As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America this weekend, the Washington Pavilion played host Thursday night to the long-running Beatles tribute RAIN, giving the older audience members a night of nostalgia while those too young to remember Beatlemania had the band come to life from old video that we've been shown for over 40 years. A BRILLIANT performance.

From the opening note of "She Loves You" to the final bow after "Hey Jude", RAIN:A Tribute to the Beatles couldn't have been better. The look and feel of the band is spot on. The musicians themselves are absolutely fantastic with nary an off note during the entire two hour performance (which is a LOT longer than any actual Beatles concert!)

Steve Landes as John, Ian Garcia as Paul, Joe Bithorn as George and Aaron Chiazza as Ringo brought every phase of the Beatles short, yet legendary career to life on the stage in Sioux Falls Thursday night.


From the early days of the Beatles playing the Cavern Club through their first appearance on Ed Sullivan on February 4, 1964, the foursome dressed in their black suits and ties and tore through early hits like "Please Please Me" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand". And during set and costume changeovers, the over 1300 Beatle fans in attendance were treated to old press conference footage and even some very classic commercials including one by the Flintstones for Winston cigarettes!


Next was the band's performance in 1965 at Shea Stadium. It's become a little more common now, but the Beatles were the first to perform for a stadium full of screaming fans. They ramped up the crowd with "Hard Day's Night", "Help" and more during this set.

Then came the psychedelic Sgt. Pepper phase (picture at the top) where they gave us "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band", "With A Little Help From My Friends" and more!

After a short intermission, RAIN returned to the stage with maybe my favorite set. An acoustic evening with the Beatles.


From the fun "When I'm 64" through a couple songs featuring 'George' on "Here Comes The Sun" and maybe the highlight of the evening for me on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", the band really were able to show their musicianship.


RAIN closed with the final phase of the band's illustrious career after another set change and gave us "Get Back", "Come Together" and "The End" before coming back for a three song encore of the Lennon classic "Give Peace A Chance", and then 'Paul' took to the piano for the final two songs: "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude". A brilliant performance from a Broadway production that absolutely NAILED the music of the Beatles, all played live. If and when we're fortunate enough to get this show back in Sioux Falls, you HAVE to make it a point to go. I know I'll be there again.

Here's the setlist:

She Loves You

Please Please Me

From Me to You

I Want to Hold Your Hand

A Hard Day's Night

I'm Happy Just to Dance With You



Day Tripper

Twist and Shout

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

With a Little Help from My Friends

Eleanor Rigby

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

When I'm Sixty-Four

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

A Day in the Life

All You Need Is Love

Magical Mystery Tour

Strawberry Fields Forever


Two of Us

In My Life

Here Comes the Sun

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Come Together

Get Back


The End

Encore :
Give Peace a Chance

Let It Be

Hey Jude