Chris Getsla has been playing the part of Paul McCartney since he was 17. In 2000, he formed BritBeat as a “fun thing to do for variety shows,” but it didn’t stop there. BritBeat is now one of the most sought-after Beatles tribute bands and a definite favorite of Louisville’s Abbey Road on the River. The Chicago-based band has toured all across the United States, even making their way to Alaska. What’s the best part of all this? “We’re able to be the vehicle for traveling back in time for fans who’ve never been able to see the Beatles live,” Getsla says, “…Tribute bands are the next best thing.”
Getsla explains that BritBeat is proud to make their show an immersive Beatles experience, complete with authentic costumes, instruments, nuances, and harmonies. A fan since a 7th grade school project of putting images to lyrics thrust him into Beatlemania, the joy in Getsla’s voice is unmistakable; he truly loves what he does, and hopes it brings happiness to others.
On the last night of February ’64, BritBeat is set to play during a reenactment of the Beatles’ first performance on the Ed Sullivan show. Confused as to what that entailed, I asked Getsla to elaborate. “When Gary Jacob put the event together, we were brainstorming and got his thoughts. We’re going to actually recreate the Ed Sullivan show to the exact moment… from start to finish with all the acts... After that’s over, we’re going to come back out and do a 90-minute concert with all the songs from the Ed Sullivan shows plus others.” The 90-minute concert will allow fans to hear even more Beatles hits and see BritBeat’s amazing costume changes, like the ever-popular Sgt. Pepper suits. When asked what he’s most excited about in relation to this performance, Getsla speaks highly of his friend and “band mate,” BritBeat’s own Ed Sullivan character. “I’m most excited to have the opportunity to perform with our Ed Sullivan impersonator, ‘Fred Sullivan.’ It’s great to have him with us celebrating the 50th anniversary."
I think Getsla sums up the excitement of everyone involved with February ’64 by stating, “We’re going to be the representatives of the 50th anniversary – arguably one of the most important anniversaries in Beatles history.” I know fans are excited to take part in this monumental anniversary as well.
Unfortunately, BritBeat will only perform once at February ’64 due to many 50th anniversary engagements across the states throughout the same busy weekend; however, February ’64 will showcase other tremendous acts including The Jukebox, The Rigbys, The Steve Sizemore Group, The Cryers, and many more. Plus, BritBeat will be back for Abbey Road on the River in May and nearby for the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis on August 1st.
February ’64 will run from Friday, February 7th to Sunday, February 9th. Tickets can be purchased on Abbey Road on the River’s official website  (starting at a fitting price of only $19.64). More information about BritBeat can be found by clicking here .