Keeping Iconic Bands Alive: Provo Hosts Beatles Tribute Band

A Beatles fan shows up two hours early to watch a performance by tribute band Imagine: Remembering the Fab Four in Provo. Even though the original band broke up over 50 years ago, people around the world still have the chance to experience the essence of the musicians through tribute bands. (Andrea Zapata)

People of all ages attended a concert by a Beatles tribute band at the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo on Saturday night.

The concert lasted about an hour and a half, featuring many of the Beatles’ best-known songs. The public was invited to dance and sing during the show.

Despite the euphoria caused by the band Imagine: Remembering the Fab Four on February 5, the tribute bands have still garnered mixed opinions among music fans.

According to an article in the New York Times, for some, the musicians who make up the tribute bands are just imposters or pretenders, trying to profit from the fame and work of other famous musical groups such as Queen, ABBA and Nirvana.

For others, however, these tribute bands are the only way to get a taste of their favorite bands and songs.

Lifetime Beatles fan Brad Grob attended the Saturday night show and expressed his respect and gratitude for the people who are part of the tribute bands. He said it makes it possible to relive the performances of their favorite music groups.

“It’s obviously not the Beatles, but you can’t go see the Beatles anymore, so that’s really the best thing to do,” Grob said.

The members of Imagine: Remembering the Fab Four said their sole purpose was to express their admiration for the Beatles and show that sentiment through their performances.

Although they said they faced no negative or harsh reviews in their 28 years together, the tribute band members are aware of the responsibility they take on playing the roles of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

“Being a tribute band is a double-edged sword because people love the songs you play and they also know how the songs go, so you have to do your best to capture that essence,” said member Tom Coburn. of the group.

Coburn, who plays John Lennon, said he felt gratitude from the public after the band’s performances during his years as part of the tribute band.

“The best part of these shows is when you see a 70-year-old man with his kids and grandkids, and they’re all singing the songs you’re playing,” Coburn said. “Unless you’re an athlete playing in a stadium, I don’t know if there’s any better feeling in the world.”

Brad Armstrong, who plays George Harrison, said he felt like he and his band members were the luckiest people and had the best job of becoming their most beloved musicians to earn their life.

“The best part of it all is the people you meet, all the places you go, all the experiences you have — it’s priceless,” Armstrong said.

Imagine: Remembering the Fab Four sings the Beatles song “She Loves You” at the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo. During the show, audience members clapped, skipped and sang along to some of the British band’s most famous pop songs. (Andrea Zapata)

“We grew up with the Beatles,” said Debra Hills, a 72-year-old concert attendee. “They had and still have a huge following, so age makes no difference and it shows in the people who showed up for tonight’s gig.”

Saturday night audiences ranged from college students to retired couples.

“The Beatles are timeless and appealing to all ages,” said BYU Vocal Point member Jensen Diederich, who attended the concert. “Looking around me, I see young teenagers and I see old people: everyone is there, ready to jump and sing.”

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