Nutopia Comes Alive

The Nutopians cover John Lennon's music with the same feeling that the icon himself would inspire a crowd with during his performances. Performing for the Outpost in the Burbs and Habitat for Humanity, the Nutopians moved the audience and inspired them to care for others.

Nutopia represents humanity coming together.

In My Life – Nutopia In My Life – Nutopia

I’ll Get You Imagine – Nutopia I’ll Get You Imagine – Nutopia

I Should Have Known Better – Nutopia I Should Have Known Better – Nutopia

Nutopia, a John Lennon cover band with members from New York and New Hampshire, gave a great performance at  Friday night’s show. The show was performed at the Unitarian Congregation on Church Street in Montclair, the same way John Lennon himself would have it were he alive today.

Concert Crowd
© Dwphotos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Strangely enough, lead vocalist Tom Dean sounded very much like Lennon, especially during his rendition of “Girl,” Dean possesses the same heartfelt, humanitarian-like soul all the way.

Nutopia kicked off their set with their cover of “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” which was heart-wrenching – in a good way. After a few songs came some playful but intimate banter between Dean and the mixed age and culture-range of the audience.

“It’s like discovering these songs all over again,” Dean said, recalling his first memories of listening to Lennon, specifically mentioning seeing him on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Judging by the enthusiastic, nostalgic tone in which he spoke these words, it seemed as if he wanted the audience to feel as enthusiastic and nostalgic about music in general as he is. Dean then went on to proudly say that Lennon is, has been and always be, his all-time favorite Beatle. Dean said this is not only for his rich musical talent, but also his constant fight for peace and love all around.

Dean believes that if Lennon were alive today, he would be even more disgusted at all the continued selfishness and greed in this world that seems to go ignored and unpunished, unless we as citizens continue to stand up for what is right.
After those heartfelt anecdotes, he was ready to play “Come Together.” Right before actually playing it, he educated the audience by saying that the Timothy Leary versus Ronald Reagan race for Senate, and Leary’s loss, inspired Lennon to pen that famous hit.

Nutopia then surprised the audience by melding part of “Come Together” with “I Am the Walrus.” Nonetheless, Nutopia knew very well how to be as creative as Lennon, of course in their own way, complete with a diversity of all-acoustic instruments, which included tambourine, violin, cello, guitar and bass.
After “You Can’t Do That,” bassist Robbie Coffin brought his daughter, Maggie, out onto the stage and she performed a soulful solo rendition of “Dear Prudence” that greatly defied her tender fifteen years. The audience was once again treated to her sultriness through “And Your Bird Can Sing” with the entire band. Maggie once again went solo with her rendition of “Revolution.” It may not have been the rock-out, dance-along version fans are used to, but it was nonetheless as powerful and sincere as Lennon sang it. During the performance each member of the audience felt compelled to stand, sway and dance and sing along.

It was a bit of a surprise that the Nutopia did not do “Imagine,” which is probably Lennon’s most iconic number, but they definitely performed numbers that matched the overall theme of Outpost in the Burbs and the venue itself: “Instant Karma!,” “All You Need is Love,” “Across the Universe,” “Power to the People” and “Help!”

The venue, a Unitarian Universalist church, was beyond befitting, as Lennon’s music indeed had and has a rather expansive fanbase and always sang of and promoted love, peace and unity. This church brought as physical of warmth as it did spiritual warmth, in a non-religious way.

It is highly recommended to see the Nutopia the next time they come to your area. Wherever they play, they are sure to warm hearts year round and just make you want to cheer up someone who is sad, sick or alone. Hopefully, the Nutopians will inspire you to make your own difference in this world.

The Outpost in the Burbs, which hosts bands like the Nutopia, is celebrating its twenty-fifth year of promoting music and collecting donations to notable charity organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and local food pantries.

Copyright © 2013, The Montclair Dispatch

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