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Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles Invades Sarasota at the Van Wezel

| Vicky Sullivan |

There was a full house at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on the eve of the British Coronation for a night of iconic Beatles music! The Rain tribute is a trip down memory lane of the historic decade of the 60’s, and 1970, that saw so much change in the world and The Beatles.  It was a mix of Beatles octogenarians (McCartney is 80, Ringo 82), baby boomers who grew up listening to them and millennials who were raised listening to their parent’s music and maybe a few budding musicians who are learning the great catalog of the Beatles music.

Beatles Tribute

Opening the show with 1963’s “All My Loving” and “Please, Please Me”, dressed in the famous Beatles suits of the time and those mop-top haircuts, the Rain band gave the audience a high energy start. Next came 1964 and a “Hard Day’s Night”.  Screen graphics are creative from cartoons to psychedelics & lava lamps.  During a short costume change, a fun series of 60’s commercials were shown including Dippity-Do, Heinz Pickles and a Flintstones advertisement for Winston cigarettes that had the crowd laughing out loud. A great idea to keep the audience entertained. You can see The Flintstones ad on YouTube.  

Rain Tribute Concert

Nehru jackets and the famed Shea Stadium 1965 concert period included “I Feel Fine” and getting everyone out of their seats for “Twist & Shout”. The audience was a Beatle enthusiastic crowd wearing Abbey Road and various Beatle shirts.  There were several cuts from the 65’ “Rubber Soul” album including “Drive My Car” and “In My Life” which brought in a fifth band member on keyboards. After a 15-minute intermission, the band returned in the full colorful Sgt Pepper uniforms performing the title track and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. One of The Beatles’ great masterpieces “A Day In The Life” that included a superb light show accompanying the tune had the audience mesmerized.

Another costume change and video images of the Vietnam War along with songs of the time by Hendrix and Buffalo Springfield remind us of what was going on in the world at that time.  The band returns dressed in jeans for the Abbey Road/Rooftop portion of the show.  “Come Together”, the medley from Abbey Road’s side two. The nod to the famous Rooftop concert and the last time The Beatles played live together included “Get Back” and Lennon’s lead vocal on “Don’t Let Me Down”.  “Let It Be” from the album of the same and their last album was an emotional sing-along with the crowd. Rain received several ovations and came back for the encore with “Hey Jude”, a crowd pleaser!  

Rain tribute concert

Rain is a well-produced show. Keeping it authentic down to the Vox speakers and imitations of the Beatles voices, costuming and musicianship. It is an interesting way to see and hear how The Beatles’ music progressed over time.  The band are all Beatles fans and studied their music long before appearing in Rain.  Paul Curatolo plays his idol Paul McCartney; Alastar McNeil is George Harrison; Aaron Chiazza as Ringo on drums and Steve Landes who is also a creator of the show and was in “Beatlemania” stars as the late John Lennon.   Be sure to check out this show when it comes to your town, especially if you are a Fab Four fan! For tour dates and info Rain Tribute.

Vicky Sullivan Photos

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