The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles
Featuring: Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5, John Mayer, Keith Urban, Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, Eurythmics, Pharrell, Brad Paisley, Dave Grohl, Dhani Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr.
January 27, 2014
LA Convention Center
Los Angeles, CA
By: Nevra Azerkan
Rating: [The Breakdown]
The Beatles made their US debut on the Ed Sullivan show 50 years ago this February 9th, the same day this special will air. That appearance has become one of the most iconic in music history. Many have tried to replicate it, but it is impossible. Being a HUGE Beatles fan, this was one concert I was dying to see. Paul AND Ringo, TOGETHER—and not like the Grammys. Instead, they would be performing classic Beatles hits. Can we say, EPIC?
Before the amazing remaining members of the Beatles took the stage, there were a plethora of mega stars that came out and did their take of a Beatles song(s). The first was Maroon 5 who appeared on a recreated stage from the Ed Sullivan show, down to their matching suits. They played “All My Loving” and “Ticket To Ride”. It was a nice opening especially since they were playing the original Beatles appearance on the in the background and then right below you saw Maroon 5 and it was a pretty cool effect.
John Mayer and Keith Urban were up next. Not a big fan of their music, but I have witnessed John Mayer’s guitar playing skills and I was thoroughly impressed. Turns out Keith Urban would do the same. Together they were magnetic. They played “Don’t Let Me Down” (a favorite of mine) and they killed it. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from them. They did the song justice and I have to say, those two as a combo equals freakin’ amazing. I would love to see that happen again.
Ed Sheeran did a sweet and perfect rendition of “In My Life”. He was the first act to be placed on another part of the stage, which was right in front of the honorees. Talk about nerve wracking! Alicia Keys and John Legend came out on a dual piano and played an inspirational version of “Let It Be”. You know with vocals like theirs that it was a smash.
I was extremely surprised (and happy!) to see Imagine Dragons on next. I would not have guessed that they would be there. They played a stripped version of “Revolution”. Tackling another classic was Katy Perry with “Yesterday” and you really got to see a different side to her, musically, with that one.
Reuniting for the first time in years, just for this appearance, was the Eurythmics. They played a fierce version of “Fool On The Hill”. Another interesting duo, Pharrell Williams and Brad Paisley came out to do “Here Comes The Sun”. They were accompanied by the Cirque du Soleil troupe from LOVE.
Then one of my all time favorite musicians, Dave Grohl showed up with Jeff Lynne to play “Hey Bulldog”. Dave said it was one of his favorite songs and it inspired him growing up. Then to my complete enjoyment Dhani Harrison (love!) stepped on stage with Joe Walsh and Jeff Lynne to play the fitting track, “Something”. It was beautiful.
Dave Grohl came out once again, with Joe Walsh, but also with Gary Clark Jr. Crazy good trio, right??? They busted out “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and it was insane.
In between songs, they had a video reel of Beatles biographical info playing as well as speakers going up to introduce an act. These included: comedian, Eric Idle, Anna Kendrick, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, Kate Beckinsale, Jeff Bridges and LL Cool J. Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and Dax Sheppard were also in attendance, but they did not go up to speak. Also, the backup band throughout the show included Peter Frampton and Ringo’s All Starr Band. I also recognized Judith Hill as one of the backup singers, she was on Season 4 of The Voice on Team Adam.
The next legend that showed up had me in awe: the one and only, Stevie Wonder. He did his very own funky version of “We Can Work It out”. It was incredible, but being the perfectionist that he is (and the fact that the show wasn’t live) he played it twice. I didn’t hear any mess-ups, but I wasn’t going to complain either.
Then the moment we were all waiting for got closer when Ringo Starr graced the stage and played “Matchbox”, “Boys”, and “Yellow Submarine”. He was followed by Sir Paul McCartney who delivered: “Magical Mystery Tour”, “Birthday”, “Get Back”, “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band”. After that the real final moment we were all waiting for happened and Ringo came back on stage to join Paul for “With A Little Help From My Friends”. They continued with “Hey Jude” and were joined by all of the musical guests and the LOVE Cirque troupe. It was truly the most extraordinary moment in concert history that I have ever witnessed firsthand. I’m a major Beatles fan and this made my life. The entire show continued to replay in my head after and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t wait to watch it air on television so that I can relive it all over again.
The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles will broadcast on CBS on Sunday, February 9th at 8pm, 50 years to the day, date and time of the band’s first appearance. Don’t miss it.