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home : columns : dave fjeld
September 22, 2017

9/13/2017 8:25:00 AM
Show Capital of the Midwest
It never ceases to amaze me how a city of just over 10,000 people could create an entertainment mecca like Branson, Mo.
I'm not sure if the city's slogan is "Show Capital of the Midwest," but it should be. At night, when you drive down the strip that features a multitude of stage theaters and restaurants, it is lit up like what I'm guessing is a miniature version of Las Vegas. It really is quite spectacular.
While the shows may not have many of the big names that Las Vegas features, the tributes and original shows that Branson offers are outstanding. We took in several of those.
For starters, and perhaps obviously, not every show in Branson is a tribute show. For instance, Billy Dean has been a big name in country music for many years - and for that matter, still is. He offers a concert three times a week and it was a show my wife definitely wanted to see. (She has several of his CDs.)
Great choice!
At age 55, he stages a great show. It's as though you've been invited into his living room and he's treating you to some of his hits and favorite songs. His music is easy on the ears and his show is very laid back and enjoyable.
I'm not a big country music fan, but I'd watch his show again in a heartbeat.
Make no mistake, Branson offers its share of tribute shows as well. In a previous trip to Branson, we enjoyed an ABBA tribute show titled, "Thank You for the Music." It was excellent.
This year, we took in the Liverpool Legends, a Beatles tribute band. The group even has the stamp of approval of George Harrison's sister. If you enjoy Beatles music and you're making a trip to Branson, make sure the Liverpool Legends is at the top of the list of shows you must see.
They were spot on in almost every way, shape and form.
The two men who portrayed Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr even looked like the music legends. The individual who portrayed John Lennon, maybe didn't look so much like him, but when he spoke, his accent and voice were as though you were hearing the Beatle legend himself. The man who mimicked George Harrison, again, didn't look so much like the late Beatle, but his guitar playing was a perfect match.
The group not only spoke with the English accents, but, in McCartney's case, he even had the movements and facial expressions that were those of the Beatle and Wings great.
And their music? It was as though you were listening to the Beatles live and in concert. They had several costume changes throughout the show, which featured music from their first appearance in the U.S. in 1964, to the tour music in the late 1960s, to their Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band period, and finally to their music just prior to breaking up.
It was easily my favorite show.
And Branson also offers original shows, such as "Forever Young."
The show was very entertaining and featured a wide range of music and choreography. The show features five men who were buddies at an Indiana high school. It tells their stories of parting ways after high school and each chasing his own dream. Then, one got the idea to create a show of music and dance and contacted the other five who agreed to leave their jobs and put together this show.
If you enjoy music from the 1960s to the early 2000s, you'll love this show. This show happened to be a free offering for us and we're glad we took it. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
I'll share the bonus next week.

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