I've never seen a tribute concert before. They've always seemed vaguely creepy and sacrilegious. I mean, come on. The Beatles are...the Beatles. If you weren't around to hear them, well, at least you also weren't around to live through the Vietnam War. Tough luck, right?
Not so! Read on...
I won't describe the costumes or lights except to say they properly set the mood. The video content that helped put the music in historical context was an integral part of the evening. Musicianship and showmanship? Check and check. The show was well executed, without a doubt. It had a familiar, comfortable feel to it; like a visit to an old friend whom you have seen in years but with whom you can simply pick up old conversations.
Some thoughts that popped into my head during the show:
Hang on, WHY do I know all of these songs? My parents weren't hippies. They grew up in the 60's but they were not flower children. Did they listen to the Beatles when I was growing up? I'm embarrassed to admit I don't know. I remember that my school choirs sang Beatles medleys, anchored by Hey Jude and Let It Be. I bought the "Past Masters" albums. But that's not enough for all of these songs to sink so deeply into my memory that I recognize them with no more than a few introductory chords. How is that possible?
On the other hand, how is it possible that I don't know every word and chord of While My Guitar Gently Weeps? Mental note: buy the White Album as soon as possible.
Give Peace a Chance: Wow. What would I have been if I'd lived in that time? A peace-loving, pot-smoking hippie? A pragmatist who wants to be a peace-loving hippie, but can't quite surrender to idealism, like I am today? Or something else completely?
Imagine: Oh man. It's eerie to watch someone play John Lennon; almost like I'm spying on a ghost. I want to go where the music is taking us; down a road of protest and advocacy for peace at all costs. And it really hurts, in my heart, when I realize it's not that simple
A sublime moment, in the first stanzas of Let It Be, as a quiet, reverent blend of audience voices wafts through the hall.
Roars, screams, cheers, whistles...an audience that really means that standing ovation.
A wonderful night of music and nostalgia for an era that passed before I was born.