Tribute band leads 'magical history tour'
Four hand-picked musicians portraying John, Paul, George and Ringo will take Red Wing audiences on a "magical history tour" when they perform April 6 at the Sheldon Theatre.
The Liverpool Legends will present "The Complete Beatles Experience" twice, at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Both shows will be complete with vintage instruments, costume changes and special effects, along with musical details that promise to ring true for Beatles fans of all ages.
The Liverpool Legends are the only Beatles tribute band with a direct link to the original Fab Four. The musicians/actors were chosen by Louise Harrison, sister of George Harrison.
"Each member of the group is so close to the originals that I often feel like I'm transported back in time with the lads," she said.
"These are exactly the kind of fun-loving, quality musicians that my brother George would have loved to hang out with."
Marty Scott, who performs as George Harrison, has been part of the group since the start.
"I met Louise a couple of months after George passed away" in late 2001, Scott said. A longtime fan, he was performing Harrison's music at a Beatles convention; she was the guest of honor.
"We hit it off," he said, and they spent time talking about her brother and the music. "A week later I was sitting on a couch between Louise and Paul McCartney. ... I was freakin' out!"
A new band is born
The Liverpool Legends came out of that meeting, but it took a couple of years.
"It's hard to do it right," Scott explained. The four individuals need to look, perform, sound and behave like the Beatles, which means they also must be actors.
The show came together around 2005 and they became headliners at a theater in Branson, Mo. — a city that is home now to Louise Harrison and a theater where they continue to perform much of the year. The quartet has been named Branson's Best New Show, Best Band, Best Show and visitor's choice of Entertainer of the Year.
There have been a few cast changes, but the current four have been together for several years.
"For the last five or six years, we've been touring a lot" in many states and other countries including India, Japan and South America, Scott said. "It's been crazy." Because people in those parts of the world did not experience the Beatles first hand, "it's 10 times more special for some of them."
The Liverpool Legends are widely recognized, having appeared on The Travel Channel's "Beatlemania Britain" and headlining International Beatles Week in Liverpool — where 100,000 Beatles fans jammed Victoria Street to hear them.
Film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer chose them to portray the Beatles in a project, and a few years ago they were the only Beatles tribute band to perform Beatles songs on a Grammy nominated album.
History in historic setting
One of their favorite things to do is perform at historic locations. They've played at large and small venues, including The Cavern Club in Liverpool, Carnegie Hall and the Rose Bowl, and recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London.
The Liverpool Legends have been in Minnesota, "but it's been quite some time," Scott said. He knows there are fans, however. "Lots of people from Minnesota come to see us in Branson."
They look forward to the Sheldon.
"I like places with a lot of history," Scott said. "I'm such a fan of the history of rock 'n' roll music."
The Liverpool Legends show includes songs spanning the entire career of the Beatles, through the solo years. Nearly every show includes John Lennon's "Imagine," he said.
Audiences usually include plenty of seniors — "They just want to have fun," he has observed — but people of all ages know all the songs and can sing all the lyrics.
"The Beatles transformed down to every generation," Scott noted. "They're still cool in high school, with 10-year-olds, parents and grandparents. They were just so cool and the music was so great. ... It's a phenomenon."
And, he added, "It's really a fun show. ... People say they feel like they're 16 again."
Tickets to the April 6 shows are $28 to $33. For reservations visit the box office, call 651-388-8700 or go to www.sheldontheatre.org.