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The Blue & Gray Press | December 11, 2017

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Grammys salute the Beatles with a little help from some friends

By: VICTORIA KEARNEY

Fifty years ago, four young men from Liverpool changed the look and sound of rock n’ roll forever. “The Night that Changed America: the Grammy’s Salute to the Beatles” celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on Feb. 9, 1964.

The show celebrated the two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Starr and McCartney sung “Yellow Submarine” as well as other beloved classics. This performance was the first time that the two remaining Beatles sang together in decades. The pair rejoiced in being back together.

On the stage, Starr expressed his excitement for the anniversary and reminisced about the original show, recalling it as being “four times bigger than this.”

“I was just so excited. I mean, even coming back from yesterday…I’ve been back a hundred times, I’ve done the show with you, but it is like, oh, I’m getting involved in all the excitement of it all then,” said Starr.

The Beatles’ collaborative performance was by far the best moment of the night. However, the night also included performances from other artists paying tribute to the band. Guest appearances included Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, Dave Grohl and Imagine Dragons, playing memorable tunes from the Beatles’ discography, including “The Fool on the Hill,” “Hey Bulldog” and “Revolution.”

Some acts of the show were not as well received as others. Maroon 5 performed “All My Loving” and “Ticket to Ride” to kick off the show but the songs were off putting to some fans.

“I rarely act like things are sacred, but I do not want to see a Beatles song turned into a Maroon 5 song,” tweeted Colin Rafferty, professor of English at UMW.

The audience better received other acts, such as Stevie Wonder’s funk version of “We Can Work it Out.” British star Ed Sheeran also sang a cover of “In My Life” which stuck to the simplicity of the original song while delivering a haunting melody similar to John Lennon’s vocals.

Both Starr and McCartney gave individual performances that were intercut with snippets from their own lives.

“I liked that they went through each individual Beatle and his life and how the biographies were interspersed throughout the concert. I learned a lot more about them,” said Shelby Parkins, junior, anthropology major.

The two former Beatles acknowledged the presence of the late John Lennon and George Harrison. None other than Yoko Ono was in the crowd, representing Lennon. Ono is known for being the person who split apart the Beatles. This rift seemed to be resolved as McCartney went up to Ono and shook her hand.

“Whenever we play, John and George are always with us,” said Starr.

The show closed with “Hey Jude,” performed by McCartney and Starr. The performance accompanied by Cirque du Soleil performers from LOVE. The evening proved that the Beatles still remain musical legends.