Wednesday, April 24, 7 p.m.
TaxSlayer Center, 1201 River Drive, Moline IL
Delivering what the Associated Press calls “the next best thing to seeing the Beatles” and what the Toronto Star deems “a fun-filled family crowd-pleaser,” the gifted musicians and iconic impersonators of Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles bring their touring production to Moline's TaxSlayer Center on April 24, intoxicating crowds with their newest stage spectacular The Best of Abbey Road Live!
Rain began in 1975 as Reign, a Laguna Beach, California band that played both original music and Beatles covers. Its founding members were Mark Lewis, Eddie Lineberry, Bill Connearney, Grant Belotti, Chuck Coffey, and Steve Wight, with the band's name a reference to the 1966 Beatles single “Rain,” the B-side of the Beatles' iconic hit “Paperback Writer.” After the group's official name change, Lewis managed the band, became its lead arranger, and found Rain a regular weekly gig doing Beatles covers at the Mine Shaft in Calabasas, California. Before long, Rain had a following of Beatles fans around the Orange County area that soon extended up the West Coast as far as Seattle, and as the band developed its reputation, they performed at the 1978 Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon and recorded Beatles covers for the 1979 film Birth of the Beatles. By 1980, Lewis had built the band into a long-standing touring tradition with Lineberry playing John Lennon, Coffey playing Paul McCartney, Connearney playing George Harrison, and Belotti playing Ringo Starr (with Lewis playing keyboards behind the scenes), although, as of this day, the musicians are never identified by their counterparts' names on-stage.
Decades later, the stage show Rain ran on Broadway for 300 shows and eight preview performances, first at the Neil Simon Theatre from October 26, 2010, through January 15, 2011, and then at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre from February 8 through January 31, 2011. Rain's show begins with the Beatles' appearance at the Cavern Club in 1962 and then takes them to America, beginning their tour stop on The Ed Sullivan Show. Moving forward, The Beatles' directions change musically while their band grows in popularity, and subsequent scenes use hallucinogenic and psychedelic designs to represent the group's ever-increasing experimentation, culminating with the breakup of the group and the end of the 1960s. Designed in celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1969 release of the Fab Four’s 11th studio album, The Best of Abbey Road Live! will boast updated sets that include LED, high-definition screens, and multimedia content, with the musicians bringing Abbey Road to life through its iconic songs that include “Come Together,” “Here Comes the Sun,” Octopus's Garden,” and “I Want You (She's So Heavy).”
Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles' presentation of The Best of Abbey Road Live! will be staged locally at 7 p.m. on April 24, admission is $29.50-65.50, and tickets are available by calling (800)745-3000 or visiting TaxSlayerCenter.com.