Beatlejuice’s “In My Life: A Concert for Brad” at the Regent Theatre on May 3

A review of Beatlejuice’s “In My Life: A Concert for Brad” at the Regent Theatre on May 3, 2007

, Staff Writer

It’s difficult to imagine a world without Beatles’ songs. The band’s work rendered meaningless the boundaries of continents, decades, genres, and all else, becoming an integral part of the soundtrack to our lives. At the “In My Life: A Concert for Brad” tribute concert, Beatlejuice, the area’s pre-eminent Beatles cover band, united our soundtrack to that of the late Brad Delp.

Delp, the former lead singer of Boston, had a life-long love affair with the music of the Fab Four, one that he embraced after his Boston days in his role as the lead singer of Beatlejuice. Drummer John “Muzz” Muzzy organized the tribute concerts, three nights in all, in order to celebrate Delp’s life and the music that he loved. Local singers joined the band for mini-sets, each bringing a unique flavor to beloved old favorites.

The evening got off to a slow start, with Mike Girard of the Fools batting leadoff. “Anytime at all” began the set as Girard encouraged the crowd to sing along and dance, saying, “This is your band too.” The crowd obliged, dancing in the aisles of the cozy Regent Theatre. Girard hit his stride on “Revolution” as multi-instrumentalist Steve Baker ramped up the energy with his blistering keyboard playing.

Just as Girard was coming into his own, the band ushered him off and welcomed Joey Fielding, who lent his smooth, jazzy tone to “Your Mother Should Know” and “She Said, She Said.” The multitude of lead singers did an excellent job covering all of the bases, from Patty Barkas’ work on the psychedelic tunes “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Happiness is a Warm Gun” to Buddy Bernard’s take on the Chucky Berry rock of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music” and “She’s a Woman.”

Several vocalists brought a little something extra to the table. Lisa Guyer of Mama Kicks strutted around the stage like Mick Jagger, reminding the crowd of the Beatles’ early days as young sex symbols. She also belted out pretty fair versions of “Tax Man” and “Day Tripper,” and her dancing encouraged more and more audience members to join the party in the aisles.

The most interesting performer of the night had to be Gardner Berry, a member of Mama Kicks who also doubles as the front man for Led Zeppelin cover band Four Sticks. Hearing a combination of Robert Plant and Angus Young sing “Ticket to Ride” and “Hello Goodbye” was startling, but ultimately more rewarding than a note for note rehash of the originals.

Beatlejuice was joined by original guitarist Bob Squires for the musical highlight of the night, back to back George Harrison songs “Here Comes the Sun” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Lead guitarist Dave Mitchell took center stage with his expressive solos, inciting a standing ovation from the crowd.

The night was long on Beatles songs and short on tributes, with most singers saying a quick thank you to the band and at most sharing a short anecdote about Delp. But all the tribute that was necessary was contained in Brad’s son John Delp’s solo version of “When I’m 64.” The younger Delp took the stage with a ukulele, saying that he had inherited his father’s “ukulele, but not his voice.” He requested help from the audience, but he capably and movingly delivered the song about growing old with a loved one. It was particularly heartbreaking given his father’s recent suicide.

& All in all the night was a success. Band members, friends, and audience were treated to a night of nearly perfect Beatles covers in memory of a great friend. The only thing that could have made it better is if it had not been a tribute concert at all, but a regular old Beatlejuice concert on a Thursday night, with Brad Delp at the helm.

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