Sometimes all you need is a little help from your friends. On Saturday night, The MegaBeatles, a supergroup comprised of local bands The Crawpuppies and Chris and Lou, played hours worth of Beatles hits as a fundraiser for their host - the Memorial Opera House.
Bringing The MegaBeatles to the Opera House was a situation that seemed to have lined up perfectly. The concert was the kick off to their 2015 season, and it’s an event that served as a great way to give a new meaning to fundraising for the theater.
Trinidad Snider, Business Director for the Opera House, explained that when the “stars aligned” for the concert it seemed like a great way to spend their first month of the year.
“We’re really glad to have this as our first event of the year. Anyone who comes got to listen to stuff they enjoy are also support the arts at the same time,” Trinidad stated. “It’s a night full of great music and people. It’s something that benefits all of us who are here tonight.”
Chad Clifford, singer/songwriter for The Crawpuppies, could not of be more happy to be a part of the event. “I like helping out the Opera House. I own a business in town so anything I can do to help the arts in our town is good,” Clifford explained. “I’m a Valpo guy - my heart’s in Valpo. I’m really always glad to help.”
Saturday night was a somewhat rare event for The MegaBeatles - it marks the first time they would perform twice in a single year. The group, who generally only perform together once a year before Saturday night, got its start back in 2011.
“It started off as just a small project but we’ve put a lot of effort and work into it so we thought that maybe we should do this more than once a year,” Chad Crawford, singer/songwriter for The Crawpuppies, explained. “This is our fifth time doing this together, and we’ll do two shows this year.”
When it comes to The Beatles there are a lot of songs to choose from - and the event served as a platform to showcase The Beatles’ diverse catalogue The fundraiser featured performances of The Beatles’ most famous songs, some not so well-known, and then there was the songs that were rarely ever played live. Having nine people in the band isn’t just for the two bands to be on the stage together - it also allowed them to play songs that they would not have been able to alone.
Chris Kurtis, performer with The MegaBeatles explained that being able to play those songs really brought something special to the night.
“That’s why we do those rare songs, because it takes all of us,” Kurtis stated. “A few of these songs are some that Beatles’ fans have never heard live before and we try to bring that to the table. It makes it for unique experience when you have those horns and strings that aren’t usually a part of a cover set.”
The response to the night, with the unusual set list and all, was tremendous. People of all ages and from all around the region made it their night. There were sing-a-longs, special guests joined on the stage, people were dancing in their chairs and in front of the stage, and a pure sense of fun was felt throughout the theater.
Julie King, fan of Chris and Lou, said that even though she had a great night, it meant more than seeing the band.
“It’s been an awesome night - definitely a great experience. I was drawn due to Chris and Lou but I’m also glad I came because of how this is helping [the Memorial Opera House],” King stated. “I’m all about being invested in the community and participating in it with any way that I can.”
King wasn’t the only one with that sentiment. Many of the people who came to watch The MegaBeatles did it for their love of music and for the Opera House. It’s easy to see why The MegaBeatles concert was a hit. It brought together two homegrown bands, a night full of songs that have lasted decades, and the success of a prominent building in a community that values it.
When it comes to needing a little help, there’s no better way to get some than from your friends, and the concert on Saturday night really showed how loud that statement can ring true.