Beatles enthusiasts filled seats in the Wray Theater at Rio Hondo College Mar. 11 for a one of a kind experience put on by Beatles tribute band Hard Day’s Night. The attendees, old and young, were not let down. Audience members heard countless songs that were sung in a near exact tone to The Beatles, and Hard Day’s Night members nailed the exact look from clothing to instruments to match The Beatles aesthetic.
The name of the band, Hard Day’s Night, comes from the 1964 self-titled album and song, “A Hard Day’s Night.” The band, from Los Angeles, is comprised of four members, and each one plays the role of a Beatle, with Gilbert Bonilla as John Lennon, Frank Mendonca as Paul McCartney, Doug Couture as George Harrison, and Jeremy O’Dell as Ringo Starr.
This first ever event was made possible by the Division of Arts and Cultural Programs at Rio. The event started at 7:30 p.m., but people were arriving as early as 5:30 to get good seats for the show.
As their performance began, the audience was shown a clip of The Ed Sullivan Show with The Beatles performing for the first time ever in the United States and marked what would be one of the most iconic moments in music history. The Beatles, in their well known black suits and mop top hair, would don this look for nearly three years as their fanbase and popularity rose in the next several years.
Hard Day’s Night came out in the same attire and began their set with the first song they played on The Ed Sullivan Show, “She Loves You.” A short song filled with emotions of a bad relationship. Other songs like “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “I Should Have Known Better” had the crowd singing along. Hard Day’s Night finished the first part of the performance with “Yesterday,” a more somber song that makes everyone remember about a lost love.
Songs like the famously known “Twist And Shout” had reenergized the crowd after the final song from the first set and the song “Act Naturally,” that had a country feel to it with the acoustic guitar and Starr’s vocals accentuating the song. The crowd cheered often throughout the song “Can’t Buy Me Love” and had finished off the second part of the show with the song “I Saw Her Standing There.”
After a 20 minute intermission, Hard Day’s Night recommenced with another video, this time where The Beatles are being interviewed and a time where they began to experiment with their sound, maintaining and improving the quality of their songs. Hard Day’s Night came out in the same attire The Beatles had on during the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band era and played songs exclusively from the album itself.
Commencing again with the song “With A Little Help From My Friends,” it had the same upbeat tempo and feeling an older Beatles song would have. It was a delight to the crowd and the alternating sound in “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” had a slow psychedelic beginning and gradual progression that gave it such an eerie feeling. Ending the third part of the show was the song, “A Day In The Life.” It had a very creepy sound sung by Lennon, yet uplifting when McCartney began to sing.
The final video contained people who were singing their favorite Beatles song, an impact the band would have on many people, then and now. Even though The Beatles would have creative differences that would lead to their breakup, their final years still proved that they still had a knack for making great music.
“Get Back, Don’t Let Me Down,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and “Revolution” were all songs that had an upbeat feeling to it that brought the audience in for the finale. The last song Hard Day’s Night performed was “Hey Jude,” one of the most famous Beatles songs. The crowd sung the song, and seeing them enjoy themselves gave it such a Beatles-esque feel to it.
The show brought back some of the great hits that The Beatles produced and Hard Day’s Night’s spectacular performance only makes us wish that The Beatles were here now to make more music and provide us with more memories.