Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Fab Four revisited

Friends, it's unusual for me to post on two consecutive days, but I wanted to share a great experience my wife and I had last night.

As a wonderful Christmas present, my kids went together and purchased two tickets to the Lexington appearance of a touring production of "Rain:  A Beatles Tribute," along with a generous gift card for a nice restaurant.  Ready-made date night!

A little background here:  I will be 55 years old in July, so I was a kid when the Beatles were big.  Knew who they were, knew some of the songs, watched the Saturday morning cartoon show, etc.  I think I was about 10 when they broke up.  But in early adulthood I had the chance to listen to some of their recordings (not just what you'd hear on the radio) and was really hooked.  A friend of mine had half-speed mastered British import LPs (records) of all of their catalog, and loaned them to me so that I could listen and make recordings.

Wow!

Time passed, and as I no longer had a cassette deck in the house or either of the cars, I migrated to CDs of the same albums.  And I listen to them frequently when traveling.  In fact, one of my larger gripes with SiriusXM satellite radio is the absence of a Beatles channel, but I have a feeling that's because of rights issues and such.

Anyway, "Rain" was supposed to perform in Lexington on February 17, but was postponed due to heavy snow and unsafe weather conditions until last night.  So off we went, first for an early dinner and then to the Lexington Opera House, which was originally a movie theater ("movie house" was the term my parents used for these opulent, one of a kind venues) but now hosts live performances of various types.  I hadn't been in that building since our daughter was in high school, but that's a story for another time.

We made our way downtown and found a place to park a couple of blocks up the street.  Entered the Opera House and found that we had seats on the ninth row at floor level.  The theater has two balcony levels but I was really pleased to see where we were in relation to the stage.  The performers came on stage about five minutes after the listed starting time, preceded by a video presentation of clips of historical items from the Beatles era.  By design, the performers all looked and sounded like the Beatles, at least passably so, as all could play and sing pretty well.  Costuming, musical instruments, all of it spot on.  And the announcements before the show made a point of saying that none of what we were about to see or hear was pre-recorded, which makes it even more impressive!

Two and a half-hour show, with a brief intermission, an audience spanning four generations, and all of us on our feet at the end singing the "na-na-na" parts of "Hey Jude."  What a great show!

I looked them up online and found that there are apparently two groups of performers who tour and alternate.  This show has also been on Broadway at some point.

One more note--I want to make special mention of the young man who performed at Paul McCartney.  If I have read the group's information correctly, his father has worked for many years performing the same "role."  The son, who is named Paul, and probably not accidentally, has gone to the extreme of learning to play the bass guitar LEFT-HANDED.  I didn't really think anything of this until he was playing an acoustic guitar on "Yesterday" and some other songs that require some intricate playing and doing so right-handed.  Impressive.

Naturally, as I write this, I'm listening to the Beatles compilation album "Love."

Thought you might be interested.  From the "Rain" website, it looks like the current tour will end over the weekend in Chicago.  But I heartily recommend it if you have the chance and the inclination to see and experience this wonderful show!

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