When the Rain comes down to Youngstown


Beatles tribute band Rain will take the stage at Powers Auditorium on Thursday. The band, which hit Broadway in 2010, is on its North American tour. Photo courtesy of Rain.

On Thursday, Beatles tribute band Rain will perform at Youngstown’s Edward W. Powers Auditorium in the DeYor Performing Arts Center as part of its 2013 North American tour.

“Experience the Beatles with Rain” gives fans across the nation a chance to “twist ‘n’ shout” to Beatles classics as Rain celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four.

In addition to performing renditions of “Hey Jude” and other popular Beatles works, Rain replicates the iconic British pop band down to the their fashion — stretching all the way from the clean-cut suits worn during their “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance in 1964 to the colorful military-style outfits worn for the cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in 1967.

Steve Landes, who has performed in the band as John Lennon for 15 years, said that this time around, the band will change up the song selections to create variety for the regular attendees.

They’ll still include several well-known songs.

“We still do all the hits that people need to hear,” he said. “But we’ve dropped out some of the other songs. So, if we didn’t play your favorite last time, odds are [we’ll] get to it this time.”

Rain, formally known as Reign, began in the 1970s as a California-based club band had played Beatles songs during shows.

Around 2004, the band expanded to bigger theater venues. From 2010 to 2011, the show ran on Broadway for 300 performances and eight previews, winning the Drama Desk Award in 2011.

“It’s an enjoyable show,” said Terry Fetchet, stage and facilities manager of the DeYor Performing Arts Center. “Especially if you like the Beatles.”

Rain kicked off its 2013 tour on Sunday in Ontario and is now making its way across the U.S.

“It’s a lot of fun, especially because we’re going to some new places that we haven’t gone to before. So, we’re meeting new people, seeing new faces in the audience,” Landes said.

Leslie Burgoyne, administrative assistant to the president and CEO of the Youngstown Symphony, said Rain has a great marketing team and that the band’s visit to Youngstown means more traffic for businesses in the area.

“We’re selling a lot of tickets, and that means business for downtown, business for the symphony,” she said. “So, it’s exciting to have something like this; we don’t get a lot of big acts coming through here.”

Landes said the original lineup including Joey Curatolo (Paul McCartney), Joe Bithorn (George Harrison) and Ralph Castelli (Ringo Starr) would not reunite in this tour. However, the current cast, along with Landes, will still give the audience the authentic Beatles experience of a lifetime.

“[There are] a lot of Beatle fans out there. It’s amazing how many Beatles fans there are in this country and really in the world,” Landes said. “They touch people’s hearts. … Getting to perform that music live is like nothing else.”