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'American English' set for Strand debut

“American English,” a highly-regarded tribute band of The Beatles, will perform Saturday night at the Strand Theatre in Shelbyville.

By JEFF BROWN - jbrown@shelbynews.com

The Beatles tribute band “American English” has performed in many of the quaint venues associated with the legendary band’s earliest days and have traveled the world thrilling fans with their show.

On Saturday at the Strand Theatre in downtown Shelbyville, “American English” returns to Indiana for a three-part show that has received rave reviews for its authenticity.

“The people that do this ... that create an experience ... it’s one thing to dress up. You have to be an actor and be a musician and be a singer and have a passion for this,” said accomplished musician Eric Michaels, who portrays Paul McCartney. “Not everybody is cut to do this.”

The show starts with the Beatles’ early years that include their historic appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The set list includes classic songs like “She Loves You,” “Twist and Shout,” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

Part two celebrates the psychedelic era and includes selections from the Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour.

The show closes with the final years of the Beatles. Song selections come from The White Album, Let It Be, and Abbey Road.

The Strand, now 103 years old, will enhance the band’s sound to help take listeners back in time.

“I love all the places we’ve played,” admitted Michaels. “In the summer, we play huge festivals for 50,000 people and we play little venues. Every time we get up there (on stage), it feels like the first time. The music breathes life into itself all the time.”

Other members of the Chicago-based band include Jim Irizarry as John Lennon, James Paul Lynch as George Harrison, and Tom Gable as Ringo Starr. The show also includes Ken Zemanek filling the role of George Martin, The Beatles’ producer. He performs all the orchestrations and special effects live so the show uses no tapes or recordings.

“I’ve seen the world because of The Beatles. Wherever we are playing is a great experience. I’m looking forward to coming to Shelbyville,” said Michaels.

Tickets are still available online at brownpapertickets.com or locally at Mickey’s T-Mart, 748 S. Harrison St. Or, tickets can be purchased the night of the show, which starts at 7:30 p.m., at the Strand.