The Bootleg Beatles Debut in Singapore

The performance in one word: FANTASTIC

Technical perfection; hilarious interaction with the crowd; fabulous live orchestra; meticulous attention in maintaining the integrity of their rendition of familiar hits by the world’s favourite pop band, The Beatles. Check, check, check, and check. All you Beatles fans, here’s an early Christmas present! If you have plans for tomorrow (last chance to catch them on this tour), CANCEL THEM. Yes, they’re only here for one weekend, booo.

Excellent performances always tell a good story. But the best performances evoke great stories. The Bootleg Beatles, with a lineup that reflects The Beatles’ evolution as a band, will do both of that, for those who grew up with the legendary Fab Four.

Chapter One: Just how you remembered them. Opening the show in mop-tops and black turtlenecks, with I Wanna Hold Your Hand, the tribute band takes us by the hand down memory lane. The only thing lacking was a crazy crowd of mini-dress-and-outrageous-boots-clad feverish young girls going absolutely bananas for these four dudes on stage. Ah, the good old days. We hear a few more hits from the Beatlemania era, including Please Please MeAll My Lovin’, She Loves You, and Love Me Do. Three songs into the performance, ‘George Harrison’ tells us to ignore the stewards who wouldn’t let us take photographs. “Please, take more pictures. Snap away! Just don’t use your digital cameras, because they haven’t been invented yet.” He also got all of us on our feet, dancing like there’s no tomorrow to every other song. Yeahhh, they very thoughtfully alternated the slow and quick tunes so we would have a chance to catch our breath.

Chapter Two: The Beatlemania continues. While ‘Sir McCartney’ serenades us with Yesterday, the rest of the Fab Four disappear backstage. They come back 3 minutes later, wearing the tan jackets from the Shea Stadium show. Tracks from this segment include Help!, I Feel Fine, Can’t Buy Me Love, Ticket To Ride, Twist and Shout. Mmhmm, this time the lineup wasn’t so kind to those of us with poor stamina, but that’s just the way we like it.


Chapter Three: Boys to Men- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club. Over the intermission, the four dudes have grown themselves some facial hair, and now come back on stage dressed in the iconic Sgt. Pepper  blacklight-reactive satin military-style outfits. The video backdrop begins to play psychedelic graphics, also iconic of The Beatles’ Flower Power era. Okay I know I said the best performances evoke great stories… But sometimes you don’t have to remember what exactly happened, as long as you know they were good times. You know I know you know what I mean. The hiiighlights: I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, I Am The Walrus (with the most deliciously psychedelic video backdrop featuring the Eggman, winged policemen, flying fish… and Kellogg’s…), Magical Mystery Tour, and of course Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Maybe I should be writing this anonymously. Okay, jokes aside, this tribute band really deserves a huge pat on the back… no, not to check if they OD-ed… for bringing us songs that The Beatles never even performed live before and sounding exaccttlyy like how I remember the records. Every sigh, pause, whoop… Just, wow.

Finale. While ‘George Harrison’ entertained us with his jokes and a beautiful, beautiful rendition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, the rest of his band mates went to change into their final set of costumes. They come back looking like they walked right off Abbey Road. You know, ‘John Lennon’ with his hippie shoulder-length hair and white suit and peace sign. We’re hearing Come Together, Here Comes The Sun, and we know the show’s nearing the end. Then during The Ballad of John and Yoko Ono, I just happen to glance back around at the audience (who are all up on their feet totally absorbed in the music), and I see an old white couple slow dancing in the aisles. Le sigh. What a Christmas appropriate sight. Then I tried to imagine how peculiar it must be to feel so old but so young at the same time, to dance to music that takes you back to your twenties, with old rickety knees and your gray-haired lover. My random thoughts are disrupted by boos. The audience has just been told that we’re going on the last song for the night. Don’t think they could have chosen a better song– everyone is up on their feet, arms around each other, singing along to Hey Jude.

“It’s our first night in Singapore, and I just gotta say… You’re the best audience we’ve had in Singapore.”

ENCORE!!! They come back. Back In The USSR. ONE MORE!!! Oh, alright. Just one more. Some Other Guy. The live orchestra members are boogie-ing and line-dancing and tango-ing with their instruments on stage having a ball. If you still haven’t cancelled your plans and booked your tickets, you probably should get on it, like now.

Performance Schedule
8 – 11 November 2012
Duration 2 hours 30 minutes
Get your tickets from:

Current Bootleg Beatles:
Andre Barreau as George Harrison
Adam Hastings as John Lennon
Hugo Degenhardt as Ringo Starr, and
Steve White as Paul McCartney

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