LIVE: Hey Jude…The Tribute @ Guilderland Performing Arts Center, 7/1/13

Hey Jude: The Tribute @ GPAC (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Review and photographs by Stanley Johnson

The advance advertising and the sign out in front of Tawasentha Park on the road into the Guilderland Performing Arts Center promised the Beatles tribute duo, Imagining Lennon and McCartney. But the stage set-up displayed three microphones and a whole lot of vintage Beatle gear. (Fab gear, sorry.)

Having seen more Beatles tributes than I care to remember, I was particularly intrigued to check out the merchandise table which offered t-shirts and CDs by Rick Bedrosian of Hair of the Dog, who I had seen a few weeks ago.

The duo concept had been expanded into Hey Jude…The Tribute, a full band, with Tom Raider as John, Brad Jarvis as Paul, Rick Bedrosian as George and Brad’s son Taylor Jarvis as Billy Preston (a young, blonde Billy,) who was filling in for keyboardist Rich Coogan, who, along with Don Ackerman as Ringo, were absent this evening.

But the drummer-less version was more than adequate, highlighting the vocal and instrumental recreations and allowing the constant singing of audience members to fill in the sound.

The quartet performed two sets, with costumes first from the early Beatles period and then from the mid-sixties, Shea-stadium-era tour. The music in the first set covered tunes from the albums Please Please Me through A Hard Day’s Night, while the second set covered Help through Rubber Soul.

Best of all, they were faithful to the recorded songs, playing on instruments that were the same as the orginals used, and the stage banter was mostly funny and reflective of what I’ve heard on many live recordings of the Beatles.

The band finished with a bold, semi-acoustic move – “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” and “Yesterday,” which worked because of the audience singing along. The logical finish, “Hey Jude,” was the only song out of the chronological order that evening, but it was the perfect choice to finish the sing-a-long. The encore? “Twist and Shout,” with more audience participation.

The full band version of Hey Jude…The Tribute is scheduled to perform at 7pm on Thursday (July 18) at Dutchman’s Landing in Catskill; at 6:30pm on Thursday, July 25 at the Melrose Town Hall Gazebo; and at the Strand Theatre in Plattsburgh at 7pm on Thursday, September 12.

Hey Jude: The Tribute @ GPAC (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Snappy footwear
Snappy footwear
  1. Mike Johnson says

    Nice Stan. Wish I had gone with you as we have seen at least twenty Beatle ( fav four, sorry Yoko ) bands together including some Paul and Ringo shows. I believe Brad Jarvis is somebody we have seen perform with his band Rip Roc Bop, a few times before. I think they were Metroland band of the year, a couple years running back in the eighties. I have there records, given to me by my best buddy, the late John Baker, who was Brad’s drummer for some years. Rip Roc Bop, evolved into Inky Salad. We should go to more shows together brother. Oh, so they Pauled Brad with a lefty bass. He was a lefty Rickenbacker six string player back in the day. Did he play any six string at that show ? Paul was/is a gifted six string player, turned bass player. Hahaha.

  2. Stanley Johnson says

    Yes, he played acoustic guitar on Yesterday. The three-part harmony on This Boy was outstanding, as was the band’s take on In My Life. It would be interesting to see if they get into the psychedelic and Get Back years in a longer show. Maybe we’ll see you at the Grand Slambovians at Riverlink on Saturday or Bob Dylan/Wilco/My Morning Jacket/Ryan Bingham at SPAC on Sunday.

  3. Rich says

    Being a huge Beatle fan (who isn’t really?) I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Even though Ringo couldn’t make the show, the stripped down and for the most part beatless renditions were spot on. I have previously seen the full band show and enjoy the music as eel as the period clothes and instruments. The GPAC is a wonderful venue to see a show on a warm summer evening. Oh, by the way, te show was on 7/11/13 and not 7/1…..

  4. Stanley Johnson says

    Good catch on the date. It was the same night as the Rolling Stones Tribute at Alive at 5. For me, Beatles usually trump Stones, but with ticket prices for this year’s McCartney & Stones tours halfway to the moon, a good tribute band may be the best I’ll see of either. First time I saw the Stones in 1972 at Madison Square Garden, ticket prices were six dollars and fifty cents and to this day it remains the best concert I’ve ever seen.

  5. tom jones tribute says

    Great to see a high quality tribute band at work! Their instruments, costume and overall presentation speak volumes for just how good this group really are.
    As a fellow tribute artist,it’s great to see a superb outfit like this helping to keep live entertainment in the public eye.
    Best regards to ‘Hey Jude…The Tribute’.

    Ian Anthony – UK based Tom Jones Tribute Artist.

  6. Blotto Tribute says

    We second that.

Comments are closed.