RAIN: A Cover Band and Their Tribute to The Beatles
Seeing The Beatles perform is something any lover of music would like to cross off their bucket list. However, this is not possible. One can see a Beatle perform today, via Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr, but the Fab Four will never again be united. There is something that might possibly suffice for one’s desire of Beatlemania. RAIN – A Tribute to The Beatles is the closest we can get to a reenactment of how it was to experience The Beatles on their journey to define rock and roll.
On May 14, RAIN made a stop at the San Diego Civic Theatre. The performance, being held in a theater, was not a concert. It was a theatrical show. RAIN’s main focus is to deliver a note-for-note performance to Beatle fans. They attempted to embody the talents of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. This was an impossible task. The Beatles as a collective were the four most talented musicians of their time. Recreating their genius work is a task that is unachievable for the common man.
This being said, for the past two decades RAIN has been attempting to accomplish this ultimate goal. The show begins with a video screen showing The Beatles arriving to the United States for their first tour back in 1964. The screen goes dark and RAIN began playing the same set The Beatles once did on the Ed Sullivan Show in black and white suits, pre-LSD days. They then moved into a recreation of the famous Shea Stadium performance that drew a crowd of 56,000 people. These two sets were unimpressive. The songs were mediocre covers and lacked the boyish harmonies that made The Beatles a household name.
The third set was the Sgt. Pepper era, portraying the transformation of The Beatles, with the video screen showing hippies on LSD. The crowd got a huge kick out of this, since the majority of the crowd were over 50 years old and lived through the ‘flower power’ days. Musically, the songs were recreated substantially better than the previous sets, with “When I’m 64” being a highlight.
A quick intermission was taken after the Sgt. Pepper set, and the show started back up with RAIN imitating the long-haired hippie look of The Beatles. “I Am the Walrus” was performed better than any other cover band could have performed it. The John Lennon character’s voice was a dead on hit. This was his highlight song of the night.
Abbey Road was the final set that was performed, with RAIN playing “The End” to signify the show’s conclusion. Of course, there was an encore with “Let It Be,” and the crowd sing-along, “Hey Jude.”
The trick of this performance as an audience member is to throw out all preconceived notions of what you expect to see. You are not seeing The Beatles and will never experience that luxury. You can see Paul McCartney on his solo tour, which, by the way, is life changing. But this performance by RAIN has to be taken for what it is: a theatrical show. If you are able to let go of your desires to see a Beatles concert, and settle for a reenactment, submitting to this fake spiritual journey, then the overall experience is quite enjoyable. Although they are not The Beatles, RAIN reminds us of the music we all grew up on and hold dear to our hearts.