It’s an on-stage musical shootout of hit after hit songs courtesy of internationally renowned tribute bands Abbey Road and Jumping Jack Flash. Both bands go to great lengths to make the competition as real as possible; Abbey Road members play modern reissues of the exact same instruments and amps the Beatles used, while Jumping Jack Flash’s “Keith Richards” (Young Hutchison) duplicates the disjointed walk, blacked-out tooth and electrical tape around snakeskin boots made famous by the guitarist.
The bands alternate mini sets and trade improvised barbs and banter between songs to act out the famous “rivalry.” From costume changes that take the Beatles from their black suits for “A Hard Day’s Night” and mustaches and wigs a la the Sgt. Pepper era to the wild gyrations of the Stones’ Mick Jagger (courtesy Sir Joseph Infante), both bands present accurate sound and look too.
Since 2011 the shootout has played to sold out audiences across the west, from the Coach House and Canyon Club to Harrah’s Tahoe, Harrah’s Rincon and Pala Casino. The bands recently concluded a three-month run at Harrah’s Reno showroom and another long run at Harrah’s Laughlin.
Show producers Tom Maher and Andy Nagle auditioned over 200 Beatles performers at a casting call in 2008, many of whom already played in tribute bands. In this competition concert, the bands strive to be so accurate, even the mistakes are duplicated. “In `All My Lovin’ Ringo forgets the form of the song and goes into the chorus beat by mistake,” said Axel Clarke, who fills the drummer’s shoes for Abbey Road. “He plays that beat for one bar, realizes his error, and switches back to the verse beat. Most people might not notice things like that, but it adds a level of authenticity.”
Tickets are just $20. Call The Cave Big Bear; 40789 Village Dr. (909) 878-0204 or thecavebigbear.com.