Crosscut Tout: Seattle Rock Orchestra performs Radiohead's music at the Moore

SRO's interpretations are unmistakeably Radiohead, but with a distinctive Seattle spin.

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Seattle Rock Orchestra

SRO's interpretations are unmistakeably Radiohead, but with a distinctive Seattle spin.

Seattle's largest band will take on one of the biggest bands in the world Saturday when the Seattle Rock Orchestra performs Radiohead's OK Computer and The Bends at The Moore Theatre.

Led by Scott Teske, the volunteer orchestra consists of more than 50 musicians, which literally makes Seattle Rock Orchestra the city's biggest band. The SRO has already successfully staged tributes to David Bowie, the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, and Arcade Fire. For their next show they will be breaking down and dissecting the complex music of Radiohead by putting a classical twist on two of the group's finest records.

Both albums are considered, for different reasons, to be among the most iconic rock records of the 1990s. OK Computer is a complex album filled with sonically diverse layers of sound that are responsible for epics like "Paranoid Android" and more tender songs like "Karma Police." On the other end of the Radiohead spectrum is The Bends, a more straightforward rock record with songs of anger and frustration like "Just" and "My Iron Lung."

Seattle Rock Orchestra's interpretations result in a familiar sound that's distinctively Radiohead but with a noticeable Seattle spin. That spin comes in the form of an array of guest vocalists who will be handling singing duties throughout the 24-song performance. Rachel Flotard of Visqueen, Jon Auer of The Posies, Jim Antonio of The Purrs, and John Van Deusen of the Lonely Forest are some of the notable names who will be taking turns on the microphone. Others include Kaylee Cole, Michele Khazak, Noah Gunderson, and Tom Beecham.

I was lucky enough to be invited to drop by the SRO's SoDo rehearsal space last week for a sneak peek at what is to come Saturday. Listening to songs like "Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was," "Fake Plastic Trees," and "(Nice Dream)" with added flute flourishes, bright trumpet notes, and a massive string section was like experiencing songs I've heard hundreds of times, with fresh ears.

Speaking of hearing songs with fresh ears, Saturday also happens to be the release date of Radiohead's eighth studio record, The King of Limbs. So not only will you get to hear new Radiohead songs for the first time since 2007’s In Rainbows; you'll also get a chance to hear a new twist put on the old classics.

If you go: Seattle Rock Orchestra performs Radiohead's 'The Bends' and 'OK Computer' Saturday (Feb. 19) 8 p.m. at the Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave. Star Anna opens. Tickets cost $18. Doors open at 7 p.m.


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