Capturing the 'Soul' of Beatles: Tribute band plays in Austin

12/27/2007 1:23:06 PM

By Tom Weber

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN <b>Meet Rubber Soul</b></br>Rubber Soul, a Beatles tribute band from the Twin Cities, will play Saturday at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.</br><span style=color:494e7f;>/Submitted photo</span>

When the Beatles were first starting out, they would pile into a van and travel the back roads of England, playing at small theaters.

Now, Rubber Soul, a Twin Cities-based Beatles tribute band, is doing much the same thing, with a concert Saturday at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.

"This is hands down our favorite venue," said Brian McGuire, who portrays Paul McCartney in Rubber Soul. "It looks exactly like the Beatles' tour of England in 1963."

That kind of nostalgia permeates Rubber Soul's stage show, which includes music from the entire career of the Beatles, complete with authentic musical instruments and costumes.

"You have to do it very well and hit a home run every time," McGuire said. "There's no doing it half-way. Their fans hold the Beatles music so dearly."

Those fans include McGuire himself, who put together Rubber Soul about six years ago. "I'm a complete Beatles fanatic," he said.

The band takes its name from the Beatles '"Rubber Soul" album, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest works in rock history.

"I came up with the name 'Rubber Soul' because that was such a transition period," McGuire said. "The songwriting became more involved. To me, that was an exciting time."

That excitement created by the Beatles can be difficult to reproduce on stage, McGuire said.

"They couldn't recreate the music of 'Sgt. Pepper' back then, but we can do it now with keyboards," McGuire said. "To be honest, the early stuff, trying to create the energy they had. That's the most difficult."

Of course, Rubber Soul isn't alone in trying to recapture that magic.

"The Beatles had something that everybody has been trying to recreate ever since," McGuire said. "They clicked. And if you're portraying them, you have to click as well."

Rubber Soul divides its concerts into three distinct sections: The early years of the Beatles, the Sgt. Pepper era, and the final years. The band's repertoire consists of about 75 Beatles songs.

To McGuire falls the difficult role of portraying Paul McCartney, who is perhaps the most talented all-around pop musician of the past 40 years.

"As Paul, I have to sing like a 14-year-old girl all night, because he did all those high harmonies," McGuire said. "You've got those vocals and then those incredibly difficult bass runs."

Well, no one ever said being a Beatle would be easy. "It's insane to even attempt something like this," McGuire said.


If you go

What: Beatles tribute band Rubber Soul

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Paramount Theatre, 125 Fourth Ave. N.E., Austin

Tickets: $15 at the Paramount box office, (507) 434-0934.