As the last event of the semester, the Cultural Attractions Committee sponsored The WannaBeatles performance at the Bijou Theatre on Nov. 15. Performing songs from the Beatles catalog, The WannaBeatles had a set that covered all of their works, with songs like "From Me to You" to "Magical Mystery Tour."
The WannaBeatles, who are originally from Nashville, were nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Spoken Word Album" category for their "Fab Fan Memories" album.
The committee, led by chair Elaina Spiekermann, senior in logistics, strayed away from their usual world performers and chose The WannaBeatles for their last event of the semester.
"It's not our typical show because it's something everyone likes, usually we strive for something that doesn't typically come to Knoxville and isn't something the Knoxville community typically goes for," Spiekermann said. "But the way we looked at it was the Beatles' music influenced probably 80 percent of the music we listen to today, so it's very applicable."
Dennis Scott, who is a Grammy and Emmy award-winning composer and producer, played the guitar, synth and leads on vocals for The WannaBeatles. Scott, in his best John Lennon impression, said it was a "bloody good show."
"My favorite part of performing is when I get lost in the music and get the feeling of what it must have been like to be a Beatle," Scott said. "And when we have an audience like we had tonight, with the crowd so enthusiastic and girls screaming, I say gosh, this must have been what it was really like for them."
Jake Samsel, freshman in biomedical engineering, said he enjoyed himself at the show.
"I sang along to every song, and that may have been a little too much but that's okay," Samsel said. "I thought it was a really cool thing that the band got the audience really involved in the performance by getting people up and moving."
The WannaBeatles performed a few songs with a string quartet, comprised of UT music students.
With only four members, it is hard to truly recreate the sound that The Beatles and their producer, George Martin, had on record while on stage. One member would be playing the drums with his right hand while playing the keyboard with his left, Scott said.
"To come here and actually get to work with real-life string players just enhances the whole experience," Scott said. "We had never worked with them before and during the run-through in the afternoon, we were blown away and we knew that they were going to make the show even more special."
The string quartet included three violins and one cello and were called on stage during songs like "Eleanor Rigby" and "All You Need Is Love."
Gideon Klein, sophomore in cello performance and part of the quartet, said he actually felt like he was performing with The Beatles.
"I've played in different bands before and I've done different things before but this was just a whole different experience," Klein said.
Klein, who appreciated how the Beatles' personalities showed up during the show through the performers, said that the concert was much different than simply hearing a Beatles song.
"It was super positive and a lot of fun," Klein said. "It was four guys who wanted to have a lot of fun and make sure that everybody left in a great mood."
Scott said that in the end the event turned out "fab."
"We didn't know what to expect, but we knew that the people at UT and at the Cultural Attractions Committee were working really hard to get the word out for the concert," Scott said. "It wouldn't have mattered though, we would have done the same show, we always do if there were only two people in the audience because we enjoy doing it."
Next semester's event lineup for the Cultural Attractions Committee includes Step Afrika! on Jan. 30 and Bela Fleck on Mar. 7.
Spiekermann said that she likes putting together concerts for the club and seeing students enjoying themselves at the events.
"We love the fact that we can bring things to Knoxville and students can come for $5," Spiekermann said. "Ending this semester with The WannaBeatles is good though, it takes everything out with a bang. People dancing in the aisles and being excited and hopefully it will stimulate people to come to all our shows next semester too."
Samsel, who said he appreciated how The WannaBeatles energized the theater and got everyone on their feet, compared the band to their idols.
"I haven't ever seen another tribute band, but I like this one," Samsel said. "I'm sure The WannaBeatles are better compared to other tribute bands, they about as close as you could get to (The Beatles)."