“Close to You” give authentic tribute to Carpenters
By Hollis Gorski Arlington Heights Community Member Oct. 15 at 10:07 a.m.
The music of the ‘70s is often defined by the disco beats of the Bee Gees and Donna Summer, or the guitar riffs of Led Zeppelin and The Eagles. But one band carved a new path in pop music, and in the process created some of the most beautiful, memorable love songs of the decade, including more than a dozen number one hits on the Billboard charts. This band was the Carpenters.
“Everyone knows their music,” says Lisa Rock, a singer and playwright who has had a love for and fascination with the Carpenters and their music for years. “They were popular in the 1970s and weren’t a protest band, or viewed as part of the ‘sex, drugs, and rock n roll’ era. They are remembered as being very clean cut soft pop/rock, but they have their place in music history.”
Rock remembers listening to the Carpenters’ music growing up, but it was actually Karen Carpenter’s tragic death related to her struggle with anorexia that inspired Rock to create a stage show featuring the music and life of Karen Carpenter which hits the stage at Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights on October 24.
“I was so moved by her death and the effect it had on everyone that I really delved into the rest of her music and life story. I’ve been singing for over 25 years and watched the women around me, including myself, struggle with their body image.” This is a battle women throughout the world are familiar with, and Rock is proud to address the issue, but notes that Carpenter’s musical prowess “isn’t overshadowed by how she died and I’m honored to sing songs by such an amazingly talented singer.”
Rock’s new show Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters is a rare gem when it comes to tribute shows. Rock describes Carpenter’s voice as pure, and lower than most female vocalists. But Rock’s amazing four octave range allows her to sing the hits like “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays” in their original key, keeping the songs genuine and more recognizable for the audience.
“I hope everyone feels like singing along with us,” says Rock, who will be accompanied by six other musicians playing a variety of instruments to capture the authentic Carpenters sound. And with an arsenal of number one hits at her disposal, Rock is sure to win over the audience and create a memorable experience filled with classic, unforgettable songs.
Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters is at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights on Sunday, October 24 at 7 P.M. Limited tickets are still available for purchase online at metropolisarts.com or through the Box Office at 847.577.2121.
“…when she hits the lower range of her marvelous voice, if you close your eyes, you can see Karen Carpenter’s face.” Alan Bresloff, Arts’ Critic, http://www.aroundthetownchicago.com
“An amazing night of music. The sold out crowd was singing along to just about every song and the immediate standing ovation at the end of the show and calls and emails the next day told the entire story — people loved this show.” Jim Jarvis, Executive Director, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre
“What an awesome night of music and entertainment. You and the band were spot on. The short antedotes you shared between some of the songs about how they orginated were fantastic. You had our sold crowd singing to just about every song. And starting at intermission and again after the show I must had 40 patrons thank me for booking your show and asking when you’re coming back. Thank you for so much for all your hard work and for creating an unforgettable night.” Jim Jarvis, Executive Director, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre
“This is not a tribute band, this is a concert of the Carpenter’s songs: but what a concert. Lisa sings in the same key as Karen Carpenter. She shares some great antedotes between songs about how they orginated, which the audience loved. The age range on this sold out show spanned from people in their 30s to seniors and everyone was singing along. If you’re looking for a show that well sell a lot of tickets and your audience will thank you for booking, it’s Close to You: Music of the Carpenters. It was one of the best shows we presented this season and we do 50 different shows per year.” Jim Jarvis, Executive Director, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre
Lisa Rock delivered an amazing Karen Carpenter tribute show. She sang with such sincerity and clarity, she did justice to Carpenter’s lush, melodic hits. Her crisp delivery was flawless. The love of Karen’s music rang out in her voice. Catch Rock, if you get a chance. She is one of Chicago’s up-and-coming cabaret divas. A sign you have seen a great show is you are humming the songs of the performer in your head all day! Great show. Terry Loncaric, Northwest Herald
“This is a top show that everyone should see! Lisa is grand!” Rick Kautz, Director of Resources and Development, Open Door Clinic of Elgin