Beatles, Stones tributes to ring in 2010
December 29, 2009
The start of a new decade marks more than 45 years since the Beatles and the Rolling Stones landed on the music scene. And although digitally remastered albums and special collections are continually reviving their legacies, there’s nothing quite like seeing the magic recreated on stage.
That’s why The Egyptian Theatre is kicking off 2010 with four nights of performances by two tribute
bands, "Imagine: Remembering the Fab Four" and "Satisfaction: A Rolling Stones Experience."
‘Come Together’ with the Fab Four
Imagine, a group comprised of Tom Coburn as John Lennon, Richard Fazzi as Paul McCartney, Brad Armstrong as George Harrison and Daniel "Dango" Burt as Ringo Starr, will take the stage Friday and Saturday, Jan. 1-2, at 8 p.m.
The four lads – three of whom live in Salt Lake City – have performed more than 900 shows across the United States and abroad. "We’ve performed for audiences from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, China," says Coburn, a founding cast member.
In 1993, he and two other self-proclaimed Beatle-maniacs were playing classic rock ‘n’ roll at Utah bars. "We were covering five to 10 Beatles songs in our bar acts, and we went to see this national touring tribute band and said, ‘You know what? We can absolutely do that,’ says Coburn. "So we shut down the bar band and started pretty intense rehearsals to put this thing together."
Once the group had their act together, they went out and did a few shows. "We thought we were really good, but we realized we had a lot more homework to do," Coburn says. They continued rehearsing and refining their personas, and they’ve been performing ever since. "We’re not spring chickens by any stretch of the imagination, but playing the Beatles keeps us young, there’s no doubt," he adds.
Imagine’s resume includes performing at the Nokia Sugar Bowl half-time show, playing the first-ever show at the Usana Amphitheater in West Valley City, and sharing the stage with the likes of The Beach Boys, Chicago and The Temptations.
Coburn says the stage show incorporates several costume changes and about 35 songs from the Beatles’ entire catalog. The first half of the show draws from the early Beatle-mania years, and the second half focuses on songs from the Sgt. Pepper era, with each of the members playing multiple instruments.
Coburn encourages fans of all ages to come relive the Beatles’ music first-hand. "It’s a very family-oriented show," he says.
(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction?
Satisfaction, a full-time touring show that has been in production since 2001, will perform at the Egyptian Theatre Thursday and Friday, Jan. 7-8, at 8 p.m. The group has played more than 1,500 shows and has garnered a reputation as one of the most authentic Stones tribute bands in the U.S.
Chris LeGrand, the executive producer of the show and cast member in the role of Mick Jagger, founded Satisfaction as a way to bring the music of the Rolling Stones to the masses.
Although the group has gone through several cast changes since its inception, the current cast has been together for about three years and has struck a chord with audiences nationwide. "The people have spoken," LeGrand says. "We more or less let the credentials of what’s been bestowed upon us speak for itself."
Among the group’s credentials are an extended run with the Las Vegas production "Legends in Concert" in 2006 and promotional work for "Shine a Light," a documentary film about the Rolling Stones produced by Martin Scorsese.
The current cast members are based in different cities across the eastern half of the country, but their performances bring them together for about 125 to 150 shows per year. The show at the Egyptian Theatre will mark their first performance in Utah.
What makes Satisfaction unique, says LeGrand, is "time and dedication to their craft." "That, along with paying close attention to detail, makes the show very authentic," he says. Costuming, hairstyles and makeup transform the cast members into realistic incarnations of the original band members.
When he takes the stage in full Mick Jagger regalia, LeGrand says it’s easy to embrace the legend’s persona. "You just kind of get yourself psyched up for the lights to go down and, you know, here we go: lights, cameras, action," he says.
During a typical show, the group performs between 18 and 26 songs, drawing from a repertoire of more than 60 Stones recordings. LeGrand says they always perform
the bestsellers and fan favorites, but also tailor the set list to specific audiences. "We keep it fresh and mix it up," he says.
The show appeals to casual and die-hard fans, as well as everyone in between. "Everybody can expect a real colorful, theatrical, energetic performance with some great songs," LeGrand says. "It’s very entertaining and the songs are very familiar. I think people will be in for a great time."
Individual tickets for each show are $18 in advance, $20 at the door and $25 for cabaret seating and are available at http://www.parkcityshows.com . Package prices are $30 for the two shows and may only be purchased by calling The Egyptian Theatre at (435) 649-9371. For more information about Imagine, visit http://www.imaginefabfour.com . For more information on Satisfaction, visit their website at http://www.rollingstoneshow.com .