Written for The Post-Crescent/Fox Cities Hub January 18, 2010
2010 marks 40 years since The Beatles announced their break-up to the world.
The milestone comes along with last year’s resurgence of Beatlemania. Thanks to The Beatles: RockBand video game and the release of digitally remastered albums, new generations are discovering the Fab Four while longtime fans can hear the band in a whole new way.
You can relive Beatlemania through a tribute show featuring Chicago-based band BritBeat this Saturday (Jan. 23) at Waverly Beach in Menasha.
The four members of BritBeat are definitely a dedicated tribute band. The show consists of three acts, each focusing on a different era of Beatles history. It begins with “The Ed Sullivan Show” era complete with mop-tops and black suits, moves to the psychedelic Sgt. Pepper era, and wraps up with the Abbey Road recording sessions. This will be the band’s third visit to Waverly Beach.
“We’re really excited to be at Waverly Beach again, the crowds there have been wonderful,” says 28 year-old Chris Getsla who started the band and portrays Paul McCartney in the show.
Getsla discovered the Beatles in junior high school when his parents suggested he use the tune “A Hard Day’s Night” for a school project. The song struck a chord with the young teenager, and he quickly became a die-hard Beatles fan.
In high school, Getsla teamed up with his friend Danny Leavitt, who plays George Harrison, to perform as The Beatles in a school variety show. The performance was a hit, and that was the start of BritBeat.
“We actually rode the bus together to school,” says Getsla of his partner and pal Leavitt. “That was the same way that the real Paul and George met.” Other current members of BritBeat include James Lynch as John Lennon, and Dave Robinson as Ringo Starr.
In 2002, the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau chose BritBeat to play in a concert welcoming Paul McCartney to the city during McCartney’s Driving USA tour.
In 2005, BritBeat had the opportunity to play with original Beatle’s drummer Pete Best to mark the 40th anniversary of the band’s 1965 concert at Comiskey Park.
Getsla says all the recent attention to his favorite band comes as no surprise.
“In fact from year to year it’s been an increase in interest in The Beatles,” he says. “It doesn’t seem to be waning, it seems to be increasing.”
Getsla claims BritBeat’s show is one of the most authentic tributes you’ll find. If you’ve seen them perform in the past, he says new songs and new lighting effects have been added.
There is a $10 cover charge for this Saturday’s show at Waverly Beach. Tickets may also be purchased in advance. The concert starts at 8 p.m.
Check out the YouTube video of BritBeat below: You can also visit http://www.britbeat.com for more on the band including information about an upcoming Mexican cruise.