|THEM BEATLES (L to R): Joe, Craig, Grahame and Clark|
It's been awhile since I've done a concert review. Unfortunately, there haven't been any good shows coming through here lately (at least not ones that I'd go to). So I am SO excited to be able to share my latest experience with the FAB Beatles band, THEM BEATLES.
The first word that comes to mind when I think of these guys is ENERGY (although they may not feel it with all of the shows they've been doing lately. HA!). I felt it the moment I walked into the theatre. It was probably a combination of the excited vibe from the fellow Beatles fans in the audience as well as the vibe building up behind the curtain, but I knew even before the guys came out that this would be an unforgettable show. When the curtain finally rose, the room was flooded with that energy: from the music, from the guys' hilarious antics on the stage then flowing out through interactions between them and the audience. That energy endured from the first chord to the last and I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to experience it.
This was a very special show because I got to take my two older girls, Jaimie and Jordy, with me who have both loved the Beatles their entire lives. So it was awesome for me to give them a live taste of what they've only ever seen on DVDs or listened to on our CDs.
So sit back, put your favorite Beatles album on and get ready for our THEM BEATLES adventure!
In the beginning...
This was a tough school year for my kids. We had everything to deal with this year from bullying to having to move Xander into another classroom to social/peer issues. Plus, it was a hard winter for Jordy having her allergies and asthma constantly kicking her in the butt. So to give them incentive to keep moving forward, I promised my kids that I'd bring them to see the next super awesome Beatles band that came through. And, ironically enough, the opportunity came sooner than I thought!
A dear friend of mine (thanks Julie!) told me about this U.K. band she'd heard of that was coming through Western Alberta. She wasn't familiar with the band but scooted me over to their website to check them out. After doing a bit of research on them, I knew I had to go see them for two reasons. First, I just thought it would be cool to see a Beatles band with a genuine U.K. touch and secondly...well...they're Scottish. Okay, they actually had me at Scottish. ;)
Julie 'introduced' me to Joe Kane (Paul), and after chatting with him for a bit--and probably completely overwhelming him with our story (bless your heart for listening, Joe. You're a sweetheart. LOL!)--I knew THEM BEATLES would be the perfect band to take Jaimie and Jordy to. Xander and Sophie weren't very impressed that they couldn't go too but with the show not starting until 8:00 (their usual bedtime), it would have been too late for them. After making sure I'd have someone to watch my younger ones, I hopped on to Ticketmaster and somehow managed to get Jaimie, Jordy and I front row seats!
I took that as a sign for a great night in store for us.
|Me and Jordy in the lobby before the show.|
It meant so much to me to be able to take my little beauties out. With everything that's been going on lately, the three of us haven't gotten to spend as much 'girl time' together as I'd like. So I did everything in my power to make it a night they wouldn't forget (as you'll see, I had a bit of help along the way.)
They helped me pick out what to wear: a black Revolver tank mini-dress with my white, patent leather peace boots (not the greatest dancing footwear, I have to say). I have to be honest, I felt SO self-conscious wearing that outfit. Those of you who know me well know that I H-A-T-E being in the spotlight or to stand out, but that's what my girls thought would be cool so...I wore it. Jordy chose her HELP t-shirt that I got her for Christmas and we dug through Jaimie's drawers to find her John one. We never found it (BOO! I think that 'John' would have loved it!) so we had to choose between her Please Please Me shirt or my Ringo "Love Is" one. She chose mine, of course. (I'm so never getting that back!)
We also had a surprise for the guys that we finished up. More on that part later.
I have never seen my girls that excited. I could hardly keep them seated and quiet! The other patrons on the train were in hysterics as Jaimie kept asking me, "How many stops now?" while Jordy screamed, "OH MY GOD! I'M GONNA SEE PAUL!" Jordy has never been a quiet one but, Holy Haiti, I thought she was going to get us kicked off the train!
|Testing my camera. Yup! It was working!|
We chit chatted for a bit, checked that our cameras were working, arranged our surprise, then they asked me every minute, "Is it time yet?" FINALLY the lights went out and the real excitement was about to begin...
And here they are....
Okay, going to see a concert like this with kids is very different from when I go on my own. I didn't get to absorb myself in the show quite as much because I was being yanked, grabbed, poked and pulled up to dance. (Okay, I didn't mind the last part so much. I'd have done that anyway.) Plus, I was a bit worried about Jaimie because she kept phasing in and out. But there was alot to take in, even for kids that DON'T have ASD and high sensory issues. She was ready for most things, though, because I'd gotten the general flow of the show from the guys' website in order to prepare her with a social story.
|LOVED this segment.|
I have to be honest, I was so stoked to see they included that stage of the Beatles' career in their show. Diehard Beatles fans know those times in Germany were a major stepping stone in them becoming who they were musically. Those days were hard and tough but sure prepared them for what was to come! And, well, you know...the costumes were pretty darn great. ;) This was one of Jaimie's favorite segments because John sang all the songs. I have to say...I see her point.
|The Caavern, baby!|
In this segment, Pete was gone and RINGO was there! They did "Some Other Guy", which I TOTALLY loved seeing live. The energy in this set was even higher than the first and the girls were up dancing for almost every song. And it was at this point that Jaimie held up our surprise for the guys: A sign that they made themselves. Clark saw it and smiled at her (AW!). She was tickled. They also did fantastic versions of "Rock and Roll Music", "Please Mr. Postman" and "Kansas City - Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey". The hugest surprise is that they did "Any Time At All" and dedicated it to me. It was so sweet but I was SO embarrassed. And much thanks to Jordy for making sure to stand up and point to me to let the entire audience know who 'Chynna' was. LOL! (On a sidenote, I was very impressed that Joe pronounced my name right! I usually have people asking me to say it first. So that was pretty cool, Joe. ;) )
**Um, guys? If you're reading this? Can you do I Want To Be Your Man next time too? That would make this Ringo girl very happy. ;)**
|THE BEST George I've seen, next to George, of course.|
We went up to the lobby to get another drink and people kept coming up to talk to us! I'm not sure why. While I was walking out with the girls hand-in-hand, we were first stopped by a couple right at the door from the theatre to the lobby. They asked if Jaimie and Jordy were the girls dancing up front. Then they said to me, "Kudos to you for keeping the Beatles going onto another generation!" I mean, there were other kids there. I had NO IDEA why we were a focal point. Then I was quickly reminded as another couple came up to ask me where I got my boots. Then a group of ladies asked again as I was walking over to stand in line to get us drinks. Then while I was standing IN the line, some guy told me to tell the band to have me dancing ON the stage in my boots. Really? (I'd bump into this doofus again later on. Ugh!)
After a several songs, they ran off the stage yelling, "C'mon! It's the girls! RUN!" The lights went off again and the screens showed snippets from the days the Beatles were on tour. Suddenly there was this low, high-pitched hum and I soon realized they'd put the screaming from the original Beatles shows around the theatre. Holy crapola! I'm sure it was nowhere near the level it was back in those days but it was still pretty effective. I was worried I'd lose Jaimie at this point because she's so auditory sensitive. But she was okay. She had to cover her ears but she made it through.
The Shea Stadium segment was great. Jordy got to hear "Help!" and some of her other favorites. The boys were really working the audience at this point and that energy I talked about at the beginning was starting to catch on and grow. People were up dancing and really getting into it, which was so awesome to see.
After that segment, they got a bit psychedelic with Sgt. Pepper (Gotta say...have a weakness for the 'staches!). They came on with their awesome outfits and did "Sargeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", "A Little Help From My Friends" and "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds". When they started to play "Octopus' Garden", I wanted to try recording it for Sophie (she LOVES that song!) but I had to squeeze past my row to get to a free seat in the middle to get a clear shot of Grahame. Halfway through my squeezing I ran into Mr. Bootman from the lobby who said he'd let me past if I let him touch my boots. But that's not what I heard the first time. I restrained myself from giving the guy a cuff to the forehead with my elbow and said, "What did you say?" He said, "Lemme touch your BOOTS and I'll let ya go shoot Ringo." Noice.
After the Sgt. Pepper segment, I knew we were close to the end so I started preparing the girls. Next, we got the Get Back/Rooftop stuff. I really loved this part because PAUL got to shine. (YAY, JOE!)
|My FAVORITE picture of Joe.|
I got tired of holding all of our stuff and put our poster up on the stage with our cameras on top. When the lights went down at the end of the song, Clark stole our poster but I didn't see him do it. So when the lights went back on for the encore, I was totally freaking out!
"Where's our poster?" I yelled at Jordy.
"John stole it," she said casually.
"Say what now?"
"Yeah! When the lights went out, he ran over and took it with him."
Then Jaimie started poking my arm yelling, "Oh my GOSH, Mama! They put it in front of the drum!"
And there it was! Right in front of Ringo's bass drum. I was so happy for the girls. What an amazingly cool thing for the guys to do. Jaimie tried getting a picture of it but, apparently, I got my hand in the shot while I was swaying to 'Hey Jude' (the finale). She was so mad at me but soon forgot as the three of us swayed to 'Hey Jude', singing the song together. After the encore song, and introductions to the band and crew were made, Grahame came over and gave the girls a couple of guitar picks. They thought that was the coolest thing ever! (Grahame, that was seriously so sweet of you. That meant the world to them. <3) Then Clark told me he was taking the poster with him and if I wanted it back, I had to meet them up in the lobby afterwards. Noice. ;D
Long story short (too late...) Jaimie was OVER THE TOP stimulated and I had to get her outta there. But she was so determined to meet the guys. So, I took the girls over to the couches on the side and let everyone else go before us. Yes, it was late but it was better for Jaimie in the long run. We had people come over to us after having their moments with the band, telling us how they wished for Jaimie that she got her time with the guys. How TOTALLY sweet is that? And what a beautiful representative of the human spirit?
|My Peace Boots. (Wanna touch 'em? LOL!)|
It was...amazing. I gave my girls their first Beatles experience, THEM BEATLES treated my girls like they were Royalty (I will ALWAYS love you guys for that!) and they gave my girls memories that will last them a lifetime. Thank you...from the bottom of my heart. You'll never know how happy you made my girls. And please come back soon.
(PS: How much did the girls love the picks? Jaimie keeps hers in her diary so she can see it whenever she writes and Jordy keeps hers in a little case on her dresser. Their Beatles treasures. XOXO )
[HEY! Maybe we can get Joe, Clark, Craig and Grahame to come back and join us here on 'The Gift' for a chat really soon! Hmmm...]
|Clark - Hamburgh|
|Joe - Rooftop|
|Craig - Ed Sullivan|
|Clark with Jaimie's camera |
(just before making a funny face at her. LOL!)
|(((RINGO))) ~ Grahame|
|Joe and Craig - Sgt. Pepper|
|Craig - Rooftop|
|The girls' poster - signed|
|Jaimie, Jordy and Mama w/Them Beatles|