Here comes the sun … and the RAIN, with The Beatles’ tribute band from Los Angeles.
Set to give Chautauqua a trip down memory lane, RAIN will perform at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater. Lead singer Steve Landes, known on stage as John Lennon, said the show is a homage to “the most-loved band out there.”
“I hope our audience takes the feeling of peace and love … and the positive messages of The Beatles,” he said. “Their music has always touched the heart and soul of everyone who listens to and enjoys their music.”
Formed just five years after The Beatles disbanded, RAIN started in 1975 with different cast members. Currently, the tribute band is comprised of Landes on vocals and rhythm guitar; Joey Curatolo (Paul McCartney) on vocals, bass, and guitar; Alastar McNeil (George Harrison) on vocals and lead guitar; and Aaron Chiazza (Ringo Starr) on drums, percussion and vocals.
Each of the four in the cast act as a member of the original band. The “authentic” look and feel of instruments and costumes help them set the mood.
“It’s almost a head game,” Landes said. “I have to act like this is the first time I’ve played this song (with) the enthusiasm, energy and spark of improvisation on my face, and it has to be exact.”
Lennon was often referred to as the “big brother” of the original band, and Landes said he feels he takes on a similar role.
“I’ve been in RAIN longer than all of the other guys in the current cast,” he said. “In that sense, I’m definitely the big brother and band leader out on the road.”
While some people may be surprised, Landes said the audience can expect that RAIN “sounds and looks just like” The Beatles.
“If you don’t play it exactly like (the original) … from a subconscious point of view, the audience is going to say, ‘I don’t quite know what it was, but they didn’t quite sound like The Beatles,’ ” he said. “We don’t ever want that.”
One of Landes’ favorite parts of touring in a tribute band is seeing families bring younger relatives who enjoy the show just as much as the adults.
“The Beatles are so meshed in our culture and in our musical history,” Landes said. “There’s a sense of almost reminding people how great The Beatles were.”
Although most music can be streamed online, Landes said nothing compares to experiencing a band live, and RAIN offers that to generations of Fab Four fans.
“There’s still something special … (about) that interaction between the performer and the audience,” he said. “That’s a big part of why we do it.”