‘Beatles vs. Elvis’ a high-energy event

By Elspeth Macnab-Stark
Times-News correspondent

RALEIGH — Aptly named, “A Musical Showdown: Beatles vs. Elvis” was a high-energy experience.
On the second stop on their Mid-Summer Tour, the group came to Duke Energy Center’s Fletcher Opera Theater for an intimate but sold-out performance on Monday night
Opening with Elvis (Scot Bruce) in his early years, the show progressed through time as both he and the Beatles changed their looks and their sound over several sets. Bruce’s resemblance to “The King” was highly convincing, and the Beatles’ costumes, wigs and other props made up for the members of the group who weren’t quite as believable. Beatles’ hits were performed by tribute band Abbey Road, made up of Nate Bott as John Lennon, Chris Paul Overall as Paul McCartney, Zak Schaffer as George Harrison and Axel Clarke as Ringo Starr. While Clarke played drums for both acts, Bruce was also accompanied on stage by talented musicians Travis Dagget on electric guitar and Russell Scott on upright bass.
   Though their Liverpudlian accents were not perfect, the Beatles’ ambience was unaffected. With colorful costumes, vintage instruments and fantastic renditions, Abbey Road created its own “Beatlemania.” In true Beatles’ fashion, they even let Ringo sing a number.
In between rocking out and shaking his hips, Bruce shared the story behind many of Elvis’ songs, giving the audience a greater understanding of the music they came to hear. Both Abbey Road and Scot Bruce interacted brilliantly with the audience, though Bruce stole the show with his infectious enthusiasm. Reveling in the music of their youth, many audience members barely sat down and instead spent the entire show dancing and singing.
Vintage footage was used for the intermission, while clips of “The Ed Sullivan Show” were used to introduce the bands.
Despite ongoing technical difficulties, it was a thoroughly enjoyable show. For their final number, both acts performed together with a mash-up of “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Hound Dog.” Though their collaboration was by far the best part of the show, “Beatles vs. Elvis” was, after all, a showdown. Audience members had the option to vote online for a winner — though how could anyone ever choose between “The King” and the “Fab Four”?

Elspeth Macnab-Stark is a high-school graduate and a Teens & 20s writer.

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