LIVE: “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles” @ the Palace Theatre, 2/23/11

Before I tell you my take on Rain, let’s rewind back to December – the first time I learned about the Beatles. I was sitting at my desk in music class. The day’s topic was the Beatles. I had heard about them before, listened to some of their music when my dad was playing it, but I didn’t know much about them. Our substitute teacher put some of their music on to play in the background while she talked about each of the Fab Four. She passed around albums, and by the time I left the classroom, I was in love with their music.

Now it’s time to fast forward to mid-January. My mom and I were sitting at home watching television. Mom switched to channel 11 (PBS). They were showing a clip of Rain performing “Hey Jude.” Then a man came on and started talking about Rain and how they would be at the Palace Theatre in February. A few days later, my dad was able to get us tickets – even though they were getting close to being sold out.

Now, it’s time to tell you a little about Rain, their performance, and my take on it:

The band is made up of five guys: Joey Curatolo (vocals, bass, guitar, piano) portrayed Paul McCartney; Joe Bithorn (vocals, lead guitar, guitar synthesizer) portrayed George Harrison; Ralph Castelli (vocals, drums, percussion) portrayed Ringo Starr; Steve Landes (vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica) portrayed John Lennon; and Mark Lewis (keyboards, percussion), who is the founding member of Rain.

Before the show began, Beatle trivia about the band, its music, and the members was projected on two screens on the right and left of the stage. Then the show began! On the screens, there were different clips of what happened in the ’60s, commercials from the ’60s, and then a clip of a guy dressed up as Ed Sullivan
came on, introduced Rain. They opened with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and were dressed as the early Beatles. The props, costumes, instruments and lights changed as they went from the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” all the way to “Abbey Road” and “Let It Be.” Rain sang songs like “Eleanor Rigby,” “Revolution” and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” ending the show with “Hey Jude.”

Throughout the show, they kept the audience engaged by having the people clap along or sing along. The costumes the band members wore were very good replicas and so were the instruments. The music sounded very good with a few minor vocal mistakes. The band members definitely looked the part of each of the Fab Four. In different songs, they used the two screens off the stage and behind them to tell the story of the song/give the feel of the song.

The one thing that made me a little confused was when the bass player played the bass left-handed and the guitar right-handed, but overall he did a great job. I was also upset that they didn’t play any songs from the albums “Help,” “The Early Beatles” and “Yellow Submarine.”

Overall, I enjoyed the whole performance. I recommend Beatle fans to go to see Rain because it will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time to when the Beatles were popular. But the Rain performances sell out very quickly.

Review by Allison G, Nippertown middle school student

Steve Barnes’ review at The Times Union

  1. amelia barbro says

    Very informative and interesting. Congrats considering this article was written by a middle school student. A career choice for her for sure!

  2. J Hunter says

    Good column, and more proof that the Beatles’ music transcends decades and generations. A good friend of mine discovered them when he was about Allison’s age. It’s over ten years later, and bands he’s liked have come and gone, but the Beatles are still right there as both a preference and an influence.

  3. Benjamin Gregory says

    good job

  4. CjMaybee says

    Sorry to ‘Rain’ on your parade but the musicians at the performance were more than likely
    Mac Ruffing as Paul
    Jim Irrizary as John
    Jimmy Pou as George
    Doug Cox as Ringo
    Chris Smallwood as the 5th beatle
    -the cast of Joey, Steve, Joe, Ralph are on Broadway
    -Mark Lewis retired to focus on band management
    -Joey plays bass and guitar right handed, not left
    -as for no Help and Yellow Submarine album, they usually play “Eleanor Rigby” (yellow submarine) before intermission, “I’ve Just Seen A Face” (help) after intermission, an album called Early Beatles? Well there was no released album by that title by Capitol Records or Apple Corps.

    I am sorry if you are offended by this posting/response. Over all, a very good write up for someone your age, you will do wonders in highschool and college writing 🙂
    ~cjmaybee, 12th grade

  5. Greg says
  6. CjMaybee says

    RE: Early Beatles, ah I see now, more widely known as Please Please Me, and they do perform a song from that album, “Twist & Shout”…
    Thanks for the correction.

  7. Andrzej Pilarczyk says

    Super! I didn’t expect an early teenager would write this but it scared me once I read it- it’s that good and from someone so young! Kudos to you Andy- you sure know how to raise em right with arts, culture and music as the cornerstone to a well rounded life! Again-Super! Hell, if I have kids, I would wish what you have!

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