While most cover bands perform the music of the artist or group to whom they’re paying tribute, a select few will walk out onstage in character and never break it. Because: A Tribute to The Beatles is one of those bands. During their Aug. 24 show at Paradise Performing Arts Center, for the entire two-hour set, audience members were treated to seeing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison onstage performing all the classics. Of course, the four men never pressured the audience to believe they were, indeed, the “Fab Four”; they just went to the stage, called each other by their Beatles name during song breaks, and had a lot of fun playing the hits.
The four men are Jeremy O’Dell as lead singer John Lennon; Zack Sawchuck as George Harrison; Scott Rodell as Paul McCartney; and Adrian Bourgeois as Ringo Starr. All four were children when they first heard and fell in love with The Beatles, and their passion for the music clearly showed.
The concert started in the “Ed Sullivan Show” era with an introduction from Mr. Sullivan over the auditorium speakers. He told the audience that they were “encouraged” to record the show and throw it up on YouTube, even though he didn’t know what “a YouTube is.” The band then went into “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” They followed it with “From Me to You” and “All My Loving.”
As the band was performing, a screen in the background presented black and white footage of audience members from the “Ed Sullivan Show” performances. As the night progressed, this screen also showed some color footage from other concerts.
There were several occasions where the band called for audience participation, including “Eight Days a Week.” After the band told the audience its cue, the audience kept singing the song.
“We knew that was going to happen,” John said.
Another song in which the audience was asked to participate was “Twist and Shout.” The band asked everyone to stand up and dance, and that’s when members from the Paradise Dancers made their way to the open area in front of the stage.
After a few other songs from the “Ed Sullivan” set, including “Hard Day’s Night”; “Help”; and “Can’t Buy Me Love,” three of the members ran backstage to “grow mustaches and put some weird clothes on” to prepare for the “Sgt. Pepper” era of The Beatles. Lennon stayed onstage to perform “You Gotta Hide Your Love Away.”
Lennon disappeared, and Ringo, Paul, and George reappeared in their funky getups. Lennon came back shortly after to join the others in performing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”; “Magical Mystery Tour”; “Got to Get You Into My Life”; “Yellow Submarine”; and “Lucky Man.”
Not only did Because cover the various eras of The Beatles, but they also threw John Lennon’s solo smash, “Imagine,” into the mix. There was a moment where John was talking to George and Ringo about how they released some pretty good solo songs.
“Well, George did, at least,” John joked.
During the final segment, the “Abbey Road”/“Let It Be” era, John mentioned how many spots of Northern California have been plagued with wildfires and smoke, and he was hoping the next song to be performed would “maybe make it go away.” That song was “Here Comes the Sun.”
Because finished their set for the evening and departed from the stage. But they weren’t officially done, and the crowd wanted more. They came back for an encore with “Hey Jude.”
The band’s next stop will be on Sept. 7 at Yuba College in Marysville. Click here for more information.