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home : news : news Saturday, November 18, 2017

10/18/2017 Email this articlePrint this article 
BeeGees act promises you 'time capsule' of '70s music
Tribute band scheduled for concert on Saturday

By Tom Pantera
Editor

Two of the BeeGees have died, but if John Acosta has any say, their music will be stayin' alive for a while.

Acosta is the founder and lead singer - the Barry Gibb guy - of "BeeGees Gold: The Tribute," which will play the Central DeWitt Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.

He is joined onstage by Jeff Celengano as Maurice Gibb and Daryll Borges as Robin Gibb.

Acosta promises those attending "a time capsule."

"They're going to close their eyes and believe they're in 1977 at the disco club Odyssey in New York," he said, "really taking them back to a time of great music of the '60s and '70s."

Not only does the show feature familiar BeeGees hits such as "Stayin' Alive" and "How Deep is Your Love," but also hits from their brother, Andy Gibb, and disco diva Yvonne Elliman.

The Vegas-based tribute act has been together more than three years, but Acosta has performed as Barry with various other tribute acts for a decade.

The BeeGees' music has lasted for a reason, he said.

"It's nostalgic, but it's relatable," he explained. "One of the most unique bands to ever hit the scene."

And their appeal is broad. Acosta, who will turn 50 the day of the DeWitt show, said his audiences include people with fond memories of the disco era and those who regret they missed it.

"We play to the ones that were actually there and the ones that wish they were there," he said.

Early English band

The English-born brothers Gibb (the origin of the name) formed in 1958. They first became popular in Australia and broke into the U.S. market in 1967 with their first hit, "New York Mining Disaster 1941."

Like other British bands at the time, they were often compared to the Beatles - favorably, Acosta said. On that first U.S. hit, "literally everyone thought that was John and Paul singing."

But in a few years, tastes changed and radio stations stopped playing Beatles sound-alikes.

"They had to reinvent themselves," Acosta said. In the 1970s, Barry was listening to rhythm-and-blues bands from Philadelphia and "took that falsetto style and really made it his own." By the late '70s, with the help of the sound track from the hit movie "Saturday Night Fever," they were the kings of disco.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and released their last album of new material in 2001. Maurice died of a heart attack in 2003, and Robin died of cancer-induced liver and kidney failure in 2012.

Acosta said he is keenly aware that staging a BeeGees tribute means staging a show full of often-cherished memories, but said that does not put the act under extra pressure.

'Moved a generation'

"I don't take it as pressure because I do my homework," he said. "I don't phone in anything. I've studied the man. I really do appreciate it when people say they've experienced some type of 'Barry Gibbism.'

"He just stood there and basically emoted. And that moved a generation. Many generations."

Tickets cost $25 in advance, $5 for students, and are available at DeWitt City Hall and Emma Rae's, and online at www.CD-PAC.org. They also will be available at the door one hour before showtime for $30.

The event will include a '70s costume contest, and the audience is encouraged to compete for prizes with their best attire from the disco period.


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