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1964 The Tribute Saturday February 17, 2018 Carnegie Hall

“Best Beatles Tribute On Earth!”- Rolling Stone.

“Hello Elon?  Can I book my flight?”-Hel

OK maybe that’s a bit harsh.  If 1964 The Tribute are the best tribute on Earth, then so be it.  Then again. I searched a bit to find the origin of the quote every single press kit and every single online review shares for this Tribute- but alas, I couldn’t find it.  But they use it so it must be true right?   I found a quote from the late Dick Clark, “1964 creates the Magic of The Beatles.“,  Really?   On a slushy snowy NYC night Carnegie Hall was almost filled with 60 somethings raring to go.  The show has a great following of chair dancing wanna be Apple Scruffs and I was hypnotized by them  The first pumping, the above head applause made me feel as if I were missing something.

The band consisted of four older gents in Beatle hairdos (wig or real? dunno) and some of the worse on stage banter I have ever seen.  It was strained it was awkward and at time painfully scripted.  If this were a tribute would you not have memorized every nuance of the character your portraying?  If its not a pantomime, why bother tossing in odd lines like “we wrote this on the way here”.  If its supposed to be 1964 why are you singing Eleanor Rigby released in 1966?  Its baffling really, I sat brow furrowed, not hating it by any means but sort of wondering what exactly I was missing.

I was missing the distinct vocals.  Hell,  Elvis impersonators even quality drag queens can mimic artists flawlessly.  These cats (other than the ‘new’ Paul, with the worse faux British accent of all time}, have been doing this for 34 years.  Theres a problem, considering theyre attempting to portray 20-23 year olds.  So energy?  nope.  Sex appeal? nope. That silliness of new fame?  not a chance.  I even took my glasses off to soften the view- nope.

There are high points- Drummer  was nearly adorable in demeanor although looking out to the audience and pretending to interact with an adoring fan now and then was weak but the playfulness was attempted even though he looked like a dead ringer of a young Pete Townshend.  The George, well he looked like Joe Pesci, but he tried.  He tried that sheepish bit.. and he did a cute little two step dance now and then. As for the John- I think it may have been a David Johanson impersonator on off days and the vocals were so not Lennon it made me sort of sad.  The Paul?  Well he had some moments, he did!  And he sang some songs very well, just not.. Paulish- and his on stage painful monologues had me squirming dude that accent- I just cant.

But if you take away that they are Beatles impersonators and instead consider them a band covering the Beatles things improve.  Skilled musicianship, they knew all the words.. um.. I really liked the suits.  I digged the orchestra.. I had a great date.  The audience was a case study in middle aged complacency and NY is magical when it snows.

1964 The Tribute?

Nah, Nah Nah



  1. Jack on February 18, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Great Review! I’ve never heard the gents but I can only imagine.
    I’ve been in several bands that have covered Beatles’ songs with good musicianship and vocals. Once people start dressing up and acting like asses, that’s another thing.

  2. Robert Nevin on February 19, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Nice one, Helen. I’m with you on this. I’ve never really liked the concept of tribute bands anyway. An exercise in gilding the lily as far as I’m concerned.

  3. Mark Johnson on July 7, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Well at least I can say that your opinions of the show are shared by very, very few. Of the 2,200+ attendees, I’d say your review is an exception. The show was amazing, 1964 does an incredible job. No one can EVER replace the real thing, but at least 1964 can bring us back to the magic of a live Beatles concert.
    Also, a cursory examination of 1964 and what they do would have shown you that they perform songs The Beatles did, or could have done, in the pre-Sgt Pepper era. The name 1964 was chosen simply because that’s the year The Beatles first came to the U.S.
    Yeah, Yeah, Yeah….

  4. stewart Atkin on February 12, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    I just love critics. They have no musical talents yet they pretend to understand music. You are obviously not nor never have been a Beatles fan. A true fan comes to enjoy the whole picture. If you knew anything about what you saw or wrote about you’d have a totally different opinion. “!964 The Tribute” has been re-creating the Beatles experience for over 34 years. The didn’t get better at it there were good since the get go. You must be really frustrated. My wife wonders if you ever enjoyed an orgasm.
    1964 the Tribute have been praised by Rolling Stone magazine and The Late Dick Clark among others, people who fortunately know a bit more about music than you. You probably enjoy the Grammy’s. I have in all my life never read a more misinformed review. Had a bad day? Someone pissed in your cereal? You’d probably criticized a dying person. Did you expect to see the real Beatles? Some of them are dead. 1964 are the best in their field.

    • admin on February 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm

      you might try the Fab Faux, to name just one good Beatles tribute band. As far as orgasms go, tell your wife not to project her problems upon me -IL

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