The Beatle Brothers said hello and goodbye to Hangar 9 Friday.
The tribute band from Mount Vernon has been playing music for more than 20 years.
“Our whole purpose and ambition is to share the music, and the love of the music that The Beatles brought forth, to the new generation. If we can turn one fan on to The Beatles then we’ve accomplished our goal,” drummer Brent Hahn said.
The band began the evening with classic melodies from some of the early Beatles albums, such as “Rubber Soul,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help!” and others.
The three-part harmonies of each member —Hahn plus Del Herbert on guitar and Jake Schofield on bass — flow together alongside lead vocalist Scotty Qualk
As if to recreate the experience of The Beatles’ success and sensation as they ushered in a different genre of music, the band performs with as much enthusiasm as possible.
“We were there when it happened; that change that came overnight. The one thing they can’t show today is the culture shock of what happened overnight,” Herbert said. “So we get together as weekend warriors and play.”
As the band entered “If I Needed Someone” and “You Can’t Do That,” there was a rock ’n’ roll presence ingrained with a matching vocal melody. It’s perhaps a little more scratch than Lennon, but it is propelled with equal enthusiasm.
The strings pluck the melodic and memorable notes to “Ticket to Ride” in true Beatles fashion as the drums power and move the song along. Each song begins strong and ends the same way. And in performing “A Hard Day’s Night,” the drums tap to syncopated rhythms of guitar strings plucking and strumming as the bass fuels the background. The melody drives hard as if truly “working like a dog,” as it were, as the song beats gently out.
The band played a version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” modeled after rhythms The Byrds blended into it. The rendition of the popular Bob Dylan song worked wonderfully into their repertoire of songs; it was presented with such a poise and elegance that it sounded reminiscent of the 1960s.
“Eight Days a Week” was presented with the recognizable staccato strum as it rolled out in an undulated rhythm that, if the music had yet to do so, easily encouraged a tapping of the bones to a dance. Each song performed by the band simply found its roots and dug them up.
Harmonica was introduced into the introductory notes of “I Should Have Known Better.” Qualk’s falsetto brought a relaxed and soft effort into the music. This song gave a clear juxtaposition from the harmonies presented earlier, with the vocals now driving the melodies in an effervescent whim.
The harmonies came rising back full force by mid-set with “Chains.” It was an effortless presentation and the band blended a touch of Beatles bravura into their contemporary placement.
Between songs, the band members were light-hearted and joked intermittently with the crowd.
“I’ve hardly ever missed a show that they’ve played. We follow them all over because they do an excellent job,” said Jan Kennedy of Woodlawn.
Donnie Ulrich, also of Woodlawn, said he appreciated the group was more concerned with the music than the crowd size.
“We’re big Beatles fans. We’ve seen them over and over again and their performances are excellent. They don’t do it for a whole bunch of people to show up; they just enjoy doing it,” Ulrich said.
Perhaps altogether these attributes have helped the Beatle Brothers gain a successful following of their own.
“It’s not for the glitz or the glamour on our part, but for the love of The Beatles,” Hahn said.
Jake Saunders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @saundersfj or by phone at 536-3311 ext. 254.