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'It's purely a tribute to the music': March 30 ‘Abbey Road’ show to include many Beatles tunes, but no costumes

Collective Unconscious members (from left) Nathan Nesje, Jeff Engholm and Muggsy Lauer performing on stage. (Submitted photo)1 / 3
Collective Unconscious includes, from left, Nathan Nesje, Andy Deckard, Jeff Engholm, Muggsy Lauer and George Maurer. (Submitted photo)2 / 3
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Though they have done tribute concerts for albums ranging from the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" to Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," it's the Beatles' iconic "Abbey Road" that Collective Unconscious band member Jeff Engholm terms "the grandfather of them all."

"We've been doing this show for many years, in various forms," says Engholm. "The first time we did 'Abbey Road' was back in 2000... We had just released our self-titled album of original music, and we thought, 'How are we going to get people into the theater to hear our music?'"

So they came up with the idea of performing the songs from "Abbey Road" as the first half of their show, with the second half consisting of original songs by Collective Unconscious.

"It was a great experiment," Engholm said.

Over the years, the "Abbey Road" show has evolved a bit, and the version that the central Minnesota-based band will be bringing to Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre on Saturday, March 30 consists entirely of music by the Beatles.

"The first half of the show is just a collection of great Beatles tunes," Engholm said. "The second half is the album 'Abbey Road' in its entirety, just like you dropped the needle on the record and let it rip. We try to portray it as accurately as possible."

Unlike many other Beatles tribute shows, however, none of the Collective Unconscious band members are going to dress up like John, Paul, George, or even Ringo.

"We don't take on any roles, we don't wear costumes," Engholm says. "We're not trying to 'be the band,' so to speak... it's purely a tribute to the music."

From the first song to the last, "Come Together" to "Her Majesty," every song on "Abbey Road" is included in the show's second half, Engholm continued, while the first half is basically "a celebration of the Beatles' music."

"At one point I tried to build the show as a retrospective, starting with the really early Beatles music and going through all of their albums up to 'Abbey Road,'" said Engholm, "but it didn't really flow very well, so now it's just a little celebration — a collection of great Beatles tunes."

Collective Unconscious includes Jeff Engholm, Muggsy Lauer, Nathan Nesje, Andy Deckard,

George Maurer and guest artist Stacy Bauer, whom many Holmes Theatre patrons might remember from the "Rock & Roll Christmas" show, a staple of the theater's holiday season for the past several years. Engholm's band also joined another regional favorite, the Fabulous Armadillos, for an Eagles tribute concert, "Takin' it to the Limit," which played the Holmes Theatre in the fall of 2017.

"We're looking forward to coming back there and playing a great show," Engholm said. "I think people are going to enjoy it quite a bit."

Collective Unconscious will be bringing their "Abbey Road" tribute show to the Historic Holmes Theatre stage this Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $28 for adults, $14 for students, and are on sale now at the Holmes Box Office, 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes, or online at www.dlccc.org/holmes-theatre.html. They may also be reserved by phone at 218-844-7469.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

(218) 844-1454
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