She’s got a ticket to ride

At The Downey Civic Theater, on Sat., Oct. 26, David Brighton as George Harrison, and Gilbert Bonilla, as John Lennon, perform “A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles. “We love you George!” a fan screamed from the audience as Brighton sang his part of the song.

Rodas Hailu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Ticket to Ride, a Beatles tribute band, performed at the Downey Civic Theater on Saturday, Oct. 26, playing hit songs from one of the most famous rock groups in history.

The show started off with an opening act, with the producer of the show making a couple of jokes to the audience. Once he concluded his performance, he introduced Ticket to Ride.

All four members of the tribute band came on stage dressed up in the typical wear of The Beatles from the first few years after their formation as a group: bowl cut wigs, black skinny pants, black turtlenecks, black suit jackets, and black Beatle boots (which are a Beatles version of the Cuban heel). Once all the members got their instruments ready, they performed the first song from Set One: “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Ticket to Ride emulated many things about The Beatles; all four members mimicked the voices of the original musicians. From the clothing to the accents, John, Paul, Ringo, and George were transported in time to play for this twenty first century audience.

Set One consisted of songs from Beatles’ records released in the early to mid 60s; the albums ranged from Please, Please Me to Beatles For Sale. A majority of the songs performed in Set One were well-known hits, but Ticket to Ride also performed some of their less-known songs, such as “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Boys,” which was sung by Ringo Starr (played by Mike Sarafian). Many of the songs performed in Set One emulated the sound and style of The Beatles. After the band sang “Eight Days a Week,” they left the stage, concluding Set One.

Once the band came back on stage, all members were dressed in clothing from The St. Pepper’s era of The Beatles. Set Two were songs from albums Norwegian Wood through The White Album. Hits, like “Got to Get You Into My Life,” required John Lennon (played Gilbert Bonilla) to hit the keyboard to substitute for the brass instruments that are the typical accompaniments.

After Set Two concluded, Lennon stayed on stage while his other bandmates had a quick costume change. He performed his magnum opus, “Imagine.” After the song concluded, his fellow bandmates came back on stage wearing hippie-styled outfits, inspired from the clothing wore by The Beatles in the last two years as a group, from 1968 to 1970.

Set Three was the most eclectic set because some of the songs performed by Ticket to Ride came from Abbey Road and their older albums, such as Please, Please Me, the Beatles’ very first album released as a group. When George Harrison (played by David Brighton) performed “When My Guitar Gently Weeps,” he added his own solo that spiced up the monotony to the song. After Ticket to Ride performed “Twist and Shout,” the last song of the set, the crowd chanted for an encour. Eventually, the group came back out and performed “I Saw Her Standing There.”

The problem Ticket to Ride had was capturing the interests of some audience members. When the band would start a song and tried to persuade the audience members to stand up and dance, others were tentative. Although people who watched the show were die-hard fans of The Beatles, when it came to showing this affection for the group, the only sound made in the theater was that of the band playing, not of the screams and shouts of the audience.

Although The Beatles dismembered over forty years ago, Ticket to Ride makes fans feel like they are watching the real band perform before their eyes.