Experience the Beatles with Rain - The Moore - Wednesday, Jan. 30

beatlesrain2.jpg
Dave Lake
The Beatles are arguably the greatest band of all-time, which could just make Rain the greatest cover band of all-time. They've certainly been at it for ages (or at least the '70s, in some form) and have plenty of resources at their disposable, making their current production, which played the Moore Wednesday night for the first of seven shows, a nostalgic romp through some of the greatest songs ever written.

The show is a musical revue of The Beatles, based on the show of the same name, which played 300 shows on Broadway in 2010 and 2011 and which has been a successful touring production for the past several years. Rain features more than 30 Beatles tunes, faithfully replicated by the faux four, focusing on the band's best-known material, with each of the group's key eras represented, starting with the band's 1964 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and concluding with a rooftop concert a la Let It Be. In between, there are lots of costume changes, a handful of stick-on mustaches and jokey banter delivered via grade-A Liverpudlian accents.

The show is a bit silly, really, but in an enjoyable way. In order to facilitate stage and costume changes, vintage commercials and newsreel footage played on a pair of monitors, offering up some manufactured Beatlemania, like during the Shea Stadium segment, which mixed real footage of the band's 1965 New York concert with black and white shots of the Moore crowd dancing, all while flashbulbs simulated the constant snapping of camera shutters from screaming female teeny boppers.

beatlesrain2.jpg
Dave Lake

The most jarring thing about the production is the way it mixes recreation with reality. Rather than diving headfirst into the idea that these guys really are The Beatles, the show wants it both ways, with band members donning British accents but being introduced as Rain. If the point of the show is to faithfully recreate the magic of The Beatles, why not remove the cover band conceit and just pretend that those four guys ARE The Beatles the way a biographical production might?

Ultimately, however, the show is about the music, and the band members, which included Joe Bithorn (George Harrison), Ian B. Garcia (Paul McCartney), Jimmy Irizarry (John Lennon) and Douglas Cox (Ringo Starr), did a first-class job at recreating The Beatles' material, much of which was never performed live. Guitar solos were played note-for-note, harmonies were spot-on and keyboardist Mark Beyer provided any missing pieces not provided by the guitar, drums, bass or piano. There were plenty of audience sing-alongs too, and ample opportunities to stand up and dance, which the Boomer-heavy crowd was happy to do. Most of the rest of the details were pretty faithful as well (right-handed McCartney aside), from the guitars and amps to the band's evolving sartorial choices. Sadly, Paul's Let It Be beard (Let It Beard?) never makes an appearance, but at least we get a fully-denimed Harrison for the show's conclusion, a soaring rendition of "Hey Jude," which sent the crowd off into the rainy night with its "na, na, na" refrain still echoing in everyone's heads.

Experience The Beatles with Rain plays tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Moore, with two shows Saturday and two shows Sunday.

 
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