Courtesy of APA New York
The Beatles never came to Columbus. The British Invasion hit Cincinnati and Cleveland, but Columbus remains untouched by the original band. The city has, however, seen the likes of a few tribute bands and it’s welcoming one again this weekend.
Beatles tribute band The Fab Four is scheduled to perform 8 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Theatre, with instrumentals from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
The night is slated to begin with a recap of ’60s American music, performed by the CSO.
“It’s just me and the orchestra,” said conductor Michael Berkowitz. “I’m doing the theme from ‘The Lawrence Welk Show,’ some Burt Bacharach and Peter Gunn, so it’s going to be alternative to The Beatles in showing what got replaced when The Beatles came into view.”
The orchestra will continue to play during the rest of the show, backing The Fab Four.
Songs such as “I Am The Walrus,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday” and “In My Life” are most necessary to have the orchestral backing because it is difficult to perform those with just four people, said Ron McNeil, who performs guitar, harmonica, keyboards and vocals as part of The Fab Four.
“We don’t have enough fingers,” said McNeil, who plays the role of John Lennon. “It’s physically impossible to pull off.”
The Fab Four normally backs its instrumentals with keyboards, McNeil said.
“We’re pretty good keyboard players, so we’re used to covering a lot of things on keyboards,” McNeil said. “But the beauty of playing the orchestra is that all that’s being played live, so we only have to play the rock ‘n’ roll part, the guitar, bass, drums and sing and focus on that.”
The wide variety of The Beatles music comes from a push to make new content, said Noah Faust, first-year in electrical and computer engineering.
“They were very experimental,” he said. “They never really stopped trying to make new types of music.”
McNeil said the show is a chance for people to get a “little bit of insight into what it may have been like to see the four Beatles onstage.”
“There’s a lot of Beatles music that has orchestra on it,” Berkowitz said. “‘In My Life,’ with the horns and the big ending and all that sort of stuff … if you listen to the music there’s a lot of orchestral parts to it, and that’s what the orchestra will be doing, playing exactly what’s on the record,” Berkowitz said.
McNeil said nothing can compare to hearing the music coming right off the stage.
“We do it pretty well with the keyboards, but there’s nothing like hearing the full orchestra played,” McNeil said. “People of all ages know what good music is when they hear it. It doesn’t really matter what era that music came from.”
Tickets for The Fab Four can be purchased for $25 to $75 and are available at the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts Ticket Center, located at 39 E. State St. or through Ticketmaster.