Summer Concert Review #2

Earlier this summer, I unveiled my plan to see 5 summer concerts for ZERO dollars. I even threw in my first review. Almost immediately after that blog post, my concert plans started to turn into a tire fire. But all was not lost as I did log FREE summer concert #2.

I wrestled quite a bit with what qualifies as a legit summer concert. It certainly was not going to listen to my buddy jam in his basement as he practices tunes for his next open mike night performance as the ARB Party Posse. I also disqualified local concerts in local parks by local bands that have literally sold “thousands of records” according to one introduction I heard. No, to qualify for my free summer concert series, people have to pay to see the band, at least some of the time.

Free concert #2 that  I saw barely qualified. Yes, they play local festivals in local parks and other gigs like the Chicago Hot Dog Fest. But they also played a legit concert venue in the Chicago suburbs and charged (are you ready?) … 3 bucks a ticket. That’s good enough for me. They qualified!

But wait … there’s more. The band is American English and are endorsed by Sam Leach, self-proclaimed original promoter of the Beatles, as the world’s best Beatles tribute band. Now I just read an 800+ page book about Paul McCartney, and I have no recollection of reading about a Sam Leach, but what the heck, he wrote his own book about it, so it must have some truth to it.

There’s one more way I knew that this concert qualified. It was packed. Here is the good seating area …


Ah look at all the crowded people.

I was in the fully obstructed seating area behind the partially obstructed cheap seats, if this had been a paying concert. That was just as well as it was about 90 degrees at concert time with high humidity and no breeze which makes being in the midst of a sea of humanity uncomfortable and oft-times pungent.

As for the concert review itself, they were good. They play 3 different sets, with costume changes in between sets. That’s very important when playing in 9o degree weather under bright lights. You do not want to wear soggy clothing while playing electric instruments. Their opening set contained British invasion era hits from the Beatles and looked something like this …


They played well and sounded authentic, once you got used to the way they used their Beatles names on stage as they spoke with each other. Very authentic, but a bit weird.

The next set was from the psychedelic Sgt. Pepper era and the 4 lads had to don what appeared to be longer, heavier clothes, more hair, and hats. Remember, it was 90. Here’s “John” looking like he may require rather than sing “Help” in the 90 degree heat …


We left about halfway through the second set mainly due to the heat. Although the costumes were genuine, the music started to sound a bit less authentic on songs that were more complex than I Want To Hold Your Hand.  As we left, they were not murdering, but mildly assaulting Yesterday, and I wanted to leave before they did the same to Hey Jude and Let It Be. If we had stayed, this is what they would have looked like for their third set …


Except probably much sweatier. I enjoyed the show, but I was glad I left when I did, ready to Get Back to my air conditioned car.




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