Security Project with Paul Bielatowicz The Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA November 10, 2017
Story, photos, and video by Kelly D To submit a story or to just say hello, email us at [email protected]
As noted in my previous review for the Peter Gabriel tribute, the Security Project, they are simply excellent. When I discovered they were to play another show the same week as when I saw them in Northampton, I knew I had to get out east to the stalwart of Arlington entertainment: the Regent Theatre.
The icing on the cake? One of the opening acts was to be Paul Bielatowicz, Carl Palmer’s touring guitarist who I had the good fortune to see four times previously in the last eighteen months. There was a first opening act, a generic rock duo- one guy with a voice so powerful he barely needed a microphone to reach those in the crowd. I chose to use this time to catch up with a concert buddy of mine, then it was time for Paul Bielatowicz to take the stage. I highly suggest you check out this guy and his projects. Not only is he amazingly talented, but he’s a lot of fun to watch perform live. Paul looks like he’s about 19, a fellow member of Team Babyface (in that I have one too). His long blond hair adds to this boyishness, and goes flying when he REALLY gets into playing. His faces are nothing short of spectacular; he contorts them as if a younger, British version of Jim Carrey suddenly decided to start playing guitar. He’s also often throws a triumphant finger in the air after a particularly wild bout of guitar-picking with a massive, face-splitting grin. It’s hard not to mirror it back to him- but why would you resist?
His half-hour set comprised entirely instrumental versions of classical tunes like “Flight of the Bumblebee” and “Clair de Lune,” both of which are on his solo effort, Preludes and Etudes. Then came the pièce de résistance: he transcribed Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”- all three parts- to play on guitar and then performed while the iconic silent movie A Trip to the Moon played behind him on the movie screen. As both pieces were around 15 minutes, it synced up perfectly. Brilliant!
After a much-needed trip around the corner to grab a slice of pizza, my companion and I came into the last half of Security Project‘s version of “Family Snapshot.” I suspected we had missed a few songs, but since I had already ostensibly heard the ones they had performed in my absence in Northampton I wasn’t too bummed. Thankfully, the theater wasn’t at all full so I drifted to the end of my row by the wall to stand and dance, something I didn’t have a chance to when I saw them at the Iron Horse in Northampton. Once more, the tightness of the band can’t be overstated.
This time around those of us in Arlington had the pleasure of seeing the band with graphics projected behind them on the theater’s movie screen, something those of us in Northampton didn’t get. “San Jacinto” had accompanying desert imagery and graphics of Native Americans and the band performed “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” with shots of New York City whizzing by behind them. Another treat: as Happy Rhodes, lead singer extraordinaire, has such an extraordinary singing range, the group sometimes plays the music of erstwhile Peter Gabriel collaborator Kate Bush. In Arlington, we got “Mother Stands for Comfort,” off of Bush’s album Hounds of Love, your reviewer’s personal favorite. Rhodes’ voice is eerily similar to Bush’s- like, “close your eyes and you’d think the real thing was onstage” spot-on.
Towards the end of the night, Jerry Marotta came out from behind his drum kit to thank us all for supporting their efforts and to explain what the Security Project is all about. Marotta, who used to play with Gabriel in the 1980s, mentioned how they choose to perform the more obscure songs from Gabriel’s catalog to distinguish their music from the man’s current touring setlist. This is why they stay away his later works, like his smash hit So, the one with “Big Time” and “Mercy Street” on it. Once again, Marotta charmed me with his hammy quips and anecdotes; it made me thankful the band hails from the Hudson Valley of upstate New York, meaning there’s a good chance they’ll come around again and play my neck of the woods sometime soon. It doesn’t hurt, either, that they’re all very sweet!
Paul Bielatowicz and I were able to spend a while talking after the show and I mentioned to him how funny it is that in the past eighteen months I’ve seen him play five times- four times of which he was part of Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy. This is why I choose to live in Western Mass: proximity to lots of concert venues! Happy Rhodes came up behind me and said, “I recognize that hair!” and was kind enough to chat for a few minutes as well. Thanks, everyone! You’ll keep me coming back for more. “I am willing/Lay your hands on me I am ready/Lay your hands on me”
- Fly on a Windshield (Genesis cover)
- I Have the Touch (Peter Gabriel cover)
- Family Snapshot (Peter Gabriel cover)
- No Self Control (Peter Gabriel cover)
- The Family and the Fishing Net (Peter Gabriel cover)
- Mother Stands for Comfort (Kate Bush cover)
- Collective Heart (Happy Rhodes cover)
- Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel cover)
- Here Comes the Flood (Peter Gabriel cover)
- I Don’t Remember (Peter Gabriel cover)
- Lead a Normal Life (Peter Gabriel cover)
- San Jacinto (Peter Gabriel cover)
- The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Genesis cover)
- Lay Your Hands on Me (Peter Gabriel cover)
To submit a story or to just say hello, email us at [email protected]