Yesterday, a tribute to the Beatles
Yesterday, a tribute to the Beatles is billed as the world’s most authentic Beatles tribute band. Their act could more accurately be described as Beatles impersonators who play live Beatles covers.
Myself having been born after the break-up of the Beatles, seeing the real thing would have proven a bit difficult so checking out the world’s best Beatles tribute band had always been on my list of things to do.
Well, as luck would have it, I can finally scratch this one off my list. I had the pleasure of catching Yesterday, a tribute to the Beatles this new year’s day in Acapulco, Mexico. I had intended to see them up in Las Vegas and felt rather bad about missing the show last time so I was determined to not to miss them the next time we found ourselves in the same city at the same time.
Having caught wind of the show just hours before it began (yes those flyers people stick on lamp posts do work), we made a mad last minute dash to try to make it to the Mundo Imperial concert hall. After a trip around the bay in a taxi whose driver had a distinct talent for finding every last traffic jam the city had on offer, we arrived at the Mundo Imperial to find that tickets were still available. Though crowded, the show wasn’t especially close to being sold out either so we were able to get some good (but quite pricy) seats, center about 25 rows back.
We were late of course and walked in right in the middle of A Hard Day’s Night. The first thing that struck me was just how spot on the band was. They didn’t miss a note – I mean, the songs were note per note perfect. I was astonished by how good the songs sounded live. They really sounded good.
By the time they were nearing the end of the first set, I came around to the opinion that this was the best I’ve ever heard the Beatles sound (and it wasn’t even the real Beatles). They say getting a mint condition vinyl copy of a Beatles album in mono and playing it on a state-of-the-art system is the proper way to hear the Beatles, but hearing these songs live must be a close second. When they launched into Day Tripper, it was pure bliss. As you might have imagined, they did a great Yesterday.
When the music stopped, the crowd quickly discovered that the band not only sang and played Beatles songs like nothing else, but they acted the part pretty well too, complete with fake Liverpool accents and lovable rouge demeanor. It was a lot of fun and very reminiscent of the banter of the real Beatles we’ve all seen on recorded footage of their shows.
Yesterday’s voices were an excellent reproduction of the real thing too. The Paul sounded like Paul, the John sounded like John, and the Ringo – he did a great Ringo. The George could really play the hell out of a guitar. Even their body language, posture, everything was like the real Beatles….
Well, almost everything. Their faces were clearly not the Beatles faces and that took a bit of getting used to, but I guess we can’t really expect them to go out and get plastic surgery can we?
The show was divided into two parts. During the first hour the band reprised the early Beatles up to about 1966, complete with the classic Beatles suits and mop-top hairdos. After a fifteen-minute intermission, the group came back dressed in Sgt. Pepper garb complete with mustaches!
They launched into Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band then went directly into With a Little Help from My Friends. From there, they proceeded to play a pretty good mix of songs from the Beatles latter period including Hey Jude, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields Forever, Something, Yellow Submarine, Revolution, and Back in the USSR. Their rendition of A Day in the Life was a real stand out – a song whose arrangement is quite complex and not so easy to pull off live, but they did. Other than the fact that they could have tailored their costumes a bit better (John, I’m talking to you), they pulled it all off brilliantly.
They came back for an encore, did Twist and Shout, Can’t Buy Me Love and then at precisely the two hour mark it was over. The crowd definitely wanted more, I know I did.
Truth be told, I was a bit skeptical about the concept of a Beatles tribute band. The concept sort of smacks of an Elvis impersonators, Madame Tossaud's Wax Museum and other cheesy attractions that always seem to land in Las Vegas. However, there are a couple of major differences between Yesterday, a tribute to the Beatles and an Elvis impersonator. For one, these guys can really play. They are simply awesome musicians. Secondly, Beatles songs sound absolutely glorious performed live by someone that knows what they’re doing... and Yesterday most certainly does.
What a phenomenon the Beatles were. Nowadays, an artist with two or three decent songs can count on super-stardom. The Beatles recorded over two hundred outstanding songs over their 10-year career. I don’t think there will ever be anything like the Beatles again.
So, what to I have to say about Yesterday, a tribute to the Beatles? Good show, mates! A must see for any true-blue Beatles fan.