” concert recently held in Portland.
With all due respect, I was disheartened by his review, which was factual but in my opinion was unbalanced and mainly focused on negativity. There was so much positive energy in this concert that the public needs to know.
An audience of nearly 2,000 Beatles fans filled Merrill Auditorium and clearly enjoyed the ingenuity of the Portland Symphony Orchestra Pops and eight guest musicians on vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass and drums, all performing the album in its entirety, then performing 11 more classics.
They outdid themselves with beautiful vocals and orchestral solos, and jaw-dropping guitar leads. Since the mid-1960s, I’ve been an avid Beatles fan but never got to see them live. Now, 50 years later, I got to travel back in time enjoying a live performance of the most inspiring songs in my life. Magic filled the air as we were graced by a colorful light show. Each song was honored by an introduction and lengthy applause.
Thank you to the Portland Symphony Orchestra for presenting this wonderful concert and for having guest conductor Jeffrey Reed and his band of superstars from Kentucky. Imagine the whole auditorium singing in unison to the encore “Hey Jude,” swaying their flickering lights above, just as if it were the 1960s again.
There was a mention that a 50th anniversary celebration concert of the Beatles album “Abbey Road” is in the works for 2019. Please support your Portland Symphony and request to have this incredible group perform at Merrill Auditorium again. A concert to remember!