Three Rivers Commercial News | Samantha May, Staff Writer
THREE RIVERS – The Rolling Stones Magazine called 1964 The Tribute the “best Beatles tribute on the Earth,” and they are bringing their magic to the Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers on Saturday, July 29.
Founding member of the band, Mark Benson, said the band only plays music from the Beatles and any song the Beatles have covered previously, such as songs from Chuck Berry.
He said the band never thought playing Beatles songs would turn into a full-time job, but now, they are entering their 34th year of performing.
“Initially we just did clubs, an oldies party, or a reunion, or something like that. We didn’t really have this vision. We didn’t think that ‘oh this will lead to this, which will lead to this,’ nothing like that,” Benson said.
“We just thought this would be fun to do while we were writing songs. And by the second year, it was full-time because we hit huge in the college market.”
He said he was shocked to see the type of crowd that comes to their shows. He thought it would be the “baby-boomer generation,” but the crowds proved him wrong with fans of all ages, “from toddlers to grandparents.”
“Well we were surprised, we always thought this was going to be a baby-boomer thing, with the people who grew up with the Beatles and such,” Benson said.
“It has proven itself to be a show that there is no particular age group that doesn’t attend. From toddler to grandparents, it is amazing. Somtimes you look out and see three generations of a family together, it is a really good family show.”
Benson said fans should feel free to “bring everybody”. He said he once saw a granddad and his seven-year-old grandson in the front row of one of the band’s shows. The granddad came up to Benson after the show, thanked him and said, “you could never have told me that something I grew up with would make me bond with my grandson like this.”
“That is the kind of stuff we see. I think it is very important, this music has proven itself to be something that unites everyone. It draws everybody together,” Benson said.
Benson said the Beatles only toured for the brief period of time and back then, they sang on ” little speakers on these poles that they would announce baseball games on,” so they were hard to hear. Benson said he thinks that issue is one reason the band stopped touring.
He said the band’s goal is to reenact an actual Beatles show you’d see back in the 60s. The band members impersonate and perform as a character with the black “Beatles-style” wigs with similar guitars and equipment used by the Beatles themselves.
“We want to show people what it is like to see them in concert. This is what you would’ve seen if you were lucky enough to see the Beatles,” Benson said.
Although Benson said he could not pick a favorite song to perform because “you can’t lose with any of them” but he said a few songs have to be played every show, such as “Twist and Shout”, “I want to Hold your Hand”, and “She Loves You”.