CultureFix brings Beatlemania back to Williamsburg

sbirkenmeyer@vagazette.com

CultureFix’s tribute concert series returns for 2018 with a Beatles bash at the Kimball Theatre Saturday. The perennially popular fab four felt like a natural first choice for the series organizers.

“We knew that there were a lot of people who love the Beatles and that sound,” said CultureFix founder and president Steve Rose. “We have a lot of fans in the area.”

Guitarists Matt Thomas and Kim Person kick off the event together. Shirley Vermillion, the director at large for CultureFix, was impressed by Thomas’ fingerpicking when she encountered him playing the Beatles’ “Blackbird” at Cogan’s Deli in New Town. It turned out that Thomas keeps a dozen-plus Beatles songs in his rotation.

“I just always look for the musicians who really connect with the genre or the decade,” Vermillion said. “I want them to be able to own it.”

Williamsburg’s own Skinner Box and the Folly, a Richmond-based band, round out the lineup.

“Skinner Box is just a good, solid local band. They definitely love the Beatles,” Vermillion said, adding that the inclusion of the Folly adds something “fresh” to the concert.

The event also features a live painter who will compose creations inspired by the concert on canvas, on which the audience will have the opportunity to bid.

“There’s the visual arts combined with performing arts,” Vermillion said.

Rose said the fact that his 16- and 19-year-old sons are Beatles fans is a testament to the band’s continued impact.

“I think they were so ahead of their time when they were around,” he said. “That’s almost why it’s still so relevant. They were such a hit.”

Vermillion lauded the band’s diverse, genre spanning sounds as they delivered hits ranging from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Shout” in their earlier years to “Hey Jude” and “Helter Skelter” in their latter ones.

“I just loved how every album that came out, there were different influences,” she said. “They kept it fresh; it was lively.”

The concert aims to celebrate the Beatles’ enduring legacy, one that still appeals to a wide audience.

“We wanted to have a show that people could relate to,” Vermillion said. “I feel like a lot of people relate to them, a lot of ages.”

Want to go?

“A Beatles Tribute” serenades at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Kimball Theatre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available at culture-fix.org.

Birkenmeyer can be reached by phone at 757-790-3029.

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