It’s a subtle but crucial difference.
The Fab, founder Pat Woodward explains, isn’t exactly a Beatles tribute band. That means audience members who show up expecting to see guys in Beatles wigs or Sgt. Pepper-style outfits playing only the Beatles’ best-known hits probably will be disappointed.
Instead, Woodward says, think of The Fab as "a celebration of the music of The Beatles." And that means audience members at a Fab show will see five guys who love the Beatles’ music playing not just the hits but deeper cuts from The Beatles’ extensive catalog.
"We’re, like, the best-kept secret in Las Vegas," says Woodward, who started The Fab in 1995 as a coffeehouse-type, acoustic duo.
"Two guitars, two voices singing The Beatles, just to kind of show that it doesn’t take a whole band to celebrate the music of The Beatles," he says.
"And it went over so well that we thought, ‘Boy, if we had a bass guitar, we could do so much more.’ Then I thought, ‘Boy, if we had a drummer and a keyboard player, we could do more.’ And it’s been a 16-year run now."
The Fab’s members are Woodward on guitar and vocals, Cam Konicek on guitar and vocals, Aaron Olson on drums, Mike Powers on bass and vocals, and Mike Bowman on keyboards, percussion and vocals.
At any given Fab show, audiences likely will hear not just the songs they’d expect but, also, songs they probably haven’t heard anybody else play live.
"We don’t use a song list," Woodward says. "We know a huge number of Beatles songs, so never have two shows been the same, which is amazing."
The Fab’s regular schedule includes shows from 8 p.m. to midnight Thursdays at Brendan’s Irish Pub at The Orleans, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., and from 8 p.m. to midnight Mondays at Roxy’s at Sam’s Town, 5111 Boulder Highway.
The group’s lounge shows are apt to include such amusements as trivia contests, the taking of requests, stump-the-band sessions and even Beatles karaoke.
In addition, The Fab presents showroom concerts every month or so. Those often are based on a theme, such as playing The Beatles’ "White Album" in its entirety or, more recently, highlighting the music of Paul McCartney.
No offense to other Beatles bands, Woodward adds, "but I always say (The Fab is) not a wimpy little Beatles show with wigs."
Rather, he says, the combination of the strength of The Beatles’ music, the intimacy of a live show and "musicianship that’s second to none" makes each date "a party every time."
— By JOHN PRZYBYS