Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yesterday and Today

Why do you love certain music? For many that influence is from their parents. For the McGuigan brothers, that lifetime influence was from their father and his love of the Beatles. While other school-aged children were going to the movies on weekends, these brothers were singing Beatles songs.

“Yesterday and Today” is a concert of Beatles music. No, they do not perform every song or even attempt that feat. They do perform prepared sets of traditional Beatles music from various time periods and take requests from the audience. (You need to stop by the table outside the theater to place your requests. Also list the reason since that is a criteria to have your song selected.)

The McGuigan brothers are led byy Billy who sings, plays guitar, and the piano; Ryan who sings and plays the acoustic guitar; and Matthew who sings and plays bass. Supporting the brothers is a group of amazing musicians. Leon Adams on the keyboards is wonderful. Jason Ferguson as lead guitarist is truly an exceptional guitarist who can literally play anything masterfully and artistically. George Laughery sings, plays guitars and keyboards/ He is a truly gifted musician with everything. Rich Miller as the drummer and occasional singer is an asset to any musical group.

Having a band in a small theater has to be a sound engineer's nightmare. The band wants to and should be loud. Keeping the balance is difficult with the multiple amplifiers on stage and determining who is singing the lead, the harmonies, and constantly having to instinctly know which mikes need to be louder than the others. With this group who seem to know every Beatles song, the task had to be daunting. Sometimes the balance was off which is to be expected.

I was amazed at the young children in the audience and their love of Beatles music. Naturally, I expected the older people who grew up with the Beatles to love it, but to watch children and young adults to be as thrilled with the music as well as the older ones, was exciting and really allowed me to see relevant this music is today, many years after it was written.

From songs from the Beatles' Christmas album, to “Octopus Garden”, "You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello”, “When I'm 64”, “Ticket to Ride”, “Yellow Submarine”, “Blackbird Singing”, “Yesterday”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Elinor Rigby”, “She Loves You”, “I am the Walrus”, “Twist and Shout” which had everyone on their feet, “Hey Jude”, amd more this was a wonderful show with the performers constantly interacting with audience for the entire family.

This is the fourth year for the McGuigan brothers, "Yesterday and Today" at the
Omaha Playhouse. This show will continue through December 31st with performances Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 pm. and Sunday at 2 pm. at the Howard Drew Theatre. Tickets are $38 with discounts for groups and for the special New Year's performance. For tickets contact the box office at 402-553-0800, or www.OmahaPlayhouse.org, or www.TicketOmaha.com.

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