Rain: A Stunning Tribute to the Beatles Lands at Gammage Auditorium

By Dave Cooper

Rain - A Tribute to the Beatles

The band Rain takes its name from the Beatles’ 1966 song of the same title. Rain is an ensemble of talented musicians who are devoted to recapturing the musical essence and culture-shocking mayhem of Beatlemania. You can step into the wayback machine and experience for yourself the sensation that the Beatles stirred in the 1960s at “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles.” Performances are scheduled at ASU’s Gammage Auditorium May 10th, 11th and 12th, with evening performances each night at 7:30 PM. The Saturday matinee is at 2:00 PM.

Founding band member and manager of Rain, Mark Lewis, is enthusiastic about returning once more to Arizona with the production. “We have great memories,” he told me. “We've played many concerts over the past several decades and we always have had a great time. The fans are the best!”

With its grand multi-media production, Rain takes the audiences on a musical and visual odyssey through the Beatles early years, from their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 through the Fab Four’s psychedelic hippie phase. For historical relevance, Rain touches on the famous Apple Records “rooftop” concert, the Beatles final live performance in 1969. The Rain tribute to the Beatles also delves into each member’s solo music careers after the band’s dissolution.

Rain includes video footage of actual Beatles concerts, events, interviews, and other historic musical footage. Multiple set and costume changes create the experience in its full, historic evolution, illustrating the broad impact this iconic group had on music. The gifted musicians in Rain are rabid Beatles fans, committed to performing every song note-for-note that the Beatles played. When asked what he thinks Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr might say if they attended a live performance of Rain, Lewis said, “I believe they would admire the accuracy and integrity that Rain applies to their music.” The production has been capturing and presenting the pure spirit of the Beatles for decades. “Rain is the only band or show, aside from the Cirque du Soleil production, ‘LOVE,’ that has actually gotten the grand rights from Sony to perform the Lennon/McCartney catalog. So that says quite a bit in itself.” Lewis explained.

Rain - A Tribute to the Beatles

A little about Beatlemania: In the early 1960s, Rock & Roll music was taking form and gaining traction. Around 1963, a highly charged sound force from the U.K. that included many British bands, paved the way for the sound dubbed the British Invasion. It created an enduring worldwide sensation. A key element of the British Invasion, the distinctive musical style born out of Liverpool, England, was known as the Mersey Beat. Named for the nearby Mersey River that flows alongside this quintessential northern England town, this new sound soon changed attitudes toward popular music as well as the recording industry.

The Mersey Beat combined American rock influences and a favorite music style from Liverpool known as Skiffle. Lonnie Donegan’s hit tune “The Rock Island Line” embodied that sound and was the precursor for what would follow. The Beatles would emerge as Liverpool’s preeminent band, representing the Mersey Beat, the British Invasion, and ultimately defining the era’s Rock & Roll. Fifty years later, the Beatles continue with impressive sales of music and memorabilia, and their influence continues to be heard in new bands. Fans new and old can still see live performances from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. The two remaining Beatles still record and perform with the same verve that propelled the Beatles into becoming music legends. Believe Lewis when he says: “I'd say, that if you're a Beatles fan, seeing Rain is a must!”

Gammage Auditorium is an ideal setting in which to recapture the fun of Beatlemania. So treat yourself to the acoustic delights at Gammage Auditorium. “Come Together,” get your “Ticket To Ride,” and enjoy this “Magical Mystery Tour.” You’ll be glad you did – “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!”

Detailed ticket and parking information is available at the ASU Gammage Auditorium website.