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A tribute concert to The Beatles

WORLD NEWS HARRISON-OBIT 1 KRT

(Courtesy MCT)

A top-notch musical quartet and a living historical tribute combined, RAIN is one of the most critically acclaimed Beatles cover bands.

With a total of 200 songs in their repertoire and an average show length of two and a half hours, RAIN both mimics the original Beatles concert-going experience and brings fans a new organic extension of the legendary band by performing songs never performed by the Beatles themselves.

Originally based in Los Angeles, RAIN rose to fame in 1979, when Dick Clark hired them to record the soundtrack for the made-for-television movie “Birth of the Beatles”, according to RAIN’s website. Ever since, RAIN has been performing in venues across the nation, wowing audiences with its simulation of the British pop sensation.

The musical experience of RAIN encompasses more than simple renditions of Beatles’ songs. Each RAIN band member has studied the original Beatles’ recordings intensively in order to be able to replicate the minute details of each number. RAIN’s set pieces include numbers from post-1966 albums such as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Abbey Road,” which were never done live by the Beatles themselves. In lieu of actual Beatles’ performances to imitate, RAIN has had to invent an original stage rendition of these fan favorites.

The RAIN band members have also worked to impersonate John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, with their accents, on-stage camaraderie and charisma. According to Mark Lewis, the off-stage keyboardist and creative mind behind the success of RAIN, this devotion to accuracy helps RAIN connect with audiences “who know the Beatles’ music subconsciously.”

Along with Mark Lewis and a number of other rotating tour performers, RAIN is made up of four regular performers of incredible talent. Steve Landes, who does vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, and harmonica, has a singing voice dead-on to the young John Lennon’s. Joey Curatolo does vocals, bass, piano, and guitar, and is among the greatest artists to portray Paul McCartney on stage. Guitar virtuoso Joe Bithorn plays George Harrison on vocals and guitar, and Ralph Castelli performs as Ringo Starr on drums, percussion, and vocals. All four of these musicians were experts at their instruments at an early age, playing in cover bands or in studio sessions by their mid-teens. Now, as experienced RAIN band members, these musicians bring together their considerable talents to bring the Beatles to life once more on stage.

In addition to the professionalism and quality of the performers’ musical and acting abilities, a multimedia aspect that includes historical footage and television commercials from the 1960s enhances every RAIN show.

Beatles enthusiasts, casual fans and curious newcomers to the legacy of the legendary Fab Four alike won’t want to miss RAIN, the show that’s more than a show, the tribute to end all tributes, coming to the Mullins Center tonight at 7:30. Find out more about student discounts for the show at www.mullinscenter.com.

Lindsay Orlov can be reached at lorlov@student.umass.edu.

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