Another shot at the Fab Four
September 24, 2009
A friend once told me she missed seeing The Beatles at Red Rocks in 1964 because her mother thought the $6.50 ticket price was outrageous. Since The Beatles didn’t do all that many live performances in the first place (and quit altogether in 1966), there are plenty of people out there who never got to see the Fab Four live for a variety of reasons. It’s all the more reason to embrace the higher-end tribute bands, one of which, “Rain,” is performing this week at the Denver Center.
At Tuesday night’s show, I brought my 16-year-old daughter, who looked about as much out of place among the silver-haired crowd as I did last month at the Pepsi Center’s Green Day concert. No matter, as it was all about mutual admiration for an iconic band as well as the desire to see and hear what they might’ve sounded like live.
Rain’s approach is simple: Start at the beginning (for the U.S., that’d be the appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1963) and work through “Abbey Road.” There’s even a performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” as one might suppose the band might do had they stuck together that long. Along the way, they change clothes and hair styles, pop on and off mustaches and beards and give a primer in how The Beatles’ music changed so quickly and memorably in such a short space of time. In addition to looking close enough to John, Paul, George and Ringo, the four members of Rain are all exceptional musicians who do a phenomenal job of rendering Beatles music accurately. At first, they stick pretty close to the “script,” but as they move into territory of songs the Beatles never performed live, they take some artistic license – adding fancier guitar riffs, more complex drumming and bass lines and more stylized production.
It makes for a fun evening that’s more concert than theater. If you’ve never seen The Beatles live – and even if you have – it’s worth the drive down to the Denver Center.