This weekend marked the first of many firsts for us here at Mid City Ballroom. The first shows fully organized by us, the first night show, the first matinee, the first bike parked out front, and the first local artist's painting sold.
As John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote,
“I can show you
That when it starts to rain
Everything’s the same
I can show you
I can show you
Rain, I don’t mind
Shine, the weather’s fine.”
The Beatles. Rain. B-side, 1966.
Certainly fans of the Beatles in Baton Rouge took these lyrics to heart and showed up in full force - rain or shine - to celebrate and recognize Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour for the prestigious albums that they are.
Ben Herrington discussing the ingenuity of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Both shows had such a great vibe to them. Before the show on Saturday night, people mingled and sipped on their drinks of choice. On Sunday, much of the same occurred, except for the addition of young kids running about and playing in anticipation of the looming show. Seeing the space utilized at full capacity twice in one weekend was outstanding - and I reveled in seeing such a diverse age range in the audience, showcasing the multigenerational effect of the Beatles' music.
The ensemble - Ben Herrington, Chris Hochkeppel, Lee Barbier, Micah Blouin, and Peter Simon with the string quartet and brass section that accompanied them, put on a unique and unparalleled performance. Everything about their performance rocked - the vocals (which all were amazing between the five of them), the guitar, the fiddle, the trombone, the drums, the keyboard…I could go on.
An impromptu acoustic number performed off stage at the back of the venue was a particular highlight of the show.
During the intermission at the Sunday show, I spoke briefly to Ben Herrington about playing at MidCity Ballroom:
“I loved it. The stage is really great. It's the most spacious stage we’ve played on, wooden floors, so it naturally sounds really good, and the sound equipment they have here is top notch. Mike Pinter, who is overseeing sound production, does a phenomenal job, and he's very detail oriented. Between the equipment and Mike’s detail and the room, it's a really great venue to work with. We have a very complicated show, so this show could only be done at a place like this, so we’re thankful.”
A big thanks to all who came out on Saturday and Sunday - attentive, engaged, and full of love for the Beatles and for live music.
We can’t wait to see what's next and look forward to the challenge of following this performance!
Here are some videos from the show!