Abbey Road on the River 2009 – Long!

I just got back from Abbey Road on the River where I had an awesome time hanging out with Janine, my friend and bandmate Rob, and Allie, the 13-year old daughter of Janine’s friend. (Katie, we missed you!!!) We had a really nice time together and saw lots of great music! Because Janine has worked on the festival, like last year, we got to chat to lots of the musicians, which made it fun. Also, last year, I ran into some of the guys from the German band “Lucy in the Sky” at the airport on the way home, and I had emailed a little with them, since I had some pics and videos. We re-made friends with them this year and ended up going to most of their shows. Like we did with The Return last year.

So here’s my trip report!

Janine, Rob, and I were all on the same flight out from Baltimore, which was really fun. Janine and I both had our Beatle earrings on, of course.


We got a suite this year, sort of by accident, but it turned out to be awesome. It was huge and spacious and not that much more than a smaller room!

I think the first thing up at 1pm was the Concert for George – we got to see a whole bunch of bands play George songs! I don’t think I took any pics though. We saw the Beatrips, Hal Bruce doing the Love version of While My Guitar, and the Beatleburys. They kind of had an End of the Line lyric fail, but then they played Set on You, so Win!

Then, we finally went outside and went shopping! I got lots of Beatle t-shirts and we found (but didn’t purchase) funny stuff like this:


We also went and grabbed some food downtown:


And ran into The Colonel.


We also ran into the guitarist for Lucy in the Sky, Peter, who joined us for dinner. We sat outside at a British pub so he could smoke. His band was playing that night, so he was asking us for help putting together his setlist. He told us he had a 14 month old daughter named Lucy (aw!) and showed us a little video of her on his phone. At which point, we showed him the awesomeness that is the iPhone to try and convert him. I let him check his email on mine. :-) When he handed the phone back and said thank you, I said “Bitte!” – which amused him. I told him, I pretty much knew 3 words of German – he said “Danke, Bitte” and then I thought about it and came up with “Toiletten” which made him laugh. Hey, it’s important to know the word for bathroom in any language, right?


After our early dinner, we checked out The Beatrips, a great Japanese band:


And Instant Karma, a John cover band. I think their bass player is amazing.


In the evening we saw Lucy in the Sky. We talked to Peter before the show and he said they were all losing their voices already. I had some cough drops up in the room, so I offered to run up and get them, which I did end up doing. I ended up keeping them in cough drops pretty much the whole weekend, which was amusing. :-)


The late concert was a preview of Abbey Road Live and Hal Bruce doing “Abbey Road”. We missed the first half of it, but sat on the floor right in front for “I Want You” onwards. It was awesome! They had some really clever touches, like going from The End into 10 different famous Beatle riffs.

After the concert, we went looking for a singalong – the Yellow Submorons were the lobby, but they’d been overtaken by another band that were outsinging them and had a setlist and wouldn’t share. There was another singalong going on in the breezeway between towers of the hotel. And there was always music and a bar in the ballroom on the 3rd floor. We were all pretty tired, so I think we went to bed not too long after this. Though that wouldn’t be the case the next two nights! As it was, though Janine went running early on Saturday morning, the rest of us slept in until 11am! The big concerts weren’t starting til 1pm, so we just took it easy and lazed around until we had to get ready to go out!

And that was Friday!

Saturday we slept in and then I think we split up. I wanted to see the Concert for John. That was indoors, which was nice. The other nice thing was that we saw a whole bunch of bands play (a few John songs each).

First up was Mario da Silva on the flamenco guitar. He was brilliant. In My Life was really beautiful.

Next up was The Beatrips:


Then Hal Bruce who sounded great especially when he harmonized with the drummer.

I don’t remember which band this was. The Sun Kings maybe? But they were all great!

This is the Norwegian Beatles. Their lead guitarist is the one that totally wailed on While My Guitar Gently Weeps at the Midnight Concert. He was amazing!

I think this is the Czech band The Backwards:

This is the Swedish band, the Repeatles

An awesome Candian Band “All You Need Is Love”. They did an amazing version of Day in the Life. Plus Yer Blues!

Then it was back outside to see Lucy in the Sky on the main stage. Boy was it hot out!




Then, Britbeat. The George played for British Export last year – he’s a great guitarist!

I also badly want his guitar. :-)

The sunset that night was pretty! This is the view from our room.

Later that night there was a parade to drum up business for the Yellow SubMorons concert. They are a Rutles cover band. (The Rutles are a Monty Python parody of the Beatles. George even has a cameo in it.)

Rob was excited because they asked him to play the bass drum. We all marched and handed out glow sticks, kazoos and whistles to people.



Janine and I wore our Pepper jackets:

Allie with her slide whistle and glow sticks

Once we got to the River Stage and dropped everything off, Rob, Allie and I went to catch the first half of Abbey Road, since we’d missed it the other night. We came back once we hit “I Want You” and caught the rest of the SubMoron’s show:

I think this was during “Ouch”. You can kinda see them spelling it out in the audience.


They handed out Cheese to wave around during “Cheese and Onions”:

After all that, Janine and I (and Danny Donut) judged the Costume Contest. There were a lot of great entries including a group of teenage guys that had done budget (less than $10 each) Sgt Pepper costumes for a fundraiser concert for their teacher. There was a big group dressed as Maxwell’s Silver Hammer characters, with really detailed costumes – and a pair who had done Eleanor Rigby costumes too. The Best in Show winner (though it was a tough choice) was a woman who had painted and appliqued the cover art of Abbey Road on a dress. It was seriously amazing!


Maxwell and Joan

Rose and Valerie screaming from the gallery…



Because of the costume contest, Janine and I missed the set by the Britbeat in their Sgt Pepper costumes, but we saw them after. Their costumes were amazing. Chris (their Paul) clued us in on Paul’s gold pin, which was the one thing we couldn’t figure out. Plus he gave us a tip on the exact buttons.

Crappy low light, but here’s Janine and Chris:

Me and their John:

After that, we caught part of the Norwegian Beatles set – including their guitarist’s amazing solo work at the end of While My Guitar…




After that, we floated between the upstairs ballroom and the singalong downstairs and the breezeway between buildings.

Here’s a singalong:

Here’s another:

Here’s me and Ron, the lead singer for Band on the Run. Turns out he’s a big space/Star Trek nerd so we geeked it up for the photo:

Janine and Band on the Run Ron:

It was a fun night – and a late one – I don’t think we turned in til 3, and then Rob and I stayed up and chatted for a while. And that was Saturday!

Sunday at 1pm was the Concert for Paul. Unfortunately it was also opposite other things we wanted to see. We’d told both Abbey Road Live and Timeline that we’d see them specially.

We hit up the beginning of the Concert for Paul first!

This is Britbeat:


Their Paul (Chris) did a nice solo version of Yesterday..

After which he was presented by flowers by John. My pic is a little blurry, but it was still amusing.

Then we went outside to catch Abbey Road Live, who were, of course, awesome. The best part was when we could hear Taxman coming from one of the other stages and ARL said that it would be funny if they played the same song at the same time, just to screw with them – especially since they play it a half step higher. And with some audience encouragement, they did!




Timmy provided the bird whistles during Blackbird. He got the audience to join in. It was funny!

Back at the Concert for Paul, this is a Russian, Alyona, with a *big* voice. She sang “Why Don’t We Do It In the Road” and “Back in the USSR”.

And the Repeatles They were losing their voices too!

We thought we’d missed Lucy in the Sky when we were out at Abbey Road Live since they were there hanging out. Turns out they hadn’t gone on yet. And we missed them when we were out seeing Timeline. Timeline was awesome – they play a lot of 70s stuff, and I was really happy when they played “Because” by the Dave Clark Five. Their bass player also does a great job with Band on the Run.


Then it was back inside to see Wingsbanned. They sounded great as well!

That guitarist took over the bass here:




Next up was Band on the Run! Their guitarist is amazing!



Then it was off to get an early dinner before seeing Lucy in the Sky again at 6.


We liked Peter’s bumper sticker on his guitar case!

Then we caught Britbeat’s late Beatle set.

Doesn’t Allie look cute in Janine’s Pepper jacket?

After hanging out with Nicole from the Yellow Submorons, wandering around for a bit ,and splitting a funnel cake with Rob, we all met up for some evening concerts:

This is Drew Harrison and the Sun Kings

This girl, who was working the festival sang part of Oh Darling – the bass player took the choruses. She sounded great, as did he!

Lucy was playing again at 11pm, which ended up being a small concert, but lots of fun. The band sang two songs a capella from the audience:


We hung around for the final concert for that night – which was super fun. Lots of people dancing and some non-Beatle music, including REM’s Losing My Religion.


We all had a great time – and I was sorry to leave on Monday, even though I was *exhausted*!

Tags: ,