Not your normal Beatles tribute set

by Dominick Cross

However, there's more to "A Tribute to The Beatles" than a Fab Four nostalgia tour with impersonators shaking their mop tops because rocker/multi-instrumentalist Kelly Keeling is at the helm.

"It's about The Beatles," says Kelly Keeling.

And in one way, that's what one would expect with a show entitled "A Tribute to The Beatles," set for this Saturday and next (June 2), 7 p.m.,  at Cite des Arts, 109 Vine St.

However, there's more to the performance than a Fab Four nostalgia tour than impersonators shaking their mop tops because rocker/multi-instrumentalist Keeling is at the helm.

The show consists of a documentary about their lives, a psychedelic light show and of course their music which includes horns and a couple of local choirs.

"It's something I've wanted to do for the longest time. I know that there's so many fans that if there was a place to celebrate The Beatles once a month, I would like to go," says Keeling. "And since there's nothing like that, I created it myself so I can go.

"The Beatles, I mean, it's something I have fun doing, something I want to do for fun rather than a job," he says. "It makes me happy. It makes a lot of other people happy, too."

Based on the response at a rehearsal Monday morning at Lafayette High School, it appears there are a lot of people ready to experience The Beatles one more time.

"All the parents want to go, all the teachers want to go, all the students want to go," he says. "So before the first show has happened, the idea already worked."

Keeling says he got the idea of the tribute during his art show at Cite called The Vortex.

"I thought this would be a great place to do The Beatles," he says. So from the time he booked the performance at Cite, Keeling has expanded the show.

"Every day I've added something else to it," he says. "Wouldn't it be great if we had a psychedelic light show. Wouldn't it be great if we had a movie."

So during the song "Eleanor Rigby," Keeling will have an anti-bullying campaign movie playing without an overt anti-bullying theme.

"It's just a lot of people having a great time with their lives, you know. Really happy people, alternative lifestyle-type people having very happy lives," he says. "Let the audience decide who's lonely. There's a lot on my mind. I'm driven.

"It gives me purpose and it's fun," he says.

The performers include Keeling, vocals, guitars, piano; Chad Meaux, bass, vocals, acoustic; Jamie Kelly, vocals, guitars; Caleb Elliott, vocals, guitars, cello; Ian Bertrand, vocals, guitars; Chris Fruge, drums, vocals; Trent Gaspard, trombone, A.J. Gribble, trumpet; Sara Gilbert, French horn; and the Downtown and Lafayette High School choirs.

Also at Cite this weekend, a double-bill is scheduled Friday with live music at both stages in the facility with Charles Manns' "The Jazz Singer," featuring songs of Cole Porter, Frank Sinatra, Lou Rawls and others; as well as "Music from the Heart - an evening of Irish and American Folk Music," featuring Danny O'Flaherty.

Go here, or call 291.1122 for more information on all of the shows.