Long live rock, I need it every night

Saturday, January 12, 2008

(Popillia japonica) - Japanese Beatles

The Silver Beats - Friday, 1/11/2008 - 9:30 Club - $15

It was a banner night out for RC this week. Lots of excitement in the air, Jimbromski enjoying the anticipation of a weekend of NFL playoffs, Jumboslice recently learning the gender of his unborn, sacklunch triumphant in his recent successes with CTRL+C and CTRL+V, and I just booked a trip to Florida for spring training baseball. We were ready for an equally upbeat show.

This week's show was The Silver Beats, Japan's highly acclaimed Beatles tribute band. I'll confess now that the details of last night are rather sketchy in my mind. But per the usual, members of RC assembled at my place for pre-show festivities and treats from our chef boy r-d, sacklunch. RC associate Stuttson kept us a quartet for pre-concert tomfoolery, while underachiever sacklunch napped at home (thanks go to Jumboslice for muling the chocolaty goodness in advance). After adequate pre-show blathering, RC wove its way through the congestion of U street's sidewalks and met up with sacklunch at the 9:30 Club. I understand that the show actually sold out. Impressive? Maybe. It should have been obvious though. When I considered the offerings for the week, it was slim pickins, and not being a big Vita Ruins fan, the sure bet seemed to be a solid tribute band - playing some of the best rock ever created - at an upscale rock venue - while being, well, Japanese. So I was right to suggest we get our tix in advance.

We arrived at the 9:30 Club and joined the throngs of young hipsters making their way inside. There was some speculation as to whether or not we'd see lots of youthful DC concert goers decked out with Hello Kitty backpacks and white knee socks. I didn't see any, but that doesn't mean they weren't there. As for the show? What can I say? It was such a blur. Most memorable things from my night were: familiar Beatles tunes; a Japanese woman trying to spring board across a moat of water; and some guy eating 53 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Can we go back to the concept again, though?

With the Rolling Stones, the Who, and potentially Led Zeppelin keeping yesteryear rock alive with tours, some of us still have a shot at seeing concerts featuring music that never seems to die. Never mind the fact that the Beatles consciously stopped touring at the height of their career, Lennon's death certainly meant we would never get the chance to see the Beatles perform. Even if Ringo and Paul hit the road together today, I don't think it would be at all interesting. So, instead we can enjoy four Japanese dudes, dressing in Beatles For Sale-era clothing and haircuts, giving us an amusing rock-n-roll down memory lane.

Without trying to be insensitive, I think Americans like seeing the Japanese do odd things. As I noted in my earlier post, this is evident with the popularity of shows like MXC (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge). This is carried over to the benefit of the Silver Beats, and it's a winning combination. If you're going to be a novelty act, who's coat tails are better to ride than those of the Beatles? For once, it's not a crap American band who purports to be "big in Japan." Instead, you've got a solid Japanese tribute band earning a dollar in the good ol' US of A.

Topic of conversation: Some (Jimbromski) like to think that each member of the Fab Four has a distinct quality/characteristic/personality that covers all of us, sort of like a Myers Briggs personality scale thing. So, which member of the Beatles would you say you most resemble? Everybody wants to be John and/or Paul. And no one wants to be Ringo (sacklunch is one for sure), but as Jimbromski says, Ringo is still one of the Beatles, so being Ringo isn't a bad thing (he's still alive at least - and about to release an album thankyouverymuch). So food for thought today, if you're honest with yourself, which Beatle would you be? I'm going with George. The man was awkward and had his lady stolen away by Eric Clapton. Seems about right to me.


Steve said...

Last night show's was entertaining, but you haven't really experienced the band unless you see them in their replica "Cavern Club" in Tokyo. We were sent there for a work project for several months back in 2005 and went to see these guys pretty much weekly.

Granted, after a few weeks in Tokyo, you'll do just about anything (including eating at Tony Romas, the Place for Ribs) to hear someone speak English to you.

Jimbromski said...

That Beatle personality idea was something I read in an interview with John Travolta, so I have to give him the credit.

Your Beatle personality: Brian Epstein.

Jumbo Slice said...

I'd say I'm a Paul. Jimbromski is a John, Sacklunch is a Ringo, and I'd agree Potsy is a George. Although I think Potsy could be a Paul as well.

Does this work for other bands? Which Guns & Roses member are you? How about Van Halen? Boy bands always have certain roles that need to be filled: the cute one, the shy one, the bad boy, and the dork. I'd say we're more like a boy band than the Beatles.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Stuart Sutcliffe. So far ahead of the curve that I miss it completely, no one knows who I am, much less if I am alive, and I don't even get any royalties.

Rent BACKBEAT. You'll see.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...does this apply to females?! If I am honest, I am probably a Ringo.

G.H. said...

wait, what songs did the Silver Beats play?

Potsy said...

Good question. I dunno. The show was sold out. We hung out at my place and watched MXC and listened to Let It Be. Maybe Steve can enlighten us...

ra said...

Just ran across this review (about a year late). 1st commenter is right, they were really fun to see in the Cavern Club in Tokyo. i tried to film them a few times, but the manager kept (politely) asking me to stop (not allowed! not allowed). got one pic w/ them though, they were very polite.