BritBeat - America's Premier Tribute To The Beatles
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BritBeat - America's Premier Tribute To The Beatles

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Rock Cover Band


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"BritBeat brings look, sound of Beatles to the Indiana Theatre"

September 24, 2010

TERRE HAUTE — Teenagers in the front rows cheered. “Twist and Shout” inspired most of the crowd to, well, twist and shout. Hundreds of glowing cellphones swayed to the na-na-na-na-na-na-na’s of “Hey Jude.”

The Chicago musicians known as BritBeat impressively brought the look and sound of The Beatles to the Indiana Theatre on Saturday night.

They treated an appreciative audience of more than 700 to nearly three hours of gems from The Beatles’ repertoire, including a pair of 15-minute intermissions to change costumes. In a heavily populated worldwide field of Fab Four tribute bands, BritBeat bills youth as its niche. Bassist Chris Getsla (who plays Paul McCartney), guitarist James Lynch (John Lennon), lead guitarist Jeff Isoe (George Harrison) and drummer David Robinson (Ringo Starr) are in their 20s and 30s. Fresh-faced, they could pass for John, Paul, George and Ringo in their heyday from 1963 to the swansong in ’70.

But the tight drill of a well-rehearsed rock group gives them credibility.

Each of their three era-based sets produced clear high points. They took the stage in matching suits from the “Ed Sullivan Show” days, and opened with a rollicking “I Saw Her Standing There.” Isoe’s delivery of those shimmering Harrison guitar licks — right down to George’s ponderous hesitations — carried that first set from the early days of Beatlemania. “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “Roll Over Beethoven” jogged memories beautifully, and one of rock’s most famous riffs rang through the 87-year-old theater on “Day Tripper.”

After a raucous first-set finale of “Twist and Shout,” the band broke and then re-emerged in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band attire. They boldly tackled songs the actual Beatles never performed live, including “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Taxman,” an eerily dead-on “I Am the Walrus” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.” (The Beatles stopped touring in 1966 and focused on studio recordings.) BritBeat also pulled off a surprisingly cohesive reading of the classic Sgt. Pepper closer, “A Day in the Life,” anchored by the stark drum sounds created by Ringo 43 years ago and re-created live by Robinson on Saturday. (Keyboardist Kyle Mann quietly supplied crucial tones in a best-supporting “Fifth Beatle” role.)

Throughout the night, Getsla deftly shepherded BritBeat from song to song, just as McCartney would, back in the day. They maintained Liverpudlian accents, even during announcements for the Terre Haute Children’s Museum. (The concert served as a museum fundraiser.) Getsla never stepped out of character, accurately mimicking Paul’s mannerisms, bass lines and vocals as much as humanly possible. (Actually, the latter is nearly impossible, even for the real Macca nowadays at age 68.) Isoe danced in place on solos, just as Harrison did. Robinson spoke only when called upon, just like Ringo. And Lynch’s banter packed Lennon’s distinct nasal tone.

Their final act, from the Abbey Road days, shined. Now in long hair, suits and bell-bottom jeans, they showed off their musical chops. Lynch tore through an elegant, unscripted solo before the band launched into “Come Together.” They dropped in a tasty, long-forgotten “Let It Be” album cut, “The One After 909.” They even went outside The Beatles songbook on Lennon’s “Imagine,” which they’d played upon request the night before at the Sullivan Corn Festival. “Hey Jude” pleased the crowd.

Then, as their encore ended, they reprised “Sgt. Pepper” and segued straight into “The End,” with Isoe and Lynch handling the dueling guitar solos, and Getsla reminding everyone “the love you take is equal to the love you make.” It was a sweet moment of closure that Beatles fans only experienced on vinyl 40 years ago.

Mark Bennett can be reached at (812) 231-4377 or
- Mark Bennett - Tribune Star


Still working on that hot first release.



Over its ten year history BritBeat has produced well over a thousand shows covering the United States and around the world including performances at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, birthplace of the Beatles. They were honored to be chosen by Pete Best, the Beatles’ original drummer to perform with him at the 40th anniversary of the Beatles performance at Comiskey Park in Chicago. They have also performed several times at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL. and have appeared in news, print and television, including networks, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

Tour highlights for 2010 include:

•The Beatles Tribute Cruise on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

•Abbey Road on the River – Louisville, KY & Washington D.C.

•Alaska Center for the Performing Arts – Anchorage, AK

•Sang the National Anthem at televised NBA event at the United Center – Chicago, IL

•ABC Television Interview & Performance – Chicago, IL

•McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Stage on national television on Thanksgiving Day 2010 for WGN and WGN America.