Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Black Jacket Symphony to perform 'Dark Side of the Moon' album note for note in Colorado Springs

March 7, 2018 Updated: March 7, 2018 at 11:03 am
0
Caption +
Black Jacket Symphony recreates classic albums on stage during the first half of their shows. During the second half they play the band's greatest hits and a few deep tracks. On Thursday at Pikes Peak Center they'll recreate Pink Floyd's 1973 album "The Dark Side of the Moon." Courtesy.

Too many listens to Pink Floyd's 1973 album, "The Dark Side of the Moon," and a man could go mad.

That could have been the fate of J. Willoughby, founder of Black Jacket Symphony, a group that re-creates classic albums on stage, right down to the last note and chord change. The symphony will perform the Pink Floyd album in its entirety Thursday at Pikes Peak Center.

"It's art," said Willoughby about the concept album. "It sounds weird and pretentious, but it really is. It was back when they made art. It's about madness. After a month or so, I thought I was losing my mind. I thought, 'I've got to walk away and do something happy.'"

To re-create the album, Willoughby said, he listened to it repeatedly, going over it with a "fine-tooth comb." He's been doing that deep listening since 2009, after he realized that the Beatles' 1969 album, "Abbey Road," still was being discussed by musicologists and lauded by critics nearly four decades after its release.

"I was in my car and heard there was a Mozart concert coming up," Willoughby said from his home in Birmingham, Ala. "And I thought, 'Why didn't anybody approach albums like Mozart approached a symphony? They just came and played the piece as written.'"

Willoughby, who does mean Tom Petty and John Lennon impressions, gathered a group of musicians to do just that - re-create an album. Their first project? "Abbey Road," of course. Willoughby has gone on to re-create more than 50 legendary albums, including Led Zeppelin's "IV," Michael Jackson's "Thriller," the Eagles' "Hotel California," Nirvana's "Nevermind" and U2's "The Joshua Tree." Next up? Guns N Roses' "Appetite for Destruction."

Not every album re-creation uses the same musicians. Willoughby selects carefully, choosing the right crew from across the country to make the recreation as perfect as possible. Sometimes that means he hires himself, he jokes, and sometimes he doesn't.

"It's a different band every time, though there is some crossover," he said. "It's not just four guys like the Beatles because there's overdubbing (on the album). We'll have three to four guitars and multiple keyboards. We all wear black jackets."

Whereas the first half of the show is devoted to the album, with zero talking between songs, the second half spotlights the greatest hits of the featured band and maybe a deep track or two for fans.

"We have a light show and video show like you'd see at a rock show," said Willoughby. "The second set goes a little crazier. We engage the audience, and it's almost like a celebration of whatever artist we're doing."

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 

Exclusive Subscriber Content

You read The Gazette because you care about your community and the local stories you can't find anywhere else.

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber? Get Access | Already a digital subscriber? Log In
 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.