July 2, 2012
Yellow Dubmarine is a collective of musicians out of the D.C. and Baltimore areas that have really found their niche. That niche consists of being a Beatles tribute band. But wait, that’s not all. Yellow Dubmarine has decided to put a reggae twist on their Beatles tributes. Sound interesting? I thought so. Sound like an immensely questionable idea? Absolutely.
I love it when bands experiment, but when an idea so lofty isn’t executed to perfection, the results can be pretty unfortunate. Thus is the case with Yellow Dubmarine. I heard about this band from a friend who was attending the show, and despite the pricey gate of $10 for a band I have never heard of (and a cover band at that), I decided this was something that had to be seen to be believed.
I believe Yellow Dubmarine is a Beatles reggae tribute band. And I believe that they are trying their best to execute and carve themselves out a nice little place in the world of Beatles tribute bands. It is supremely disappointing how painful the experience ended up being though. Let me count the ways.
First, Yellow Dubmarine didn’t take their reggae twist far enough. I love live reggae, from Damian Marley to some Dispatch/State Radio to Sublime cover bands. Taking songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “8 Days a Week” could not make that transition from super-poppy Beatles’ staples to groovable reggae. More success was found in tracks like “Come Together”, but even that one couldn’t save the show.
Beyond the sound, the band’s performance was lackluster to the max. Nothing worse than seven dudes standing on stage with barely a modicum of movement. I guess I can’t blame them that much. I didn’t want to move to their renditions, so why should they. Because I paid ten $10, that’s why. Give me a little showmanship at the very least.
The final disappointment came from 2720 Cherokee (a great venue) not having their basement and upstairs art galleries open. I always thought that worse case scenario at 2720, I would be able to explore the art galleries as a diversion to sub-standard music. I have no idea why the galleries weren’t open, but if they would have been that might have kept me around for at least one more beer.
In case you didn’t infer from that last sentence, I didn’t stay for the entire show. Why gut your way through a horrific experience if you don’t have to? Here’s to hoping that the second half of the show blew the crowd’s minds, but I doubt it.
2/11 (bonus point because I left early and didn’t give them the chance to impress me in the second set)