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October 1, 2014

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‘BeatleShow!’ cast taps into German version of ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’

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David Saxe Productions

The cast of “BeatleShow!” at Saxe Theater.

Tell a non-Beatles fan that tonight a Beatles tribute band is playing “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand” at a keg tapping, and the response would be something like, “Wha-a?”

But to a Beatles fan, this is a screamin’ good time.

Led by its founder, Mick McCoy, the cast of “BeatleShow!” at Saxe Theater at Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood is playing the German version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” tonight at 7 during the 10th Annual Oktoberfest event at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas. The band is among the lineup of star keg tappers at the German-themed, beer-and-brats haven.

The song is something of a curiosity for Beatles fans, a note-by-note performance — but in German — by the band of its first No. 1 hit in the U.S. That song, and the complementary “Sie Liebt Dich (“She Loves You”),” appear on the album “Something New.”

The Beatles spent considerable time honing their skills as musicians and songwriters in Hamburg before they became a worldwide phenomenon. The songs were an ode to that important period in their career, during which they played grueling seven-hour sets in such music haunts as Kaiserkeller and Star Club (and if you want a feel for what The Beatles sounded like at these gigs, do a YouTube search of “The Beatles Live at the Star Club,” and you’ll find 29 songs from a single night in December 1962 — and this is me geeking out on Beatles recordings).

The cast members of “BeatleShow,” including McCoy on bass, learned the German version specifically for tonight’s show. Joining him as Paul McCartney in what should be a boisterous appearance are regular “BeatleShow!” cast members Howard Arthur as John Lennon, Glen McCallum as George Harrison and Bobby Taylor as Ringo Starr.

There are 20 performers in all, guys who have learned a healthy complement of Beatles songs, including “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which starts the performances at Saxe Theater. It can take more than a year for any musician to learn all of the musical and physical nuances of performing Beatles classics live.

It’s not likely either German-language song will make it into “BeatleShow!” There is plenty of familiar material from which to draw.

“We just wanted to pull something from their formative years, which were spent playing clubs in Germany,” McCoy says. “It’s one of the coolest things we’ve done.”

As they say in “Sie Liebt Dich,” “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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