(photo: Pre-show at Orleans with Davis Square riff-raff Tom & Dawnie.)
It's hard not to get fired up for a night out these days, but when the night out involves anything remotely connected to the Beatles, things tend to get a bit bashy. It's a niche joy - like Beatlejuice at Johnny D's, "Breakfast with the Beatles" on Saturday mornings, or wine-fueled sing-a-longs in LP's kitchen. And Beatlemania at the Somerville Theatre on Saturday night fit such niche.
When I first caught this tribute show back in 1987, my friends and I were the youngest people there. Now, 19 years later it was refreshing to note we were still the youngest people in the house. It was a little botox for the soul for us, the oldest people at The Dise.
There was a different vibe to this show, however. It was less loungey, more Star Trek Conventionish with an audience comprised of burnouts and gray-haired hippies shouting out requests at inappropriate moments.
Also, a local group home wheeled in about 10 wheelchair-bound patients and parked them directly in front of the stage, which unfortunately for them, was about as fun as sitting in the first row at the movies. They all looked bullshit. Sitting to my right was Mark, who had an unexpectedly high-pitched voice, sort of like Gil Onwochei from WSC (pow!) minus the bling and jheri curl. He smelled like dry cleaning chemicals.
The band played three sets: 1) Moptop era with songs from Meet the Beatles through Revolver. 2) The Sgt. Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour acid trip phase with the flashy homoerotic duds, and 3) Abbey Road/Let it Be where they all look like different versions of Charles Manson.
As a rule, the band sticks very closely to the script, but that did not stop one gravelly-voiced homeless woman from screaming out "Hey Jude" after every song.
The band ended up playing the song as an encore, right after the lady left the building. Still, while the ambiance was a little rough around the edges, the music was like butter. Huge Highlight: Gorgeous rendition of "It's Only Love," which is one of my all-time favorite Beatles tunes, and "I am the Walrus," which sent my seat-neighbor Mark into a chair frenzy.
<< The dude who played George Harrison flashed his googly-eyed pervy mug at the ladies all night long.