Perhaps no era of American history is more romanticized, missed and cherished
than the 1960s. And on Thursday night, Tony Kishman’s Beatles tribute band
turned Tel Aviv’s Opera House into a time warp. The band hearkened back to a
time when people dressed to the nines, civic and women’s rights came to the
forefront and sex, love and rock and roll reigned supreme.
It was a time
of revolution. And the Beatles provided the soundtrack.
One would think,
though – 50 years later – that the generation once captivated by this legendary
band would have moved on. After all, they’ve gotten jobs, became parents and
grown up. But judging by the way the crowd jumped out of their seats and danced
to the band’s “All You Need is Love” concert, it was clear the love for the Fab
Four never died.
It helps, of course, that Tuscon, Arizona native Tony
Kishman is a very believable Paul McCartney doppelganger. The floppy hair, high
cheekbones and earnest demeanor while singing about love, peace and harmony made
it easy to believe that the actual Liverpool native was on stage.
concert chronicles the legendary group’s evolving history. From the clean-cut
black suits they donned for their Ed Sullivan Show performance in 1963, to the
bright polyester military uniforms worn for their psychedelically influenced
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Kishman, Jim Owen as John Lennon, Chris
Camilleri as Ringo Starr and David John as George Harrison took the audience
through every culturally riveting phase of Beatlemania.
But memory is a
fickle thing, and like most bouts with nostalgia we only tend to remember the
good, and banish the bad to the far corners of our mind. And the band, which
portrays the Beatles reverently, does just that.
The unfortunate phases
such as the passing of their first manager Brian Epstein, Yoko Ono’s rumored
meddling with band affairs, and the group’s eventual demise are addressed, but
glossed over in favor of highlighting the high points.
The band performed
quintessential hits like “Help!” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” while video
clips of the band electrifying Shea Stadium and teen girls weeping at the sight
of them lent a frenzied and joyful mood to the concert.
ability to cross generations, languages and countries, the entire room came
together for a closing rendition of “Hey Jude.”
And, in a true sign of
the times, instead of seeing a sea of small flames from cigarette lighters in
the air, pricks of florescent lights from individual iPhone screens illuminated
And perhaps that is truly the legacy of one of the most
influential bands of all time: They were able to make their music relevant,
despite passing decades, technological advances and shifting
tastes.Additional performances of All You Need is Love will be held
tonight at the Beersheva Center for Performing Arts, December 10 at Kibbutz
Yagur and December 11 at the Jerusalem Theater.