Stokes Arts has been serving Stokes County and the Piedmont area for over 40 years and on Saturday welcomed “The Return”, a Beatles tribute performance to an audience of all ages.
“I think everybody had a lot of fun,” said Stokes County Arts Council Director Eddy McGee. “This is one of the top tribute Beatles band in the world so to have them come to this area and work us into their schedule was very special. I’ve seen many Beatles tribute bands and they’re at the top.”
The Return is internationally known and performed thousands of shows, including a private performance at the Abbey Road Studios in London, England, as well as headlined the 40th anniversary celebration of the Beatles tour to Tokyo.
McGee said he began talking to the group nine months ago and was able to secure the concert because The Return was performing along the coast earlier in the week. The event was originally scheduled to take place at King Central Park but was moved indoors to Mount Olive Elementary due to warm weather.
The popular band performed two sets in front of a lively crowd.
The first set included the group wearing black suits similar to what the Beatles wore on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964 when they performed songs such as “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Hard Day’s Night.”
In the second set they came out in tan Nehru jackets much like what the Beatles sported in front of over 55,000 screaming fans at Shea Stadium in the summer of 1965 and belted out “Help”, “Day Tripper”, and “Twist and Shout.”
“The Beatles are not even arguably the greatest band in history, they are the greatest band,” McGee said. “They were such phenomenal writers and multigenerational. I was glad to see a lot of young people here. That was the purpose of this, to have fun in Stokes County on a Saturday night.”
Stokes Arts Council is hosting pottery camps this week and have recently begun rehearsals for The Red Badge of Courage production set to take place at King Central Park August 26-28.
“That’s going to be a big production and we’re excited about it,” McGee said. “It’s a Civil War theme so it’ll be more than just a stage performance. People are really going to enjoy it.”
The arts continue to thrive in Stokes and McGee credits the board, volunteers, and member supporters.
“Arts really make a community; it’s the vitality and life. If you don’t have strong arts you don’t have a strong community.”
For more information visit www.StokesArts.org or contact the Stokes County Arts Council at 336 593-8159.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.