Beatles tribute show kicks off Alive @ 5 summer concerts

When Scot Arch saw the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, he was musically inspired.

Little did he know how closely intertwined his music would become with the British rock group that would become a worldwide sensation.

“I didn’t know then that I would end up playing Beatles music almost entirely and exclusively, but that’s what made me want to play guitar,” he said.

Arch plays the music of those inspirational musicians as part of the group Beatlemania Now, a touring Beatles tribute band. He portrays John Lennon in the shows.

Beatlemania Now is the kickoff show for the 2013 Alive @ 5 summer concert series held at the Railroaders Memorial Museum, Altoona. This is the seventh year for the series.

Beatlemania Now will take the stage on Saturday with opening band The Sitch.

Sherry McCarthy, director of marketing for the Railroaders Memorial Museum and Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark, said in an email that audiences help determine what shows perform at the museum’s concert venue.

“Every year, we try to give people what they ask for,” she said. “I take suggestions from people when I’m talking to them at the concerts or when they call in to the museum or message us on Facebook. We have had a great success with the tribute acts, and I think people are realizing they can get very close to the real thing with the tribute bands at a fraction of the cost.”

The Alive @ 5 shows are popular attractions.

“The shows are always successful, people love to come outside and listen to live bands when the weather starts getting nice. They don’t want to be indoors,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said Beatlemania Now was picked because of their great reputation.

“There are so many different age groups that are Beatles fans,” she said. “I think this show will be unique because they will be doing costume changes throughout their set and people will truly be amazed at how well they portray the Beatles.”

The audience can expect to hear songs such as “I Am the Walrus,” “Strawberry Fields,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Come Together,” covering different time periods when the band was together, Arch said.

The tribute band got started after Arch was in the bus and truck tour of the Broadway production of Beatlemania. The tour ended in 1982, but Arch continued doing the show, he said.

Beatlemania Now has traveled across the world, including Brazil and Argentina, he said.

“They usually really, really love it,” he said of audiences in other countries. “The Beatles were huge all over the world and as a result due to that we can go in all over the world and please people. We’re playing their music and it’s great, great music and there’s so much of it that’s great.”

Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.