Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I Can't Believe It's Not Beatles!

Emily and I went to see a Beatles tribute band today at the B.B. King blues club in Manhattan.

Um... yeah, aren't tribute bands supposed to kind of suck?, At their best they're supposed to be middling imitations of the original that only serve to remind you of how much better the real band was. At their very worst, at least in the Beatles' case, they just call themselves Oasis and act like complete assholes for a decade. Apparently, these tenents are not as steadfast as I would've liked to believe. These guys, Strawberry Fields by name, fucking rocked. HARD. Harder than most of the ironicly-mustached, shaggy-bedheaded, vintage-t-shirt-wearing, Brooklyn-spawned bands whose members can barely shake off their Special K addictions long enough to grind out a power chord that could get the audiances gaze off of their shoes and their hands in the air. And, to kick a hipster when he's down, these guys were my father's age! Middle age men in mop-top wigs are showing up the "scene" in midtown and I couldn't be more pleased with myself for having witnessed it. Now, yes, there were the Beatles cover-band prerequistes... they wore the assorted, era-specific costumes and they attempted the Liverpool accent with varying degrees of success and, okay, it was just a tad cheesy. Also, the band members didn't... eh... exactly look like their respective Beatle counterparts; hell, the drummer looked more like Keith Richards than Ringo. But none of that matters; it's the candy roses on a declicious cake that can and should be easily overlooked. They sounded like The Beatles. And I mean, exactly like them. The guy playing the Paul part was, WAS, Paul. Freakily so. A one-legged model and a smug satisfaction about veganism were the only missing pieces. They tore through a two-hour set of the big hits and, shockingly, a few of the slightly more obscure tunes that other bands attempting the same feats of mimicry wouldn't go near. Find me another Beatles tribute act that does "I am the Walrus" and "I'll Get You." I can almost guarantee you your failure, but that's okay. I still appreciate you trying. Anyway, I can't remember the last time I was at a concert that had real, non-drug-induced joy fairly sloshing about up to our ears. From the boomers who are required at these sort of things, to the trying-to-act-bored-but-failing teens, to the little kids who danced and wiggled with unrestrained glee... everyone was having a good time. The whole event was proof positive that The Beatles will never go out of style, will never fade from the muscial conciousness, will never be less than the most influential band out there in the pop culture ephemera. With bands like Strawberry Fields keeping the torch of The Beatles legacy alight with the high-octane gasoline of their raw, raucous talent, that is a certainty carved in stone and laid in concrete.

So there you go. I'm going to be snotty about something next entry, I promise.

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