The Fab Four came for the faithful, and serenaded the Paramount in Huntington, NY with a two set, 22 song multimedia production on February 20th. After an onscreen Beatles Quiz kept the fans guessing, the group took the stage and broke into “From Me To You.” Donning the style of suits that the Beatles made famous in A Hard Day’s Night, the game was afoot. No technology besides live onstage playing provided a soundtrack as close to the originals as a fan can find. If the blind could be fooled by the sound, the deaf would find a similar experience with the visual display. The costumes, screens, and band looked the part, and satiated the senses.
‘Ed Sullivan’ was the host of this evening, and had been played previously for seventeen years by Jerome Hoban who toured with the band. Hoban recently passed away, and the affection that the group held for him was displayed in their rendition of “In My Life,” which was dedicated to him. A touching video display of Jeremy was screened as the song played. It was Hoban who played Ed Sullivan in Pulp Fiction, announcing John Travolta and Uma Thurman as they danced the Twist to Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.”
The evening continued with “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “I Should Have Known Better” (including an audience sing-a-long), and a jaunty “Eight Days A Week.” “Help!” began with the orchestration from the film’s soundtrack, as the audience traveled back to a more innocent point in our nation’s consciousness. The Beatles had moved from a black and white film to a colorized one, and a similar effect was about to transcend into their songwriting. For the moment, the first half closed with hints of some salty ‘pre-Pepper’ numbers in “Day Tripper” and “Twist and Shout.”
The band re-emerged in full Sgt. Pepper regalia which was stunningly accurate, and hard to peel your eyes from. The cloth glowed pastel, and made you think that the threads went electric. Both halves of the breakthrough album’s title track were offered, as was “With A Little Help From My Friends,” with ‘Ringo’ taking the spotlight. ‘John’ walked us on a tour through “Strawberry Fields,” and Paul even stepped in to share the drums in a rousing duet with ‘Ringo’. A powerful “A Day in the Life” rose the audience to their feet, and offered a glimpse of what the latter-half Beatle songs might have sounded like live. The group had retreated from public performance by the release of ‘Pepper’, for the sake of safety and their sanity relegated playing to the studio.
‘George’s’ “Let It Be” persona was so accurate that I checked how close I was to the edge of the Apple roof. A splendid acoustic medley including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps/Something/Here Comes the Sun” was a highlight which exemplifies the new gems the Fabs offer. Dessert included “The Two of Us,” “Hey Jude” and “Revolution.” ‘Radical John’ sang the solo “Imagine,” as he reflected verbally on Lennon’s efforts for peace. The show closed appropriately with the title track from the Beatles last film, “Let It Be.”
The Paramount is the regular local stop for the Fab Four, as the #11 rated club in the world offers multiple bars and seating or standing room. Every seat in the house features a fine vantage point of the stage, and also screens in the outside bar area so not a moment need be missed.
For more information about The Fab Four, visit their website.
Words by Bob Wilson, photographs by Wayne Herrschaft. Full gallery below: