8:35 AM - A national touring Beatles tribute band will take center stage on day 2 of the Ellwood City Arts, Crafts, and Food Festival, recreating the early Beatles concerts with identical costumes, equipment, and harmonies.
Beatlemania Magic, who will perform Saturday night as the Festival’s featured entertainment, has never played at Ellwood City Festival but is definitely looking forward to it.
“We’re very excited about playing there,” said Bill Kropinak of Beatlemania Magic. “Any chance we have to showcase for people who haven’t seen us before, it’s exciting. We take pride in every show we do and don’t take anything for granted.”
Kropinak, along with the other members of Beatlemania Magic, transform into the members of the Beatles. Kropinak performs as John Lennon, Burt Scheel as Ringo Star, Mark Baranski as George Harrison, and Russ Saylor as Paul McCartney.
But, this isn’t your typical Beatles tribute band. This band will send you back to the 60s, bringing to life the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music.
“The best part of the show is the way we connect with the audience,” said Kropinak. “There is a lot of passion in our performance…we are the Beatles.”
Beatlemania Magic wears two sets of costumes hand-made to look exactly like the Beatles would wear. The musical equipment is reproductions of the originals, and the bass player, Russ Saylor, even learned to play left-handed exactly like Paul McCartney.
“We recreate something magical. We stay in character and perform just like they would have,” said Kropinak.
And although they are exactly like the Beatles visually, it’s the sound of Beatlemania Magic that Kropinak says is the most impressive part of their show.
“The key to our performance is to recreate the music and voice,” said Kropinak, who speaks with a British accent when taking on the role of John Lennon. “We specialize in our vocal harmony.”
Kropinak has been performing as Lennon in various Beatles’ tribute bands for 20 years – and, he was rated as the world’s number one John Lennon impersonator by United Tribute Artists International.
Beatlemania Magic has been together for 5 to 6 years now, traveling all over the country from Massachusetts to Oregon. In fact, they are beginning a tour on Thursday that takes them to West Virginia, Ohio, Ellwood City, and finally Pittsburgh for five shows in five days.
“The music is widely sought-after and it’s the biggest I’ve ever seen it,” said Kropinak. “There’s something timeless about it – it just keeps getting stronger.”
Beatlemania Magic, sponsored by ESB Bank, will perform on Saturday, July 2 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Folino Entertainment Stage in Ewing Park.