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Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience

Like them or not, it’s fair to say that you know at least something about The Beatles. You can say you aren’t a fan, but for those “non-fans” you likely know the names John, Paul, George and Ringo and can rattle off at least 30 of their songs. If you were put into a situation where “Let it Be” is being played on the radio, chances are you can sing along with every word.

They are arguably the most important rock ’n’ roll band in the history of modern music, and the mark they’ve left on pop culture is something that may never be topped. From becoming a household name after their famed appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” to every aspiring musician learning at least one Beatles song, they are a major part of humanity, and their importance to all genres of music along with their presence in the minds of every music fan deserves recognition.

If you go

WHAT: Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday (May 11).

WHERE: Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, 1000 Rim Rim.

TICKETS: $31.50/$45. Available online at https://bit.ly/3ALWEZi.

MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.durangoconcerts.com.

There have been loads of Beatles tribute bands, people doing their best impressions of the Fab Four, but the band Yesterday and Today doesn’t care about re-creating the look, they’re more into re-creating the songs and wanting to know why people love those songs.

Yesterday and Today, The Interactive Beatles Experience will be in Durango on Thursday (May 11), performing at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

Led by brothers Billy, Matthew and Ryan McGuigan, they are a Beatles tribute band without being the typical Beatles tribute band.

“We don’t dress up like The Beatles, but we have learned every one of their songs. What makes us different is we take 100 percent requests from the audience,” Billy McGuigan said. “So, when the audience is coming in, we have requests cards set up, and we just ask for their name, their favorite Beatles song and the reason why they chose their song. We collect all the cards, and two minutes before the show starts we get our setlist together. So not only do they pick the songs, but then I will call their name and we’ll talk about the reason why they picked their song, and that becomes the glue that brings everybody in the audience together.”

The brothers were reared on The Beatles thanks to their father. More than casual fans, they realize that this band from Liverpool were more than just a rock band, but a musical phenomenon who have found their way into the heads of any and all music lovers. The show digs into that.

“The Beatles were like members of our family. I think that what is unique about The Beatles, you have really crazy fans that name their kids after Beatles like myself, but then you have people that know all their songs and know all their records and why they love them,” Billy said. “Then there are the people that don’t even like them, but you still have five or six songs that are important to you. And I don’t know any group that’s like that, where its like ‘yeah, I don’t like that group’ but you can still name five or six that still touch home. There’s just something about The Beatles and how they’ve affected us.”

Twelve studio albums and even more EPs resulted in about 220 songs. Chances are most people in the audience know at least half of those tunes; there are not many bands in the world who have that type of song recognition, and Yesterday and Today knows them all.

“Of the 220, in my opinion, there might be like two klunkers, at worst two klunkers that would probably be the best songs out of any other band’s catalog,” Billy said. “That’s what’s amazing about them.”

Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at liggett_b@fortlewis.edu.