EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 9, 2014

Revisit the spirit of Beatles concerts through 'Rain'

No one can deny the enduring appeal of the Beatles. The band continues to captivate fans of all ages, even 50 years after their first U.S. appearance in America.

Many of those fans never had the chance to see their beloved Beatles perform, whether it be because they didn't score tickets or weren't even born yet. However, a show coming to Boston next week offers the chance to experience the next best thing. “Rain – a Tribute to the Beatles,” an authentic Beatles performance covering the entire career of the megaband, will be on stage at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22.

"The Beatles were in a class by themselves," said “Rain” founder Mark Lewis. "They changed the world."

Attempting to recreate something so powerful is no small task, Lewis said.

“Everything about it is hard,” he said. “First and foremost you have to find great musicians. They have to have a great ability to harmonize and they have to look somewhat like the characters they portray. They have to have the confidence to front a band, with an English accent.”

“This is the Beatles. If you don't do it to perfection people will not only walk out on you, they will be angry at you and you will be laughed at,” Lewis said.

No one is laughing at “Rain,” though. It has become a long-running musical act in itself, performing since the mid 1970s. Longtime members of the band immerse themselves in the lives of John, Paul, George and Ringo to transport audiences to performance during the Beatles' prime.

For a phone interview, vocalist and guitarist Jimmy Irizarry, who transforms himself into John Lennon for “Rain,” answered the line with a thick Liverpool accent.

“I come off stage and speak with my normal Chicago accent and people still say I sound European,” Irizarry said.

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