Beatles enthusiasts and music fans in general have a real treat in town right now. RAIN: A Tribute to The Beatles is running now through Sunday at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
I was able to catch opening night of this stunning show and walked away very pleased.
I would consider myself a Beatles fan, maybe not to the degree of some out there, but I think I am pretty savvy to the ways of the Fab Four. Some 46 years after they first hit the states and drove girls insane and parents crazy, their music continues to inspire and ignite people the world over.
Celebrity Attractions has brought in a show that is not to be missed. RAIN is more than just a tribute concert, it is more of a time machine on stage that takes you back to simpler times and gives you a virtual remember when of things gone bye.
As stated above, the debut series of RAIN: A Tribute to The Beatles has its run this week with shows at 7:30 pm each night and shows at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Saturday, April 3 and 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Sunday, April 4.
As the show begins it is a dazzling display of video imagery that transports all in attendance back to the early 1960’s. As the world began to change and youth began to come into its own. We see images of The Beatles (actually RAIN woven in) landing in New York in 1964 and see a fellow portraying Ed Sullivan give his famous introduction to the Lads from Liverpool. The curtain goes up and here are our heroes decked out in signature black suits, flanked by huge white arrows and drop down applause signs. It looks just like the history making debut of The Beatles to the US. “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” starts out our night of falling back in love with the music and showmanship that changed the way it was all done.
The show itself is a 4 part retrospective of the entire career starting with the early days and having short breaks to switch costumes and get set for the next mile marker in a remarkable career.
RAIN itself has taken great pride in playing the music of The Beatles, but unlike other Beatles tribute bands do not take on the names and persona of the Mop Tops so much as others do. This is a band that pays tribute to but doesn’t stand in the place of the original. Musicians Joey Curatolo, Joe Bithorn, Ralph Castelli and David Leon, with “a little help” from keyboardist Mark Beyer, do a more than commendable job of recreating the Fab Four’s classic songs.
While each performer is in his own right is a very gifted musician, it is easy to see that they have taken the time to learn many of the mannerisms of The Beatles, there are times that it does fall short. After all it isn’t John, Paul, George and Ringo. That being said, it is a very impressive recreation of one of the (if not the) best known groups in history.
It is an interesting ride to say the least to see what it might have been like had The Beatles not stopped touring in 1966. From the Sgt. Peppers days to Abbey Road it was purely studio. RAIN allows us to get a glimpse of some of those songs performed live.
It was a great opening night despite some off moments, David Leon, had a wardrobe malfunction as his mustache fell off during part of the set, as well as not having John’s constant chewing gum or stage presence.
Overall it was a well received and enjoyed evening of entertainment. You will not want to miss this opportunity to remember when.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
About the writer:
Ernie Osborn is a California transplant that has been around the music business much of his life. He has been in bands and currently plays guitar and sings when called upon to do so. He also writes articles in the Tulsa Speaks section entitled, “Whatever Happened To…” check it out.