One of the first Broadway shows I ever attended was “Beatlmania.” I believe I was about 12 or 13. I should change the word “attended” to “experienced” because while the music and stage were spot on, it was the emotion of the crowd that impacted me the most and that experience has never left me. It’s hard for me to think of another band that has touched the world on the same emotional level that the Fab 4 has. The Beatles are one of my favorite bands and they have had the most influence on my life. It has pained me that I never had a chance to see them live or even in their solo careers and I am thankful for the lads, like The Return, who continue to bring that live experience.
The Return are:
- Richard Stelling as John
- Shane Landers as Paul
- Michael Fulop as George
- Adam Thurston as Ringo
Everyone has their favorite Beatle and each Beatle has their unique irreplaceable part in the group. When it comes to the Beatles, I’m a John girl. I also believe that Paul is one of the most under credited rock bassists ever. Don’t believe me? Next time you ask a rock fan to name some top rock bassists wait for his name to be brought up. It is amazing when one considers his contribution to establishing how melodic and outspoken a rock bass line could be.
Most musical historians agree The Beatles, together, were the single most important music group in history. It’s mind blowing what the band did in such a relatively short time. They released studio albums over only 8 years. They changed so many things: from pop culture to music production to national conversation and are credited for putting out the first rock no dance sit down experience album, Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band. This album has a special anniversary release is now available for pre-order on the official website including new mixes and tunes.
As I’ve said before, here on Libro Musica, sometimes seeing a tribute band is not always a great experience. The Return is a band that does it all correctly and I love them for it. I’ve seen them twice: once back when they were The Roaches and again tonight. They nail it with trademark suits, hairstyles, instruments, facial expressions and bring the personality of each; John, Paul, George and Ringo down to John’s gum chewing and story telling in between tunes which sadly wasn’t possible during the Beatles American tours due to hysterical crowd noise. Those stories are important for historical set up and Richard Stelling, as John, connects the crowd to them well.
Another sold out crowd at Madlife added to the energy and engagement with the band. It was a really great time had by all. All the favorites are in the set list with smiles all around including from the band, check out a bit for yourself at The Return’s YouTube page. The great stage lighting, acoustics and sound system makes the experience all the more enjoyable.
It takes work to deliver a high quality tribute event vs a good cover. The Return’s work and dedication as a tribute band totally pays off. A testimony to the recognition of this effort is the band’s who’s who’s client list. GO see these guys and bring your kids if a child friendly venue, it’s a musical legacy that needs to continue especially in a day and age where so much of pop music has become heavily studio and equipment anchored. Call me old school but, this is my kind of music!
If you have some of The Beatles in your music library pull them out and take a listen to those classics! If you don’t have The Beatles in your music library go add them!