Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles

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Jeff Ritter's picture

Feel free to disagree with me on this, but there is no band in history that has been more important, more influential, and more beloved than the Beatles. I hear their influence in acts as diverse as Alice Cooper and the Plain White T’s. U2’s Bono is probably my generation’s John Lennon. The impact of the Beatles during their 10-year run as a band will never be duplicated. My generation came into the world just after the band broke up. John Lennon was taken from the world when I was just a kid. I've enjoyed the Beatles legacy through the years and always wished that Marty McFly’s Delorean would be made commercially available with the Flux Capacitor option so that I could go back to the 60s and see them play Shea Stadium. Thanks to Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, I’ve come as close to that dream as I will get.

The show began with a video lead-in, showing Buddy Holly and Little Richard and other popular performers from the early days of Rock and Roll. Once this musical timeline reached the early 1960s the most awkward-looking man to ever host television program, Ed Sullivan, appeared on the screen. He said he had a very big “shoe” for us tonight, and introduced us to four lads from Liverpool, “RAIN!” With that, the curtain came up on the erstwhile mop-top era Beatles:  Ian B. Garcia (Paul), Jim Irizarry (John), Tom Teeley (George), and Doug Cox (Ringo). All four played their own instruments—this isn't a Milli Vanilli tribute! They managed to never address one another as the actual Beatles, presumably to avoid any legal issues, but their impressions of the Fab Four were spot on. Jimmy Irizarry had Lennon’s speaking mannerisms and singing style down pat, and he looked the part, particularly with the Sgt. Pepper mustache. Ian B. Garcia looked perhaps even more accurate as Paul McCartney, save for his right-handedness. His vocals were excellent and he had McCartney’s physical mannerisms and willingness to engage the audience on display as well. Tom Teeley showed off his guitar skill throughout the performance, saying as little as George Harrison did, and Doug Cox could have easily been mistaken for Ringo Starr, grinning and rocking his head back and forth as if he were having the time of his life, much as Ringo always seemed to project.

The show was split into several sections, each offset by a video that helped bridge the time: from the Beatles first arriving in the U.S. and appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, to the colossal Shea Stadium concert, to the psychedelic atmosphere of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to finally the later years of Abbey Road and Let It Be with more individuality and anti-war sentiments. I must admit, I gave a shout of excitement when the lights came up on Sgt. Pepper segment. There wasn't a great deal of difference from segment to segment, other than the use of lighting, costumes and backgrounds which often consisted of live video of the band playing tricked out with trippy special effects. The stage was sparse, with Cox playing his drums on a round platform raised above the heads of the guitarists. I counted only four amps on stage, three of them the small, easily portable sort that many local bands lug around. There was a piano for Irizarry off to one side and another where Chris Smallwood, “the fifth Rain cloud” for lack of a better title, provided various percussion and keyboard accompaniment. The lack of fancy stage dress and elaborate set helped to focus everything on the group, as it should be.

The set list was terrific, but of course there are so many excellent songs in the Beatles catalogue they could probably play an entirely different list and still not cover everything you’d hope to hear.  The show featured, in order:

She Loves You

Please Please Me

From Me To You

I Want To Hold Your Hand

A Hard Day’s Night

I’m Happy Just To Dance

Yesterday

Help

Day Tripper

Twist and Shout

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

With a Little Help From My Friends

Eleanor Rigby

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

When I’m Sixty-four

Sgt. Pepper (Reprise)

A Day In The Life

All You Need Is Love
Magical Mystery Tour

Strawberry Fields Forever

Blackbird

In My Life

Here Comes The Sun

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Come Together
Get Back

Revolution

The End
Give Peace A Chance

Let It Be

Hey Jude

Rain: a Tribute to the Beatles, is playing the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis November 15-16 before moving on to Louisville, Little Rock, Topeka, Broken Arrow, and Dallas, and then picking up again after the holidays in Florida. The show was a real treat for Beatles fans, and shouldn't be missed by anyone who enjoys rock and roll, young and old alike. Find out more by visiting www.raintribute.com and www.fabulousfox.com.

Grade: 
A