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Published: 2002/07/20
by Ryan Bartosek

The Lo Faber Band, The 22nd Annual Chaffee Gathering, Doug’s Place Girard, PA- 7/13

A small, intimate, backyard gathering in the country at the neighbor's. What
could be better that? Well, try adding two days chock full of live music,
some free camping, and a few hundred of your closest friends and fellow
music lovers. This is exactly the setting in which Lo Faber decided to debut
the first ever onstage performance of his epic fairy tale/jam-rock opera
"Henry's House".

The debut took place at The 22nd Annual Chaffee Gathering in Girard, PA. The
performance was in fact an actual rehearsal run in preperation for the stage
adaption of the rock opera now turned musical. The formal performance,
complete with lighting, effects, and costumes is set to take place at the
newly restored opera house Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, NY and is scheduled to
open on August 21st and run through September 1st. After making the decision
to bring "Henry's House" to the stage, Lo hired Anthony Blair Hall of
Broadway's "Les Miserables" fame to produce and direct the production. Hall
will also be playing Henry along side band member and guitarist Todd
Pasternack as "Bubsy Beals" and LFB vocalist Angela Ford as "Teacher Tess",
as well as a 20+ member cast.

Although wheels have been in motion for the performance for quite some time,
Chaffee's was indeed the first time the band, sans cellist Dave "The
Emperor" Eggar, would really get to experience an audience reaction to two
sets of scripted rock and roll. The performance was a preconcieved notion of
host Doug Chaffee's and when he proposed the idea to the band, Lo and
Company graciously accepted. However, the whole idea of walking into a venue
and having to perform multiple sets of music, some of which yet to be
performed for an audience could have had potential to be an akward event for
the band.

A cohort of mine did get the chance to chat with drummer Ted Marotta about
this very subject who replied that it would be difficult to perform such a
show in a typical rock setting. He said it is most definitley something he
felt could not be pulled off very well in a bar; however, the setting and
atmosphere at Chaffee's was as good as anyone could ask for for such an
event. He did say that no matter how good or bad the performance, the songs
would surely go over much better in the musical and most likely make more
sense in the story telling aspect.

Akward or not, the band did a fine job with the songs as the album was recreated with extreme accuracy, complete with narrations performed by Angela as "Teacher Tess" and "Sarafina", bassist Tom "Old TP" Pirrozi as "Crazy Davie", Todd as "Bubsy Beals" and "Milo", and Lo
himself as "Crafty Fox" and "Henry." Despite not having a part, keyboardist
Devin Greenwood added tasteful keyboard layers. They performed
one disc per set and each featured the band jumping around, head
banging, and quite obviously having a wonderful time much to
the appreciation of a group of young children in the front row wearing homemade
tie-dyed "Henry's House" tee-shirts on who would shout with glee each
time Lo would come forward to allow them a closer look at his guitar playing.

The band then closed out with a forty minute, three song encore of segued God Street Wine tunes: a beautiful version of "Driving West", a bouncy "Waiting For The Tide", and a fine "Nightengale" complete with a powerful vocal jam.

Still this was Henry's House's night, and with a few more performances like
this, perhaps Lo & Company will find themselves stepping out of the bars
and onto Broadway.

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