Rachel Vidoni Talks About Her Adelaide Fringe Show ‘Come Together – The Beatles Rock Show’

If you’re looking for a Fringe show that is a ‘night full of nostalgic Beatles euphoria’ then Come Together – The Beatles Rock Show is the one for you! Rachel Vidoni brings together ‘a live rock & artistic theatrical show’ full of The Beatles hits with a twist on the classic songs. Playing in The Virago at Gluttony from Tuesday February 21 until Sunday March 5. Rachel chatted to Hi Fi Way about the show.

Come Together is a show with Beatles songs. What’s different about your show compared to other Beatles shows? 
The first point of difference would be that it is lead by a woman. Having a female lead taking on such an iconic band, and then having the confidence to give it a twist and make it her own. We have also done brand-new arrangements of the most famous tunes, and some we have stripped right back and basically “re-written”. I believe we have managed to remain true and authentic to the Beatles, however we have given it an untraditional twist and a new perspective – from a woman’s point of view, that is.

Many other live music concerts or tribute acts are just a group of musicians playing their favourite tunes, however, with Come Together I had a huge focus on production and visualisation – trying to bring more of a ‘viewer friendly’ environment suitable for a theatre. I am utilising some phenomenal female dancers to take this ‘live music’ show to the next level, and I am really proud of how well it has developed. It’s nothing this group of musicians has ever done before either, so hopefully it’s the start of some amazing new projects. 

What can audiences expect from your show? 
Some amazing Beatles music first and foremost but focusing on how the show would look or be received outside of the audio aspect was something that I truly wanted to add in to evoke emotion & connection. I want to bring to life the nostalgia of which most Beatles tunes give its listeners and take that into the next realm where they can see it, feel it and maybe even touch it.

The band are electric. I can guarantee that the audience will be impressed by their talents. They are truly phenomenal, just alone their stage presence is world class, and the relationships on and off stage just ooze into the show. I can’t wait to invite people into our little ‘Beatle-mania’.

Expect some madness, whimsy fun and a few moments of nostalgia and joy. We will try to serve it all up!

The Beatles are so iconic, what made you decide to do a show a Beatles tribute show? 
Despite being a huge Beatles fan, ultimately, it was “what is something that a woman could do to make a splash within the live music scene?”… “to make some noise”, so to speak. 

The Beatles are probably one of the most ‘covered’ bands in the world, and even though it has been done a million times, I knew that my version would be completely different. I don’t try to be Paul, or John, George or Ringo. I don’t try and sound or look like them. I just do me – and with that comes new musical arrangements, dancers and glitter.

It can be daunting to reconsider what a modern-female-fronted Beatles band would look or sound like – but I think we have nailed it. Originally, I was super anxious about how it would be received by audiences (including the Beatle fanatics) so we did a “soft launch show” back in October 2022, and the audience of about three hundred absolutely praised the concept and arrangements. It was a huge relief and a moment of “okay – I can do this – we can do this – we can do anything!”. It allowed me to accept that people aren’t afraid of mixing the past with the future, so let’s keep going with it and see how far we can go!

With such a huge catalogue of songs to choose from, how did you make the decision on what makes the cut, and which don’t? 
The final set-list I agonised over for months. The original show went for 90 minutes, and that was hard enough, but then to cut it back to sixty minutes was an even greater task. I didn’t know if it wanted to go ‘chronological’ or ‘just the hits’ (there are too many!) or have some other theme.

Every time I would jump in my car another Beatles song would play and I would think “YES! This! This HAS to be in the show…” and then the next song would play, and I would think the same thing… constantly over and over adding in songs. Maybe I’ll just have to do seven seasons of the show to be able to fit them all in! 

In the end though, the songs that I chose fit within the concept of how can this become more than just an amazing musical piece? How can I use the song to tell a story? To paint a picture?

There is no ‘story line’ – just a set list of phenomenal songs – however – they each have their own flavours which make up an amazing meal – and we may or may not serve dessert first!

I also took into great consideration songs that are typically ‘abused’ by other tribute acts and made sure that I added in some curveballs and obscurities. I also had to consider my vocal performance and what I could deliver the best and most comfortably. 

What’s your favourite Beatles song to sing? 
In this show – at this point in time (I change my mind like the weather) – I am enjoying the version of Yesterday which we will perform. It’s a new take on the song, and I am really excited to share it. It’s also in a point of the show where I get to slow down and just take in the moment. It grounds me and gives me the appreciation and respect of my art. It gets me a little sentimental too – so I get really passionate and emotional during it.

Equal second would be Because with my amazing backing vocalists giving us some warm and haunting harmonies, and Helter Skelter which showcases my heavier, rockier side which most people in Adelaide would know me for. (Pocket Rocket or Queen of Rock has been my nickname for fifteen years!)

So, are you a team Paul or team John? 
Team George. Ha! But….to answer the question, I mean, we could talk about this for hours – but a short answer would be Paul.

I’ve watched and listened to hours of bootlegs, documentaries and recordings of these guys, and every time I find myself relating to him with his humour and quick wit. I’ve watched videos of them working in the studio and how they are just ‘goofing’ around and coming up with some incredible concepts. It reminds me of when the boys and I are rehearsing and how we are all really just the same as them – just a group of people who love to make music, and show love – by paying each other out. My work colleagues would tell you I am super cheeky and never hold in my true thoughts – which we know Paul has been known to do too.

Musically speaking he is a genius too, and there is a lot of ‘John’s music’ that wouldn’t sound the way they do without McCartney’s magic. I also have huge love and respect for John and could go on about him too – but I won’t bore you any longer!

What are three words to describe your show? 
Magical or Whimsical

Fringe Interview By Anastasia Lambis

Tickets and show information for Come Together – The Beatles Rock Show at Fringe Tix. Grab Ya Tix!

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