Central Pennsylvania Youth All-Star Band – “Baba O’Riley”

 Central Pennsylvania Youth All-Star Band – “Baba O’Riley”

Central Pennsylvania Youth All-Star Band – “Baba O’Riley” – Single Review

The kids are alright!

Heck…it’s fair to say they’re much better than alright in the case of the Central Pennsylvania Youth All-Star Band – these kids straight-up ROCK!

I’ll be real with ya…I didn’t know exactly what I was in-store for with this.  Considering that I’m like, 100x older than the members of Central Pennsylvania Youth All-Star Band and I’ve already experienced just about everyone & their dog attempting a cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” at some point in time – the real question was whether or not this crew was going to be able to bring something different to this song that we haven’t heard before.  And here I am, sitting here watching this band perform at the all-star caliber their name implies, with my faith in the youth of tomorrow becoming stronger than ever.  This is a verifiably badass cover y’all – I’m literally nothing but impressed by how this came out both in what we hear, and also in what we see as they collectively take this track on in the studio in their video.

They’ve certainly got my vote, and I’m more than confident that they’ll earn yours too after you check this out.  A lot of music comes down to first impressions, and they really go on to make a great one here.  As you see the band all get together in their respective positions in the studio, Noah Gibney gets the music rolling with the keyboard intro before Ethan Valentine punches us into the song with the drums, followed by Alex Lee Warner on the guitar & Levi Dickinson on the bass.  No joke, you can immediately tell we’re on solid ground with this crew – the music sounds great, but even on a visual level, you can see through the video that YES, they’re having FUN – but they are also remarkably professional at such a young age already.  So all this checks out sonically right away…I was happy with what I was hearing – but when I’m talking about a first impression in “Baba O’Riley,” it’s really gonna come down to what you’ll discover on the microphone, you know what I mean?  That’s where the rubber meets the road, and the success of this cover is arguably even more dependent on that being nailed perhaps more than anything else.  To hear Addi Grace come out with a voice LARGER THAN LIFE, looking like even she’s amazed this sound comes outta her as she performs in the video, was nothing short of completely incredible – and the quality just kept on rolling from there.  Amani Weary stepped up for the next part of the verse and brought the SOUL to the sound in a way we don’t often hear in covers of this tune, Carmine Gontz came in to lead the hooks as the song slowed down & belted out HUGE notes – I mean…the sheer confidence and fearlessness you find in these first three singers usually takes a LIFETIME for artists and bands to achieve.  They should be incredibly proud of their performances and what they’ve all brought to this timeless tune.  And throughout ALL of this awesomeness happening right in front of their eyes as they jam this out in the studio, there’s Levi over on the side smiling, lettin’ those bass notes ring out loud & proud, clearly lovin’ life.

But wait!  There’s more!  Lot’s more in fact.  One of the biggest surprises in this song I felt was Noah.  We can hear & clearly see that the dude can play his keys/piano by the middle of this performance – but I wasn’t expecting him to step up to the mic as well and straight-up crush it like he does!  Much like we see in Addi early on, it’s as if the Central Pennsylvania Youth All-Star Band is discovering their talents in real time, and are every bit as blown away by what they can do as we are as we listen and watch.  To complete their lineup, Faith Noel steps in to reveal one last verse with sensational control of her low-tones before they break into the rest of the audible celebration we know & love within “Baba O’Riley.”

As the entire band sings the main hooks together, Alex gets his own moment to shine through seriously stellar guitar work, Noah rocks right out on his piano solo, and Levi & Ethan continue to make the perfect pairing in the rhythm section.  Alex is on FIRE when he starts to cook towards the end of this song, giving this cover of “Baba O’Riley” the amped-up finale it deserved after all this incredible effort put in collectively.  I can happily report that I was completely blown away by what they all accomplished here – they achieved something remarkable in the sense that it was darn near like hearing this song for the first time all over again…and as I pointed out at the start of this review, that was going to be one of their biggest challenges to overcome.  Not only did they give this song a solid refreshing, but they show us their star potential in a variety of ways – each of the members in this crew could go on to carve out a career for themselves in the music business as individuals, and collectively they have proven to be a force to be reckoned with.  I’m relentlessly impressed by what I witnessed in this cover of such a legendary tune, and I feel like they completely earned their All-Star status.  From what we hear to what we see, the Central Pennsylvania Youth All-Star Band brought their A-game to “Baba O’Riley” – you’ll love it, 100%.

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