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November 19, 2018

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Cheap Trick to play the Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ live at Hilton

Technology helps bring landmark 1967 album to live concert stage

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Cheap Trick is planning to perform the songs from the landmark 1967 Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album in a live concert setting in September at the Las Vegas Hilton.

If You Go

  • What: “Sgt. Pepper Live” featuring Cheap Trick
  • When: 8 p.m., Sept. 13-15, 17-19, 21-23
  • Where: Las Vegas Hilton Showroom
  • Tickets: $65 to $95 Information: 702-732-5755
  • The Album:

    - "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

    - "With a Little Help from My Friends"

    - "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds"

    - "Getting Better"

    - "Fixing a Hole"

    - "She's Leaving Home"

    - "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!"

    - "Within You Without You" - Harrison

    - "When I'm 64"

    - "Lovely Rita"

    - "Good Morning Good Morning"

    - "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)"

    - "A Day in the Life"

The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

It took almost 40 years but technology finally caught up with the Beatles.

In 1967 the legendary group released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” a definitive album that was said could not be produced live.

That was then and this is now.

The power pop rock group Cheap Trick will be performing the songs from the album, as well as other Beatles music, in a concert setting at the Las Vegas Hilton in September.

If negotiations are successful “Sgt. Pepper Live” will be performed on a recurring basis in the future, perhaps alternating with resident headliner Barry Manilow, who is in his own negotiations with the resort. His contract ends in December.

The “Sgt. Pepper’s” concert will not be a tribute, says producer Bill Edwards, it will be Cheap Trick performing the Beatle’s music.

“By letting this band stay who they are and perform the music of the 'Sgt. Pepper’s’ is historical in my mind,” says Edwards.

The production was performed twice in 2007, the 40th anniversary of the release of the album – at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and at a fund raiser in New York City for the Michael Milken Foundation for Prostate Cancer.

A DVD from the New York City concert is to be released this year.

The production will feature an orchestra of between 26 and 30 pieces, a four-or-five piece group of Indian musicians playing sitars and other instruments and guest vocalists.

The show will be divided into two parts – the first segment will be a guest vocalist (a list is being developed) performing with the orchestra. The second segment will be Cheap Trick singing all of the songs of the “Sgt. Pepper’s” plus other Beatle’s numbers, including songs from the “Abbey Road” album.

Cheap Trick will be touring with Def Leppard and Poison now through September, including a stop on Sept. 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Rick White, director of marketing for the Hilton, says the music and the band are a perfect combination for the resort’s demographics.

“We look for a broad spectrum appeal, and nothing is more broad than the Beatles,” he said. “If things work out they will be here on a high-frequency basis – more often than Santana at the Hard Rock.”

Geoff Emerick, who was producer and engineer of the original “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (along with George Martin), is supervising the sound for the “Sgt. Pepper’s Live” production.

He, and Martin, produced Cheap Trick’s 1980 hit “All Shook Up.”

“Technology had to catch up to be able to reproduce the ('Sgt. Pepper’s”) music live,” Emerick said.

Emerick says the show has already proven its worth.

“At the end of the Hollywood Bowl concert people left in tears,” he said. “The 'Sgt. Peppers’’ album means so much to them, from a very early age. Memories come flooding back.”

Emerick says Cheap Trick is the perfect choice.

“To my way of thinking, I don’t think anyone else can do it,” he said.

Emerick said when the Beatles came to him to create “Sgt. Peppers’” he was shocked when they said it would be their last album and they would not be touring.

“John said he was fed up with making soft music for soft people and they were going to make an album that was going to have sounds on it,” Emerick said. “He said, 'We’re going to enjoy ourselves.’”

All of the instruments in the orchestra on the album had mikes, creating a sound that couldn’t be taken on the road.

“There was no technical equipment to reproduce it on the road,” Emerick said. “Now we can.”

“Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which was recorded over a 129-day period, was released on June 1, 1967, at Abbey Road Studios, London. It was the eighth studio album for the Beatles.

Cheap Trick was formed in the '70s by Robin Zander (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar, backing vocals), Tom Petersson (electric bass, backing vocals), and Bun E. Carlos (drums, percussion).

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