By Bill Dudley

Associated Press says ‘Rain’ is “the next best thing to seeing The Beatles in person,” which you obviously can’t do anymore. I’ve never been a big fan of cover bands, but ‘Rain’ nails it.

Formed by keyboardist Mark Lewis right here in Los Angeles as ‘Reign’ back in the 1970s, not long after The Beatles broke up. Due to frequent press mis-spellings, the name was changed to”Rain,’ the title of a 1966 Beatles single. ‘Rain’ is far more than a cover band, it is an experience. Dick Clark was so impressed with them, he signed ‘Rain’ to record the soundtrack for the 1979 made-for-TV-movie ‘Birth Of The Beatles.’

An excellent stage show starts off in the year 1963 with the ‘Rain’ mop-tops performing The Beatles first English hits “Please,Please Me” and “From Me To You.” Filmed segments of the Beatles first press conferences during their  1964 inaugural tour of America, and 1965 Shea Stadium concert augment the stellar vocal performances. Constant costume changes reflect the evolving musical (and hair) styles The Beatles made during their initial 7 year influential run on the American pop charts.

The first set ends in the summer of 1967 with a note perfect performance of the “Sgt.Peppers Reprise/Day In The Life.” This is the stuff that The Beatles thought was far too complex to ever perform on stage. Few realize that The Beatles never performed anything as a group on the concert stage after 1965. The second set covers the years 1967-1970, where Paul’s “Hey Jude,” George’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and Lennon’s solo effort “Give Peace A Chance” are standouts. ‘Rain’ actually features a fifth Beatle that adds dynamics to the keyboards, so songs like “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” can really come to life.

The raw talent and personalities of John, Paul, George and Ringo are well executed (and nuanced) down to the very last note, nod and wink. ‘Rain’ is a first class Broadway style show, which will take you back to the 1960s with the brilliant music of the era’s best loved group.

The Beatles spoke for a generation, and they do it again in ‘Rain’, all this week at The Pantages Theatre. If you attend the show, don’t be surprised if you see yourself mixed in with the audience shots of the 1960s on the side screens. It is done so well,you will really think you are there at Shea Stadium in 1965.

For tickets and showtimes to ‘Rain,’ visit

Click here to watch the cast of ‘Rain’ perform “Here Comes The Sun” live in studio!


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