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Rain is coming to the Tennessee Theater
By Michael WIlliams

rain tribute to the beatles
Americana/Roots musician Paul Edelman. Image courtesy of

"Rain, A Tribute to the Beatles" is coming to Knoxville. The show is a musical tribute to the Fab Four who started the British music invasion of America and became rock icons that were destined to be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and one of the greatest musical acts of all time. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by the Beatles. Rain was founded by Mark Lewis who transformed a southern California bar band into a professional tribute band. As Lewis explains the band derived his name by happenstance.

As Lewis explained the band started as "Reign" performing during the mid-seventies. "Some people though we took the name from the Beatles song 'Rain' stated Lewis. "But that wasn't the case. We were Reign and we performed several gigs in which the name of the band was misspelled as 'Rain'. As time passed the band just went with it and made the change."

Rain gained national fame through the efforts of the late Dick Clark who helped the band record the musical soundtrack to the made-for-TV movie "Birth of the Beatles."

Lewis was an accomplished pianist by the age of 13. He became enamored with the Beatles during their Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. What distinguishes Rain from other Beatles tribute bands is their song set that includes many songs the Beatles never performed live. The show is divided into three parts including the early Beatles, the Sgt. Pepper segment and the late Beatles segment. Modern lighting and video techniques that were not available during the Beatles era allows Rain to become much more authentic at duplicating the sound of The Beatles live.

"We’ve also evolved to being a much ‘bigger’ show production wise," Lewis stated. "Our success has allowed us to have the funds to reinvest in ourselves, and bring to the show a lot of ‘bells & whistles’ that we used to only dream about. We’ve always prided ourselves on being a great concert, but now we are not just a concert, we’re more of an event. There’s a lot of great video, lighting, props, etc. that really bring the show to life."

What started as a passion for Beatles music has turned into a career for Lewis. The show has taken the Beatles enthusiast to venues across the nation and abroad. Rain is suitable entertainment for the entire family.

"I think parents take a certain pride in turning their children on to the music of the Beatles. They want their kids to ‘get’ the Beatles. And the kids do" stated Lewis. "They leave our show wanting to listen to more Beatles records, watch Beatles movies and play Beatles ‘Rockband’."

While the Beatles concerts typically lasted 45, fans of Rain always get this and much more. " "It usually starts like a Broadway show, and ends like a Rock concert with people standing, singing, and swaying with the music," Lewis stated.

Rain, A Tribute to the Beatles performs at the Tennessee Theater located at 604 Gay Street in Knoxville on Wednesday February 21 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased through all Ticketmaster Outlets and the Tennessee Theater Box Office by calling 800-745-3000.

Published March 4, 2018

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