Saturday, January 24, 2015
I have to preface this by saying that my parents have possibly the best collective taste in music.
Thanks to my mother I was introduced to the Beatles, Elton John, and Tom Petty. Thanks to my father, I was introduced to Ray Charles, B.B. King, Lou Rawls, Roy Orbison, and even Kris Kristofferson (well, his song-writing, anyways). Thanks to both of them, my fiancee and I, her parents, my aunt, and my parents were at the Chevalier Theatre in Medford for the January 16th concert by the Beatles tribute band 1964.
What a good time!
The foursome that makes up the present day replica of Paul, John, George, and Ringo are fantastic. They sound like the Beatles. They play like the Beatles. They even joke and rag on each other like the Beatles. While it is true that the band has plenty of artists doing covers, there is only one that has been labelled the "best on Earth" by Rolling Stone.1 They are, in all sincerity, a living, breathing museum.
Having grown up with their music playing through my parents' (first) tape decks and (then) CD players, I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. And, having read The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek J. Tiwary and Andrew C. Robinson, I thrilled at how close the performance was to the vibe of the early days that was set out in the biography's pages. I can't imagine a better way to revisit the history of the band than pairing a read-through of the graphic novel with a ticket to 1964.
Throughout the entire evening, it was incredibly easy to forget the time and place. (Though it is true that every once in a while a flash went off that quite literally shed light on the present era and locale.) Multiple times I had to remind myself that I was still, in fact, watching a cover band and not the real thing. Between the banter and the set list - 1964 easily switching from the mega hits to the lesser-known ones - the entire performance had an air of authenticity.
If you find yourself confronted with the opportunity, please, step into this time machine. If you are too young to have experienced the British Invasion firsthand (like me), you will understand all of the intangibles about the early Rock and Roll movement that words and stories can't always deliver. If you lived the Beatles experience, then get ready for it all over again.
Til next time!