The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra (URO) is unlike any band you have ever seen or heard. To call them a cover band is a huge understatement. The group, made up of 20-something singers and musicians, pay amazing tribute to classic rock juggernauts. Blasting out songs from; The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Queen, David Bowie and others. So how did URO get started? Singer and original member, Moon explains how he got involved with URO.
“The URO did not begin with the intent of being a live band – this all started as a studio project of Sal and Alan’s to record a 21st-century tribute album of Jesus Christ Superstar. I became aware of it when folks in the Boston music scene told me about the open-call audition for singers for the album. I had been interested in doing another production of Jesus Christ Superstar ever since being part of JCS with the Boston Rock Opera (another venerable rock opera-related company), and lunged at the chance to audition. I guess what I actually did was to lunge at Sal and Alan (Sal Clemente and Alan Ware, founders of URO), who I met for the first time at that audition. I landed the vocal role of Caiaphas – a pretty big thing for me – and I got very enthusiastic about the. Meanwhile, there were about twenty other singers, all incredibly talented, all new friends, and some fairly substantial number of Boston musicians – suffice to say that we had a pretty high concentration of talent in a very tight space. It wasn’t long before we started peeping that it would be a little bit sick if we all piled on to a stage, and tried doing this stuff live. And because of (extremely complicated reasons I never fully understood involving professions unrelated to music), we couldn’t do a live performance of the music we had been working on. And we didn’t like the idea of just doing nothing, so someone eventually said, “didn’t The Who do a rock opera too?”-Moon (URO Singer)
As Moon explains and as told in their original song, “Andrew Lloyd Webber Said No”, A.L.W. did in fact, well, say no. This, however, did not stop the URO from moving forward and writing a 5 song mini rock-opera including the audience favorite, “Child Thy Name is Rock”.
Being someone who has seen the band perform over 20 times, this writer can tell .you that the experience is like that of none other. From the moment the band hits the stage the audience is flooded with lights and sounds that transports them into a rock-like trance. The older generation enjoys hearing songs from their youth and the younger generation enjoys hearing songs their parents taught them about and even learning about some on their own. Of course one cannot fully explain the experience of URO in an article. A person must go and experience the wonder for themselves and go not with the thought they are going to see another cover band, but rather ready for an experience of a life time.
So what is it like being on stage for these performers? Singer, Emily, talks about the URO fan base.
“It’s really humbling, how supportive and enthusiastic our fan base is, especially here at home. To us it really doesn’t always seem like anything that unusual, because we’re just used to the way the show works and we get on stage and it’s just us having fun with a lot of really great, really loud music. But to see the fans react makes it really amazing, both during the show and after. It really is something special that we do, and it’s so great to know it’s appreciated on such a level by so many people. It still amazes me when we travel to do a show, and people who were in the audience, say somewhere in Canada, will look up each of us and send us messages asking when we’re coming back. That’s some significant effort on their part to communicate with us personally, and it means a lot to have that kind of connection.”-Emily (URO singer)
The URO has been rocking for many years and I, and I’m sure a lot of other people, hope they will continue for many more to come. For more info on the URO check out their website: A Night at the Rock Opera.