LIVE: “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles” @ the Palace Theatre, 2/23/11
Before I tell you my take on Rain, let’s rewind back to December – the first time I learned about the Beatles. I was sitting at my desk in music class. The day’s topic was the Beatles. I had heard about them before, listened to some of their music when my dad was playing it, but I didn’t know much about them. Our substitute teacher put some of their music on to play in the background while she talked about each of the Fab Four. She passed around albums, and by the time I left the classroom, I was in love with their music.
Now it’s time to fast forward to mid-January. My mom and I were sitting at home watching television. Mom switched to channel 11 (PBS). They were showing a clip of Rain performing “Hey Jude.” Then a man came on and started talking about Rain and how they would be at the Palace Theatre in February. A few days later, my dad was able to get us tickets – even though they were getting close to being sold out.
Now, it’s time to tell you a little about Rain, their performance, and my take on it:
The band is made up of five guys: Joey Curatolo (vocals, bass, guitar, piano) portrayed Paul McCartney; Joe Bithorn (vocals, lead guitar, guitar synthesizer) portrayed George Harrison; Ralph Castelli (vocals, drums, percussion) portrayed Ringo Starr; Steve Landes (vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica) portrayed John Lennon; and Mark Lewis (keyboards, percussion), who is the founding member of Rain.
Before the show began, Beatle trivia about the band, its music, and the members was projected on two screens on the right and left of the stage. Then the show began! On the screens, there were different clips of what happened in the ’60s, commercials from the ’60s, and then a clip of a guy dressed up as Ed Sullivan
came on, introduced Rain. They opened with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and were dressed as the early Beatles. The props, costumes, instruments and lights changed as they went from the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” all the way to “Abbey Road” and “Let It Be.” Rain sang songs like “Eleanor Rigby,” “Revolution” and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” ending the show with “Hey Jude.”
Throughout the show, they kept the audience engaged by having the people clap along or sing along. The costumes the band members wore were very good replicas and so were the instruments. The music sounded very good with a few minor vocal mistakes. The band members definitely looked the part of each of the Fab Four. In different songs, they used the two screens off the stage and behind them to tell the story of the song/give the feel of the song.
The one thing that made me a little confused was when the bass player played the bass left-handed and the guitar right-handed, but overall he did a great job. I was also upset that they didn’t play any songs from the albums “Help,” “The Early Beatles” and “Yellow Submarine.”
Overall, I enjoyed the whole performance. I recommend Beatle fans to go to see Rain because it will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time to when the Beatles were popular. But the Rain performances sell out very quickly.
Review by Allison G, Nippertown middle school student
Steve Barnes’ review at The Times Union