Rain: The Beatles Experience | 04.12.07

As Rain ended the concert with a couple monster songs, "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude," one thing was surprisingly clear: the messages found in the Beatles' music are still as meaningful—and important—as they were when they were first written. Peace is possible; we just need to give it a chance.

 

The Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis

Fox Concerts, KLOU 103.3, and KETC/Channel 9 recently welcomed Rain: The Beatles Experience to the stage of the Fabulous Fox Theatre. The tribute group mainly consists of four men who each take on one of the legendary lads from Liverpool. While it is clear that there was a fifth member of Rain on backing keyboards, the focus is on the four boys.

Kicking off the show with the Beatles' performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, it was clear from the first note that these boys have done their homework. Their sound was crisp and clean allowing the music sound like a carbon copy of the original. Dressed in all black and sporting the group's mop top look, Rain ripped through 11 of the Beatles chart-topping hits. Some of the standout songs included "I Saw Her Standing There," "Day Tripper," and "Twist and Shout," with each performance giving the audience enough reason to stand up to twist and shout. Luckily for St. Louis, this wouldn't be the last time they would get the chance to dance.

After a short break complete with commercials from the era, including a smoking Fred Flintstone—who knew Fred and Barney preferred Winstons?—Rain returned decked out in their best Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band outfits. Had I been alive during this era, this would have been the music that caught my ear. Songs like "A Little Help From My Friends," "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," and "I Am the Walrus" are all so deliciously simple yet complicated at the same time. Rain turned in a damn near flawless performance, giving each tune a healthy dose of energy and emotion. That is the thing that separates Rain from other tribute bands: these boys have an overabundance of passion that is undeniable on stage. Additionally, unlike other tribute bands I have reviewed, the boys in Rain actually seem to enjoy playing music with one another.

After a 25 (!) minute intermission, I was concerned that the energy created in the first act might have dissipated. Thankfully, the second set was chock full of some pretty impressive musical gems. Sharp renditions of "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Here Comes the Sun," and "Across the Universe" gave the crowd enough groovy vibrations to get them back into the swing of things. The highlight of the third portion of the concert was a very emotional performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Joe Bithorn—who was portraying George Harrison—gave the crowd a little something extra with his sensational guitar performance; it was truly breathtaking.

The fourth and final segment of the Beatles' homage dealt with some of the Fab 4's more political songs. As the melodies of "Revolution," "Give Peace a Chance," and the highlight of the entire evening, "Imagine" filled the concert hall, my faith in my fellow Missourians was restored as the majority of the crowd cheered and hollered whenever the words "peace" and "no war" scrolled across the giant monitors. It made me realize that St. Louis may not be as Republican as I once suspected. As Rain ended the concert with a couple monster songs, "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude," one thing was surprisingly clear: the messages found in the Beatles' music are still as meaningful—and important—as they were when they were first written. Peace is possible; we just need to give it a chance.

As far as Rain is concerned, it didn't matter they didn't look exactly like the men they were portraying. The music—not the image—is what was important. As I looked over my notes to find something I critiqued them, on I found nothing. Their musical ability was outstanding, their passion amazing. Everything in the show worked, from the presentation to the audience participation. Rain prides themselves on giving the ultimate Beatles experience, and on all fronts they succeeded. I may not have been alive when the Beatles toured the world, but thanks to Rain, I got to steal a glimpse of what Beatlemania was all about. This was one of those rare concerts that I didn't want to end—even after the group played 30-plus Beatles hits, I still wanted more. It is apparent that Rain may "reign" as the quintessential Beatles tribute band for many years to come. | Jim Campbell

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