Concert Review: Paul Fayrewether at Brothers Lounge

Written by on November 29, 2016

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This past Saturday, Brothers Lounge in Lakewood played host to Cleveland area rock star, Paul Fayrewether. Since the mid 1970’s, Fayrewether has been a staple in the Cleveland rock scene; drawing crowds with his covers of progressive rock standards as well as original pieces.

Inside the crowded concert hall of Brothers Lounge, people weaved back and forth between their tables and the bar, drinks in hand, waiting for the first set to start. The demographic of Brothers on Saturday night was 40+, with my friends and I being the firm outliers, looking like the only people who would get carded for a pack of cigarettes.

Around 9:30, Fayrewether and his band kicked the night off with a three-song tribute to the late David Bowie which included “Ashes To Ashes” and “Fame.” Some Jethro Tull, Sting and Steely Dan covers were up next, with Paul and the band ripping through musically intense epics like “Bodhisattva” with ease.

Along with covers, Fayrewether peppered in his original songs throughout the show. “Don’t Let The Television Turn You On” and “Everything’s OK” were the standout numbers, with Paul wearing a giant TV over his head for one and a hazmat suit for the other to add a theatrical element to the music; a trope common in progressive rock.

After a lengthy intermission, the second set started focused on the music of Genesis and former Genesis front man, Peter Gabriel. Songs like “Red Rain” and “Turn it on Again” showed Fayrewether’s range as a vocalist.

The culmination of the night was an epic rendition of “Watcher of the Skies”, with Fayrewether channeling his inner Gabriel, donning the classic bat wings and black cape. Paul then thanked the audience before retreating with his band backstage. The crowd wasn’t satisfied though and started shouting over each other, the names of songs they wanted for an encore. Fayrewether came out for two more, officially ending the night with an original, “I Want to Believe in You” and a cover of “I Am The Walrus.”

Paul Fayrewether is a true musician and showman. The skill as a performer he possesses is something you only get after being on stage for many years. The multiple wardrobe changes paired with the intricacy of the music being played, gave the feeling that I was seeing a fine tuned performance, not just a concert.

There’s always going to be Led Zeppelin or AC/DC cover bands out there to play the classic rock that we can just as easily hear on the radio, but progressive rock is a different story. It’s a genre that saw its heyday many years ago, and with the exception of Pink Floyd or Collins-era Genesis, it’s not something you’re going to find unless you’re looking for it. That’s why Fayrewether and artists like him are so important, because as long as he keeps on playing, so will prog.

Paul Fayrewether Facebook page
Brothers Lounge

Reader's opinions
  1. Jim Cameli   On   April 7, 2020 at 12:24 am

    Reid thanks for reviewing this show that you saw you hit all those points right on the head. you can see a lot of cover bands and some are very very good i.e. atomic punks{van halen}. Straight On{Heart} and of course Musical Box (Genesis} these bands cover those classic bands to a tee. But Paul does all of those classic bands the list too numerous to list and most of the bands and songs are not so well known by most people except the very keen experts of that classic era 1968-80s Paul comes up withalot of these costumes and takes of these songs which make them a Fayrewhether original.I dont know your background but alot of things he does you would not recognize, For example the t.v. on his head was an original by the band called New River Suite but was really taken from { at least the t.v. part} from a band called the tubes and their frontman Fee Waybill who does a commentary ont.v. and media cant remember the title but Paul also does the classic White Punks on dope an anthem to the 60S drug culture. When you see a Fayrewhether show it is a transportation to a different time and place. Every show has many of the same songs because thats what the fayrewhether faithful come to see but he will always come from left field withsomething new and you would never expect it and the funny thing about it they are usally performed pretty close to perfection listen well because you might not hear it again ever but you will remember it. By your review you seem to be a young person listen well young grasshopper what you witnessned at Brthers that night is thway it was done back in the 70s when we stood in line for 7 hours for ticket to a show at a sears store in our neigborhoods. Because we loved music so much thanks for reviewing a truly iconic figure like Paul.

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