Concert Review: Paul Fayrewether at Brothers Lounge
Written by Reid Smith on November 29, 2016
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/paulfayrewether
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.