It’s a question that may never be answered to anyone’s satisfaction. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones are arguably two of the most influential, popular rock ’n’ roll bands in the history of that relatively new genre. But of the two, who’s the best? It depends on who you ask.
The question will come to musical life tonight (Friday) at the Sheridan Opera House, when two tribute bands — Abbey Road and Satisfaction-The International Rolling Stones Show — take the stage in a battle royale. At show’s end, audience members will decide. Or not.
In a decidedly non-scientific poll conducted on Facebook from 2 p.m. until midnight on Monday, 89 respondents voted. Several simply could not choose and a few chose different bands altogether (The Smiths?!). Still more said the comparison was “apples to oranges” and declined to choose. Yet another stated, “You ask the impossible.” The clear winner, capturing 64 percent of the vote was The Beatles. But when the Stones and the Fabs tribute bands swap sets in concert, will the results differ?
According to Andy Nagle of La Jolla Booking Agency and one of the show’s producers, there’s a trend that the show’s cast has noticed.
“The shows seem to be mostly the same,” he said. “Seventy to 80 percent of the people who come are Beatles fans. The Beatles are usually winning through the first three-quarters of the show and then it shifts to the Stones.”
After the bands trade-off mini power sets, they’ll come together for an encore. The two bands will change costumes three times, representing different eras of each band’s careers.
“The joke with the cast,” Nagle said, “is that the Stones fans go to the bar while the Beatles are playing. But the Beatles fans realize they know the words to every Stones song and the Stones’ hits are consistently up tempo and fun to dance to.”
By show’s end, Nagle said, “everyone is happy.”
Doors are at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 for general admission on the floor and $35 for reserved seats in the balcony. DJ Blakk Caesar will be spinning tunes in the SHOW Bar for the free AfterSHOW party.
That’s just Friday night at the historic opera house. On Saturday, two bands — one based in Colorado and the other out of Montana, but with a Tellurider on board — kick off their winter tour right here in Tiny Town.
Magic Beans and Kitchen Dwellers will drop into any lasting vibrations of Friday night’s Brit band stand-off with infectious grooves all their own.
Denver’s Magic Beans deliver cool, funky excursions that start with the bass, are fueled by extraterrestrial keyboards and propelled by ripping guitar and in-the-pocket drums. Magic Beans is a jam band that stands out from the other jam bands. They’ve got the funk, the mind-bending extended improvisations, the top-notch musicianship and the songwriting chops. They’ve even got their own festival — the Beanstalk Festival — held each year in June on the banks of the Colorado in Rancho del Rio that features up-and-coming bands from around the country.
The Magic Beans are Scott Hachey (guitar), Casey Russell (keys), Chris Duffy (bass) and Cody Wales (drums). They’re touring in support of their latest album, “Casino Cabaret.”
The cats in Kitchen Dwellers are no strangers to Telluride, especially mandolin player Shawn Swain. He grew up here but met his new family while in college at Montana State University in Bozeman. Described as “a high energy psychedelic bluegrass band,” the evening promises to be sweaty enough to melt the pastel stencils off the walls of the hallowed old opera house. Kitchen Dwellers fans call the band’s unique sound “galaxy grass.”
They’ve experienced massive growth since first combining forces as underage undergrads. They now tour nationally and have competed in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, placing second in 2014 behind Trout Steak Revival. Their music, Swain said in an interview with Head Above Music, is not, “your granddad’s bluegrass band, that’s for sure. We like to honor the tradition of bluegrass music while at the same time we attempt to create something new, often with a heavy emphasis on improvisation.”
Swain’s first music lessons were with former Telluride Music co-owner Dave Lamb.
Swain’s kitchen dwelling compatriots are: Torrin Daniels (banjo), Max Davies (guitar) and Joe Funk (bass). The two bands will collaborate onstage and sit in on each other’s sets.
Tickets for Magic Beans and Kitchen Dwellers are $25 for general admission and $35 for reserved seats in the balcony. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show is at 9 p.m. Afterward, music continues at the AfterSHOW with Cousin Curtiss. AfterSHOW events are free.
Tickets for all Sheridan Opera House shows are available at sheridanoperahouse.com or at the door.