Beatles vs. Stones: Tribute show at the Avalon settles the scoreJan 06, 2019 02:03AM ● By Guest
Chris Legrand and Trey Garrity, members of Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction, portray Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as they go head to head with Beatles tribute band Abbey Road. Photo by Michelle Fairless.
The debate between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones has been going on ever since they first crossed paths on the charts 54 years ago. The argument at the time, and one that still persists, was that the Beatles were a pop group and the Stones were a rock band: the boys next door vs. the bad boys of rock.
So who’s better? These two legendary bands will engage in an on-stage musical showdown on Thursday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre, courtesy of tribute bands Abbey Road and Satisfaction.
With brilliant musicianship and authentic costumes and gear, Beatles tribute Abbey Road plays beloved songs spanning the Feb Four’s career. They face off against renowned Stones tribute band Satisfaction that offers a faithful rendition of the music and style of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the bad boys of the British Invasion.
“Music fans never had a chance to see the Beatles and the Rolling Stones perform on the same marquee,” said Chris LeGrand, who plays Mick Jagger in the show. “Now music aficionados can watch this debate play out on stage.”
The Grand Junction show is part of a 125-stop tour of the U.S., Australia and Canada and has been touring since 2011. The show includes some of the more popular songs from the two rock pioneers, covering the scope of their musical careers, although the set list for Satisfaction usually includes Rolling Stones songs up to the 1980s.
The bands perform three sets each during the two-hour show, trading places in quick set changes and ending the night with an all-out encore involving both bands. There’s a lot of good-natured jabbing between the bands as well.
“Without Beatlemania, the Stones might still be a cover band in London,” said Chris Overall, who plays Paul McCartney. “There’s no question that the Beatles set the standard.”
Many BEACON readers grew up listening to one or both of these bands when pop/rock acts from the United Kingdom dominated the U.S. music charts in the ’60s. Hitting the music scene in 1960, the Beatles paved the way for the British Invasion, a cultural phenomenon that also included the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Yard Birds and The Who.
The Beatles took America by storm, capturing the hearts of the first wave of post-World War II Baby Boomers who were entering their teenage years. Young girls fell in love with their boyish charm and innovative sound, influenced by Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.
Like many girls her age, Fruita resident Cathy Martin was infatuated with the Beatles. She bought their albums, watched them on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” and listened to songs repeatedly until she knew all the words.
“I was a pretty hardcore Beatles fan,” said Martin, 70. “They were cute and I like the way they sounded. Before them, rock and roll was like Elvis Presley, and theirs was just a totally different sound. It just kind of spoke to what I was going through at the time—just being a teenager and wanting Paul [McCartney] to fall madly in love with me.”
On August 26, 1964, Martin saw the Beatles perform live for an audience of more than 7,000 people at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison.
“I was one of those silly girls who was a screamer,” she said. “When they came to Denver, it was pretty exciting. They were teeny-tiny on the stage but we could hear them.”
The Beatles’ career was short-lived, with the group disbanding in 1970, but they made the most of their decade together growing as artists, breaking through the constraints of their time and revolutionizing popular music through experimentation and sociopolitical messaging.
Martin prefers the music of the Beatles’ early years. Their first album, “Meet the Beatles!” is one of her favorites.
“They appealed more to me than heavy rock,” Martin said. “The Rolling Stones were just so—there was a lot of sex in the way they acted and performed on stage. Maybe that was just too much for me.”
Rock ’n’ roll's greatest
While the Beatles experienced musical and commercial success for their contributions to rock music, many claim the Rolling Stones to be “the greatest rock ’n’ roll band in the world.”
With a raw and edgy sound rooted in blues, the Stones’ loud music and unpredictable stage presence appealed to a more rebellious lot of American youth, which made them right up Barbara Tweedy’s alley.
“I was quite a partier in high school, and I listened to a lot of rock ’n’ roll,” said Tweedy, 55.
Although she grew up listening to Paul McCartney and Wings, the Beatles had disbanded long before she entered her teenage years, which she spent listening to music by The Cars, Black Sabbath, Nazareth, Rush and Stevie Nicks.
She was attending college in Oklahoma City when she saw the Rolling Stones live at the Dallas Cotton Bowl Stadium in 1981.
“It was kind of one of those once-in-a-lifetime concerts,” she said. “Mick Jagger is quite the entertainer. They put on a great show.”
That’s also the year the Stones upped the ante on their live performances, increasing the size of their stage to include runways and movable sections that extended out above the crowds.
Tweedy remembers their performance as wild, loose and liberating. And that’s how Andrew Oldham, the Stones’ manager from 1963-67, wanted it. He imagined them to be the complete opposite of the Beatles—long hair and unmatched clothing with a rather raunchy appearance.
The Stones crossed paths with the Beatles on numerous occasions and were sometimes at odds over which band was more creative, talented and overall, more popular.
Decide for yourself as you watch both bands go head to head at Beatles vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown. Audiences will appreciate top-shelf tributes of both legendary bands in the same evening.
“We’re going to bring it all. It’s going to be an evening of high-energy music,” said LeGrand.
Tickets are $35-$65 and may be purchased online at www.avalontheatregj.com, by phone at 800- 626-TIXS (8497) or at the box office.
Real Stones, Real Tickets, Real Free
The Rolling Stones are coming to Denver’s Broncos Stadium at Mile High on May 26 for their much anticipated “No Filter” tour, and the BEACON is giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky reader!
Tickets to the show are sold out, but enter for your chance to win by attending BeaconFest Boomer & Senior Fair on April 16 at Two Rivers Convention Center.
Keep an eye out for details in the next few months about this exciting giveaway.