Beatles tribute show at the MNA

George Yanacek, Writer

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Recently on March 9, brothers Billy, Matthew and Ryan McGuigan performed their Beatles Tribute show, Yesterday and Today, at the Menominee Nation Arena (MNA) in Oshkosh.

The MNA was a great venue for their performance, with its size perfectly matching the intimacy of the show. The majority of the set list was compiled of songs chosen by the audience along with their reasons of choosing them. The MNA transitions seamlessly into whatever event is being held there, whether that is a Wisconsin Herd basketball game or Yesterday and Today.

When entering the arena, the vestibule was open and uncrowded; I could walk into the main hall and find my seat, get some snacks at either of the concession stands, or submit my choice for a favorite Beatles song.

After entering my song choice, I decided to find my seat and wait for the show to begin, listening to the classic rock being softly played through the speakers hanging from the ceiling. The seating was comfortable and spacious, with plenty of room for a large amount people, even more than the amount that attended Yesterday and Today.

The stage was equipped with a large backdrop, a fog machine, plenty of speakers, and lots of lights that were programmed to spin and flash to the many possible songs and was placed against the back wall in front of the scoreboard and screens, repurposed to show video clips and various animations representing each song.

The band arrived on the stage shortly after playing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, a fitting song to bring in the band to. Before formally introducing themselves and the rest of the band, they continued with a few songs they chose themselves.

Continuing with the show, Billy McGuigan began reading off peoples’ favorite songs and playing them along with their reasons for their choices, ranging from the reasons people became fans to funny childhood stories about how The Beatles influenced their lives.

During the intermission, they again offered the choice to purchase souvenirs or get some snacks like pizza, pretzels, cookies, and drinks in the entrance.

For the second part of the show, the McGuigans shared what the music means to them. They shared stories of their childhood, about their father who shared the music with them, and how the music still affects them today.

Passionate about sharing the music in their own way, they represent the times at which it was made, effectively creating their own Beatlemania right in the MNA.

They ended the show with a few memorable Beatles songs like “Come Together” and  “Hey Jude”, getting the entire arena involved and singing along.

After the performance, the arena was cleaned up very quickly, the chairs packed up and the stage taken down, ready for the next event.

Overall, Yesterday and Today was a truly unique experience when compared to not just Beatles tribute shows, but any show. It is full of heart, humour, and energy, while most other Beatles tribute bands try to purely imitate The Beatles.

By avoiding traditional tribute show qualities and by including their own, Billy, Matthew and Ryan McGuigan not only make their show different and unique but, in a way, more like The Beatles. The McGuigans do more than just play the music; they help the audience to experience it in a personal way, really showing how much The Beatles affected and still affects so many people’s lives.

It is a perfect show for any Beatles fan who wants to experience the music in a way they never have before.

The MNA was perfect for the show, with comfortable and spacious seating making it an enjoyable experience to sit down and enjoy the music. The smaller size of the MNA made for a more personal feeling performance, especially with the intimate nature of Yesterday and Today.

 

For information about other events coming up at the Menominee Nation Arena go to menomineenationarena.com.