Last week was the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. In the history of pop culture and rock n’ roll, this was about as historic a night as there was. I tried to think of things that have happened in my lifetime that have been as significant, and couldn’t come up with many. How many amazing artists have come and gone, and made appearances on prime time television in the last 50 years? Many. How many appearances were so memorable that they will be remembered 50 years later? Few I think. There was a great tribute show on TV commemorating it, and it was great to see Paul and RIngo up on stage together, as well as all of the other artists that paid musical tribute, not to mention the Cirque du Soleil performers who joined the spectacle. It made me think of Las Vegas!
What doesn’t make me think of Las Vegas? When I drive to the store tomorrow morning to pick up milk for my son, I will find a way to think of Vegas. That’s just how my mind works. There is a good Vegas/Beatles connection though. One of the Cirque du Soleil shows on the Strip titled “LOVE” is a fantastic show inspired by the music of The Beatles. When I went to The Mirage Hotel to see this a couple of years ago, it was the first Cirque performance I’d ever seen. I had heard that it was something not to be missed if you were a big music fan, but if you wanted to see the crazy acrobatics that these shows are known for, then maybe there were better Cirque shows to see. Personally, I’m all about the music, and I could care less about the degree of difficulty for the performers, as long as they perform well, and they did. In fact, this show was so well done on every level that I contemplate seeing it again every time I go back. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house. The visual presentation was stunning. I can’t speak on behalf of all Beatles’ fans, but I loved the music. It’s almost like a mash-up of The Beatles catalogue, which probably has purists cringing, but the mixing was done by The Beatles’ original producer George Martin and his son Giles. This gives the show some extra credibility for the music fans. I liked that it wasn’t a greatest hits collection either, but a great mix of #1s and album tracks with subtle re-workings and remixes thrown in. Any uptight music nerds can un-clench, and trust me. It’s awesome, but buy the soundtrack at your own risk. The performers were incredible too. I get so nervous for them while I’m watching. I don’t have a good stomach for that stuff. They really brought the music to life.
In case “LOVE” is out of your price range, there is another intriguing option for The Beatles’ fans travelling to Vegas. At Planet Hollywood Hotel, there is a show called “B – A Tribute To The Beatles”. This one is cheap and cheerful by Vegas standards, and has a 5:30 pm start time, which means you can watch the show, and not have to rush through dinner afterwards. These guys are impersonators who put on a full concert in full costume, which they change 3 times during the show to reflect their evolving looks. The music is dead on, and whether you think watching impersonators is cool or not, there is no way any of us will ever see The Beatles in concert, and this might be as close as we’ll ever get. If this sucked, I would tell you, but to be honest, these guys are pretty incredible. If you sit too close, you’ll realize they’re way older than the guys they’re impersonating were, but it must have taken them years to get the act sounding this good. It might be the best bang for the buck show on the strip if you like The Beatles.