This past Saturday was the anniversary of my mother’s death. She died two years ago at the age of 55. Throughout her life, she enjoyed preparing for holidays, cooking tasty meals and listening to music … specifically early era Beatles classics.
If my mother had been with me last night to witness RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles at the Walton Arts Center, she’d most certainly have been one of the hundreds of people standing, clapping and swaying their arms in the air. That’s because what you see and hear during a performance by RAIN sounds and looks so much like The Beatles that it’s hard not to get a chill or two down your spine, even if you missed the whole Beatlemania train.
The catalog of Beatles classics, costumes, stage sets, instruments and video footage that played on three separate screens between sets and during the actual performance are impressive enough to keep even the most modest Beatles fan captivated throughout most of the show.
Of course, there are a few understandably awkward moments which help bring you back to reality. For example, Joey Curatolo, who plays Paul McCartney does this strange switch from first to third person where one moment, he’s talking to the crowd in a British accent and you think he’s supposed to be Paul but then he starts talking about Paul and how great he was which is a little confusing.
But just as quickly as I was brought back to Earth, I found myself getting sucked back into the show because Curatolo looks and sounds so much like Paul McCartney that it’s difficult to hold the awkward moments against him.
It’s not just Curatolo, though. All four musicians are total badasses. They play Beatles songs as well as I could ever hope from anyone who attempts it and the fact that they resemble John, Paul, Ringo and George in voice and appearance make RAIN all the more enjoyable.
As a live music fan and musician who’s spent most of my time watching and playing music in nightclubs that cater to original material, I’ve heard my fair share of anti-cover band sentiments. And although it’s easy for me to agree with many of those sentiments due to my personal musical preferences, I can certainly give props to a tribute band that does its subject justice from beginning to end.
And while I can’t be a first-hand judge on the matter since I wasn’t even alive when the Beatles were playing, I’ll bet you if my mother was with me last night, she’d have told me that RAIN is as spot-on accurate as it gets. And I would’ve believed her. Because she’d have been standing, clapping and swaying her arms in the air when she said it.
Who could argue with that?
In full disclosure, RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles was presented by Walton Arts Center who is also a sponsor of the Fayetteville Flyer. Although my tickets were free, I can assure you my opinions are sincere. RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles runs through Sun, May 31, 2009 and tickets can be purchased at waltonartscenter.org.