Take a magical mystery tour with The Fab 4

The Fab 4, a Beatles tribute act, is scheduled to perform at the Dickens Opera House on April 17. (The Fab 4 / Courtesy photo)
The Fab 4, a Beatles tribute act, is scheduled to perform at the Dickens Opera House on April 17. (The Fab 4 / Courtesy photo)

By Quentin Young

Paul McCartney, 72, recently appeared with new music that was a collaboration with an artist roughly half his age, Kanye West. He has moved far beyond the music he created in his 20s, so it’s left to others to perform the repertoire of The Beatles.

Colorado gets its live dose of John, Paul, George and Ringo from The Fab 4, a Beatles tribute act. The Denver-area group has more than 100 songs in its repertoire, conducts on-stage banter in Liverpool accents and breaks for costume changes to match one or another Beatles phase.

The Fab 4 are bringing these trappings to the Dickens Opera House tonight. The evening includes a set by Patrick Dune and The DesertHearts, and proceeds benefit concert organizer Miller Music’s new nonprofit, And Music For All, which brings music to the lives of low-income kids.

“We’re raising money to give musical instruments and lessons to kids who couldn’t otherwise afford it,” said Seth Miller, owner of the Longmont music store.

The concert is the first of what will be several And Music For All shows this summer, he added. He thought The Fab 4 would be a good fit.

“It’s the Beatles, the greatest band of all time,” Miller said. “How could you go wrong?”

The Beatles called it quits in 1970, and The Fab 4 are pondering their own exit from the stage, said Shawn Tybor, who fills the John Lennon role in the band. They’ve been at the Beatles thing for 20 years, Tybor said, and they want to go out while they’re still twisting and shouting, not digging the weeds like they’re 64 (they’re all within several years of 50). The Longmont show could be among their last.

“This may be our final year, and we want to thank all our fans,” said Tybor, whose face even resembles that of Lennon, the bad-boy Beatle.

Tybor has been listening to The Beatles since he was 2, when his older sister did the “screaming and crying and all that kind of stuff” while playing their records.

Ron Moulton, who performs as McCartney in The Fab 4, and Tybor worked side-by-side for many years off the stage as well as on. They were air-traffic controllers at the Federal Aviation Administration facility in Longmont. It’s the day job they kept instead of going Beatles full time.

“Vegas wanted us about 17 years ago,” Tybor said with a hint of wistfulness. If he knew back then that The Fab 4 still would be performing in 2015, he might have quit his day job, he said.

The Fab 4 has seen its share of big gigs. They once performed with an orchestra at the Jazzaar Festival in Switzerland, Tybor said.

“It was a we-can-die-now type of gig,” he said.

The band has enjoyed spots at Hudson Gardens in Littleton, the Rialto Theater in Loveland, as well as venues and events throughout the Front Range, including several in Longmont, such as Rhythm on the River and Festival on Main.

When The Fab 4 take the stage tonight, Tybor plans for them to be decked out in the kind of black suits The Beatles wore during their history-altering appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964. After a break, the band will fast-forward several years to the Sgt. Pepper era.

The Fab 4 might be in their “Let It Be” period, but all those years of working the material gives it an advantage among Beatles tribute acts.

“When we go on stage we have a really tight harmony and a really tight band,” Tybor said. “We sound like probably one of the best in the world.”

Patrick Dune is a Toronto, Ontario, native who relocated to the Denver area about two years ago. He wanted to extend what was a successful career in his home country to America, the Littleton resident said. Dune had played in the United States before — while frontman of the band “Shuttdown,” which entertained at Microsoft conferences, he once performed at the Pepsi Center, he said. But he hopes to get more traction with the move to Colorado. He chose the Denver area over such destinations as Chicago or Nashville.

“Colorado is kind of a central point,” he said, adding, “There are a lot of great musicians who are settling here.”

After the appearance with The Fab 4, Dune and the DesertHearts plan to kick off a Colorado tour with a headlining spot at Dickens on May 2.

Quentin Young: qyoung@aespotlight.com or twitter.com/qpyoungnews

If you go

What: The Fab 4, Patrick Dune and The DesertHearts

When: 8 p.m. Friday, April 17

Where: Dickens Opera House, 300 Main St., Longmont

Tickets: $21

Info: dickensoperahouse.com

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