New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Tune into Radio Jersey with Lee Mrowicki every Monday through Friday from 6pm to 8pm
Broadcast on Asbury Music!

“We Loved Every Minute of It!” Yesterday, The Beatles Tribute from Las Vegas LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center

By Spotlight Central

originally published: 05/28/2017

“We Loved Every Minute of It!” Yesterday, The Beatles Tribute from Las Vegas LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center

The stage at The Grunin Center for the Arts on Saturday May 13, 2017 is set with 1960's-era instruments, amplifiers, and mikes.

The cozy auditorium — located on the campus of Toms River, NJ’s Ocean County College — is filled with music enthusiasts waiting for the cast of Yesterday, The Beatles Tribute from Las Vegas to take the stage.

Widely regarded as the most influential artists of the rock era, The Beatles — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr — are the best-selling band in history and the all-time best-selling music artists in the United States. They hold the record for the most #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and have received ten Grammy Awards and an Academy Award. They have also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both as a group and as individual musicians.

Dressed in colorful costumes, “The Beatles” — “John,” “Paul,” “George,” and “Ringo” — walk out from behind the Grunin Center auditorium curtain and take their designated spots behind their instruments.

The “Fab Four” opens their Beatles tribute show with an energetic version of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heats Band,” the guys getting into the spirit early on, clearly having fun playing a song The Beatles recorded exactly a half-century ago.



The article continues after this ad

 


As the audience applauds, “John” hams it up for both the crowd and his mates, encouraging the audience to cheer even louder!

Segueing into another 50-year-old Beatles’ tune, “With A Little Help from My Friends,” “Ringo,” on drums, takes over the lead vocal while “George” helps out playing his vintage Rickenbacker electric guitar.

By the end of the number, “Ringo” has the audience happily singing along to the well-known lyrics, “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends/Hmm, goin’ to try with a little help from my friends.”

Seeing so many smiles in the crowd, “John” says, “Peace and love to everyone,” in his thick Liverpudlian accent.

Announcing, “This next song started the whole peace and love movement,” John flashes two fingers in the form a peace sign and wryly winks at the crowd before taking the lead on The Beatles’ 1967 Top Ten hit, “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

“Paul” follows this classic Beatles’ tune up with a number that was on the flip-side of the “Strawberry Fields Forever” 45rpm single, the group’s 1967 #1 smash, “Penny Lane.” After which, he tells the crowd, “John’s son inspired him to write this next song about his friend, Lucy.”

Here, the boys launch into a lively rendition of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

The crowd applauds and “Paul” explains how The Beatles created a movie while traveling on a bus, “filming nonsense” to come up with their next tune, the title track from their 1967 album, Magical Mystery Tour.

Following a sprightly rendition of “Magical Mystery Tour,” the audience claps along as “George” is featured on a rockin’ version of 1966’s “Taxman,” from Revolver. Audience members’ heads bop in time to the rhythm while they move in their seats to the music.

“John” tells the crowd, “This next song is our #1 masterpiece. I wrote the beginning and the end and Paul wrote the middle.”

Upon hearing the opening chords of this classic track from the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, several members of the audience applaud as the quartet plays “A Day in the Life.” People “whoop” as “John” transfers the lead over to “Paul” and then, as they continue, some in the crowd even act out the lyrics with hand motions. All take a well-deserved bow on the song’s famous rubato ending chord.

The driving beat of “I Am the Walrus” provokes audience members to bop their heads rhythmically and join in singing on the “whooo” lyric as the four “lads from Liverpool” perform this classic 1967 psychedelic rocker.

“That’s not an easy one to play!” exclaims “John,” as “Paul” takes over the microphone to introduce the next number.

Revealing, “This is one of my favorite Beatles’ tracks,” the guys go on to perform a spirited version of the 1966 Revolver cut, “Got to Get You into My Life.” When Paul says, “Everybody sing!” the crowd happily obliges, clapping along with the music and tapping their toes to the soulful sound.

The band concludes Act I of their performance with a bouncy reprise of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

At the conclusion of the number, the audience hoots and hollers and John again flashes his peace sign saying, “Thank you, New Jersey!”

Act II commences with the band — now in different costumes — playing their 1969 #1 hit, “Come Together,” an artistic rendering of the iconic Abbey Road LP cover projected on the screen behind them.

As they perform, “John” exclaims, “New Jersey — simultaneously come together!” to which one excited audience member shouts out, “Right now!”

After a rousing round of applause, “George” takes over as lead vocalist on another cut from The Beatles’ Abbey Road album as the group plays a lovely version of “Here Comes the Sun.”

“Paul” moves over to the keyboard and handles the lead on The Beatles’ 1968 #1 hit, “Hey Jude.” Audience members clap along while several women can be seen dancing in the aisles.

Inviting the crowd to sing along, “Paul” says, “Just the girls now — you sound like angels!”

After inquiring, “Lads, can you do better?,” he commands, “Everybody sing now!” as the crowd cheers and whistles.

Following their wistful rendition of 1965’s “In My Life,” “Paul” introduces what he calls his “favorite cartoon song for all the kiddies here — or for the kid in all of us” — 1966’s “Yellow Submarine.”

The audience joyfully sings and claps along, after which the group moves into a more serious song — their thoughtful rendition of “Something,” from 1969’s Abbey Road, featuring “George” on vocals and lead guitar.

“Paul” says, “Hey, Toms River, do you feel like ‘Getting Back?’”

When the audience happily replies in the affirmative, the quartet plays a rollicking version of The Beatles’ 1969 #1 hit, “Get Back.” The crowd taps their toes and serenades along as “Paul” sings lead and accompanies himself on his left-handed Hofner bass.

Moving on to one of the highlights of the evening — a performance of a lesser known song from early on in The Beatles’ career which they later recorded for their 1970 Let it Be album — the group does an outstanding rendition of “One After 909.” Performing with gusto, the boys sing, “Move over once, move over twice/Come on baby don’t be cold as ice./Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909,” as audience members tap their toes and dance about in their seats.

The guys keep the energy flowing with an up-tempo version of a tune from the group’s 1968 LP, The Beatles — aka “The White Album” — “Birthday,” Ringo rockin’ out on the drums.

As audience members dance in the aisles, the group rocks it to the rafters with another “White Album” number — “Back in the USSR” — their Beach Boys-like background vocals up in the stratosphere.

“You didn’t think I could sing that high!” exclaims “John” smiling.

At this point, all of the Yesterday, The Beatles Tribute from Las Vegas cast members introduce each another — Tony Felicetta as “Ringo,” Monte Mann as “George,” Rich Fazzi as “Paul,” and Don Bellezzo as “John.”

To conclude the evening’s performance, the boys perform a dynamic rendition of The Beatles’ 1968 tune, “Revolution” and follow that up with two great encore numbers — 1963’s “Twist and Shout” and 1964’s #1 chart-topper, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” leaving the Grunin Center crowd cheering on its feet!

As the crowd makes its way out of the theater and into the lobby, we take a moment to chat with Yesterday cast member Don Bellezzo who, as “John,” reminds us, “We do all of the songs in the original keys — and some of them are pretty high!”

Indicating the group formed in Las Vegas but now travels extensively in the U.S. and abroad, Bellezzo goes on to reveal, “We’ve played in Japan seven times and found the people there — as well as the world over — love The Beatles’ music.”

Discussing their appearance here in the Garden State, however, Belezzo states, “We’ve played off and on here in New Jersey for over twenty years —and at this specific venue, in fact, since the 1990s! The people here are really nice, so we love New Jersey!”

And just what do New Jerseyans themselves have to say about Yesterday, The Beatles Tribute from Las Vegas?

Given that this year — 2017 — is the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, Mark from Toms River says, “It’s hard to believe Sgt. Pepper is 50 years old! These guys really brought me back to my childhood — it was almost emotional. Some bands reinvent themselves, but The Beatles reinvented music and the world.”

His wife, Joanne agrees, adding, “It was a great night; the crowd was really into it!”

Karen from Howell states, “The show was awesome. I love live concerts — especially those that feature songs by The Beatles. Their voices were right on! It was real. They did all the hits, but I was especially happy to hear ‘Penny Lane.’”

Karen’s friend Jackie from Toms River agrees, stating, “They were wonderful! Musically, they were right on point. They also brought back a lot of good memories, especially when they played ‘Yellow Submarine.’”

Likewise, Roz from Toms River discloses, “I just love whoever sings The Beatles’ music. I had a really good time.”

“This show brought back a lot of good memories for me,” continues Roz, “especially from 1964 — when I got to see The Beatles live at Convention Hall in Atlantic City with my best friend and her family.”

Taking a moment to think back to this golden memory from over a half-century ago, Roz smiles and adds, “There may have been a lot of screaming back then — but it was a really good memory.”

Next we meet Eva, age 10, from Toms River, who is here with her family and her friend, Tori.

Revealing, “I recently went to the planetarium here at Ocean County College for my birthday where they had a Beatles light show,” Eva tells us she was happy when her parents surprised her with tickets to tonight’s performance.

Eva enjoyed the concert exclaiming, “I can’t choose a favorite song,” to which her friend, Tori, agrees, stating, “I liked them all, too!”

Tori especially enjoyed the fact that the cast members “were all in character,” making it easy for her to “tell who they all were.”

Eva — whose dad happens to be a drummer — chimes in again noting, “And their drummer was really good!”

Getting a chance to chat with Eva’s father, Doug, he acknowledges, “It’s been a blessing to be able to introduce The Beatles to my daughter and her friends. The Beatles were so influential in terms of popular music you really wouldn’t have all the artists you have today without them.”

And Doug’s wife, Robin, nods and agrees, concluding, “This show was just fantastic. We loved every minute of it!”

To learn more about Yesterday, The Beatles Tribute from Las Vegas, please go to www.yesterdaybeatlestribute.com. For further information about upcoming performances as The Grunin Center — including American Idol’s JAX Live in Concert on June 2 and Swingadelic Presents a Centennial Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald on July 25 — please go to www.grunincenter.org.


Photos by Love Imagery

Spotlight Central. Your source for Jersey entertainment news and reviews

Love Imagery Fine Art Photography. all you need. peace/love/flower/power



For more by this author, click here






State Theatre Presents Diana Krall: Turn Up the Quiet Tour
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Diana Krall live in concert as part of her Turn Up The Quiet World Tour on Friday, October 12 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $43-$153.50.  This concert will feature songs from Diana Krall’s stunning new album, Turn Up The Quiet, out now on Verve Records as well as a mix of some fan favorites. 
Kean Stage Presents The Manhattan Transfer
(UNION, NJ) -- Going strong after more than 45 years, Grammy Award winner The Manhattan Transfer, with tenor vocals from Kean University alumnus Alan Paul '71, will captivate Kean Stage audiences with their distinctive four-part harmonies at Enlow Recital Hall on Sunday, September 30 at 3:00pm.
3rd Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- The North Jersey Indie Rock Festival returns to Jersey City on October 6. Presented by Mint 400 Records and Sniffling Indie Kids, the festival includes acts from those labels and Little Dickman Records, Rhyme and Reason Records, and State Champion Records.  The festival takes place at White Eagle Hall. Doors are at 4:00pm and the music starts at 4:30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
Bobby McFerrin To Kick Off the 125th Season Of Princeton University Concerts
(PRINCETON, NJ) -- On Friday, September 21, 2018 at 7:30pm, 10-time GRAMMY award-winning artist Bobby McFerrin launches Princeton University Concerts’ (“PUC”) 125th Anniversary Season in a special event performance at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall. The concert will feature McFerrin alongside members of his a cappella group Gimme5 in a program titled “ Circlesongs ” -- an evening of spontaneous music-making through shared improvised sound, in a language growing out of tribal chant and sacred music. 
The Dryden Ensemble Presents Bach Cantata Fest
(PRINCETON, NJ) -- The Dryden Ensemble will present a Bach Cantata Fest on Saturday, October 20 at 7:30pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 6587 Upper York Road, Solebury, Pennsylvania, and on Sunday, October 21 at 3:00pm at Miller Chapel, located on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary, 64 Mercer Street, Princeton, New Jersey. Tickets are $25 for general admission and free to students with an ID. They may be purchased at the door or online at www.drydenensemble.org.


“Here’s Lucie!” Lucie Arnaz LIVE! at the PNC Bank Arts Center
Even though the weather outside Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center is cloudy with some light intermittent drizzle this Wednesday, September 12, 2018 afternoon, the venue’s stage is still shining brightly with talent thanks to a live performance by television, film, and stage actress/singer Lucie Arnaz!
Mike Aiken Talks About Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch At RVCC
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- Raritan Valley Community College presents Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22.  The three-day event will feature a number of different musical shows by Mike Aiken, as well as other solo artists and groups.  
Virtuoso Jazz Violinist Jean-Luc Ponty LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
It’s a warm but lovely Aug. 23, 2018 evening here in Newton, NJ. After enjoying some hand-dipped Cliff’s ice cream from the window at Hayek Market, we march up Spring Street looking forward to hearing some world-class jazz at one of the Garden State’s favorite concert venues, The Newton Theatre.
An Interview with Bernie Williams
Four-time World Series Champion and Latin Grammy-Nominated guitarist and composer Bernie Williams will perform with his All-Star Band at the Jersey Shore this Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at The Grunin Center of the Arts in Toms River, NJ!
“Unleash the Love” The Beach Boys LIVE! at The Great Auditorium
So what were you doing at 8:18 pm on 8/18/18? Well, we’re not sure what you were up to, but we know that on that hot August night, we were listening to “America’s Band” — The Beach Boys — and watching them “Unleash the Love” while performing their incredible catalog of hits at Ocean Grove NJ’s Great Auditorium!










Event calendar
Thursday, Sep 20, 2018


MUSIC

ELI YOUNG BAND WITH CODY BRYAN @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

CELTIC THUNDER X @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm

Lost 80's Live @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Citizen Cope @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

ICON 2018: ELIMINATION ROUND 2 @ Hamilton Stage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm

Linda Eder @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Souvenir @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

East Lynne Theater Company presents SILENT SKY @ First Presbyterian Church (Cape May), Cape May - 8:00pm

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

Auditions for Seussical at CDC Theatre @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 7:00pm

Playhouse 22's Third-Thursday Play Reading Series @ Playhouse 22, East Brunswick - 7:30pm

West End Festival of the Arts- Opening Reception @ West End Arts Center, Long Branch - 6:00pm

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Brick City @ Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union - 8:00pm


FILM

New Jersey Film Festival @ Ruth Adams Building #001, New Brunswick - 6:00pm


KIDS

Crybaby Matinee: The Triplets of Belleville @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

View all events










 






















For more on our awards, click here








New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.