The Beatles returned Monroe to the 1960s Friday night.
No, not the real Beatles. The Stars of Beatlemania, an internationally renowned group of performers who imitate the Beatles with their style, clothing, and, of course, their music.
“I loved it; they were really good,” Newport resident Debbie Smith said.
Smith attended the concert with her husband, daughter and mother. During the concert, Smith and daughter Angie held up colorful signs with the names of their favorite Beatles and favorite Beatles’ songs.
“I like Paul,” Angie said.
According to Smith, her mother Carol Irvin is to blame for her love of The Beatles.
“I grew up with them,” Irvin said about The Beatles. “I didn’t know it would cause this, though,” she said with a smile, referring to her daughter’s and granddaughter’s enthusiasm for The Beatles.
The concert began with a video that included clips of the Kennedys in the early 1960s and transitioned into the beginning of The Beatles’ popularity, which occurred around the same time.
The Stars of Beatlemania began to play their first song as an imitation of The Beatles’ performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. The performers were dressed in suits identical to the ones The Beatles often wore at performances early in their career, and particularly in their Ed Sullivan Show performance.
The opening song was “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” followed by “Please Please Me.”
Paul McCartney, portrayed by Alan LeBoeuf, greeted the crowd.
“These songs are all sing-along, no need to be shy,” LeBoeuf said.
The audience, which filled up about three-quarters of the Meyer Theater, whistled and screamed for the performers as they played.
Next, the stars played “Do You Want to Know a Secret,” “This Boy,” and “I Saw Her Standing There,” which were all hits from The Beatles’ early career.
The Stars of Beatlemania imitated The Beatles from their accents to their onstage characteristics and humor. The group has performed all over the world, and even play the original Gretch, Rickenbacker and Hofner guitars through the same Vox amplifiers The Beatles used.
The group took a brief break to change costumes for the next part of The Beatles’ career, while another short video played.
A black and white commercial for Anacin, a pain reliever, played first, which brought laughter from the audience. Clips from student protests, jazz festivals, and old movies that mentioned The Beatles played as well, which indicated that The Beatles had become a household name due to their popularity.
The group came out dressed in black turtlenecks and pants and played “Day Tripper,” “She’s a Woman,” “In My Life,” “Taxman,” “Yesterday,” and “Got To Get You Into My Life,” which all came out in the mid-60s.
“I’d like to say on behalf of the boys and myself that it’s great to be here in beautiful Monroe, Michigan,” LeBouef- as-McCartney said to cheers and screams from the audience.
The performers took another break to change into their next costumes while another video began. The video portrayed the later 1960s, when the hippie subculture peaked.
It was no surprise when the band came out next wearing elaborate costumes identical to those The Beatles wore for their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album; the first album where they experimented with the psychedelic rock style in 1967.
The group played “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Hello, Goodbye,” “Penny Lane,” and “A Day in the Life.”
Another video played while the group changed costumes. The video showed clips of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as the news of their assassinations, which served to introduce the next part of The Beatles’ career — in 1968.
The Stars of Beatlemania came out in their final costumes to play “Revolution.” The group wore identical clothing to The Beatles’ Abbey Road album, which was released in 1969. They played “Get Back” and “Come Together,” when LeBoeuf-as-McCartney spoke again.
He gave a word of thanks to those who made the night possible, and spoke of the “lovely” hotel they were staying in.
“The towels were so fluffy I couldn’t close my suitcase,” he joked.
Next, David Brighton, who portrayed George Harrison, played “Something.” James Irizarry as John Lennon played Lennon’s post-Beatles hit, “Imagine,” and LeBoeuf played “Hey Jude,” getting the crowd involved.
The group thanked the audience and walked offstage; a standing ovation brought the performers out again for another song, “Twist and Shout.” The audience danced and clapped along.
After the show, the men from The Stars of Beatlemania came out to greet fans, including the Smiths.
“So who broke up the band?” Mark Smith asked the group.
“It was my fault, my head went like this,” LeBoeuf joked, holding up his hands to pretend he was McCartney, who was rumored to have contributed to The Beatles’ split partly because of a big ego.
The men talked about what it’s like to become a Beatle, particularly how it took a lot of work and studying to become the fab four.
“I used to be a mailman—this is much better,” Joe Bologna, who played Beatle drummer Ringo Starr, said with a big smile.