SIDNEY — Look-a-like John, Paul, George and Ringo gave Shelby County Fair goers the chance to “Twist and Shout” for two hours during The Sweet Beats tribute to The Beatles in the Free Entertainment tent Wednesday night.
Amid extreme high heat and humidity, band members Tom Hawkins (John), Gary Partin (Paul), Tom Brooks (George) and Dave Baxter (Ringo) were true professionals and superb musicians with sweat rolling from under their heavy wigs and suits, yet looking and sounding as close to the real thing as we are going to get in Sidney, Ohio in 2016.
The band dressed in authentic costumes, playing authentically “period correct” instruments while recreating Beatlemania to hits like, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Help,” “Day Tripper,” and finishing out the second set with “Revolution.”
“Everything up here is authentic, except us, but you’ll get over that,” said Partin as he launched into “A Hard Day’s Night.”
Although their show is serious business, members of The Sweet Beets reenact the mid-to-late ’60s mostly only on weekends, with some gigs through the week, during the summer, and otherwise hold regular 9-to-5 jobs.
Love for their favorite band inspired not only their love of music and desire to become musicians, but ultimately to band together as various times and previous incarnations to finally create The Sweet Beets, in 2012. Partin said they choose not to name the band after a Beatles’ song because they wanted to set themselves aside from other tribute bands so there would be no confusion as to who they are.
Rick Chenoweth and his son-in-law Cameron Dennis arrived early and remained through-out the entire show, tapping their feet and bobbing their heads. Knowing Dennis is a huge Beatles fan, Chenoweth told Dennis when he saw the flyer at work he knew they “just had to come.” Chenoweth said had seen The Sweet Beets before and knew they were good.
“I thought they were great. The sound was right on from the guitars to the voices,” said Dennis, who has been a Beatles fan since he was 16-years-old.
Fans of all ages were visibly enjoying the show, including a mother and daughter in the center of the seating area, who were bouncing all around and singing every word.
Undoubtedly the most energetic fan at the show, songwriter and musician Naomi Wildermuth, 21, of Sidney, tossed her hair around and danced in her seat.
“It was awesome; so fun to relieve The Beatles, since I was unable to see them. I was raised on The Beatles and Bob Dylan. They hit all the major guitar solos,” said Wildermuth.
The band said the greatest compliment they ever received was from people who have said they sound just like the record, and if they closed their eyes they wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.
David Boyer, of Sidney, said he has every single thing The Beatles recorded, including some, he said, that were never released. He played the air-guitar during “Back to the U.S.S.R.” and said he “was really enjoying the show. They sounded just like them.”
The charismatic John tried to engage the audience as much as possible and even attempted to dedicate “Michelle” to any Michelle in the audience; although no Michelle’s were present, the crowd didn’t seemed to mind. As the night wore on, the crowd thinned out, but the enthusiasm grew as the band led into the late era songs, ending the night with the Chuck Berry hit, “Rock and Roll Music.”