The lights are back on at the Arcada


Shaw News Service

ST. CHARLES — All of the 700 light bulbs on the Arcada Theatre sign were on Wednesday night, and almost all of the theater's 900 seats were filled.

A concert featuring American English, a Beatles tribute band, and former members of Paul McCartney's post-Beatles band, Wings, drew a sold-out crowd to the 79-year-old St. Charles theater. Dennis Laine, along with horn players, Howie Casey, Thaddeus Richard and Steve Howard played with The Beatles look-alikes.

Original Beatles promoter Sam Leach introduced American English as "The Beatles incarnate."

The crowd heard songs ranging from The Beatles' early years to the band's "Magical Mystery Tour" album and beyond. The final set included songs from The Beatles' final years and hits from the Wings era.

The concert was the first event at the theater since Chicago-based Onesti Entertainment Corp. took over management in May.

Arcada Manager Ron Onesti said the concert was indicative of the type of shows he plans to bring to the theater.

"This is a unique performance," Onesti said. "Nobody else is doing this."

Onesti brought American English together with the former Wings band members for the first time for this concert.

Joe D'anna, 14, and Colt Wolff, 15, heard about the concert on the radio and traveled from Oswego to hear the bands.

Both said they have been listening to The Beatles and other music from the 1960s and '70s for more than a year.

Wolff said he hoped to hear the Wings song, "Band on the Run" and The Beatles tune, "Paperback Writer."

Bob Perry, of Aurora, said he was looking forward to hearing some of Wings' classic songs.

"I never got to see Paul McCartney play with Wings, so this is the next best thing," Perry said.

"I love seeing groups in small places like this, it makes it more intimate," Perry said.

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