The McCartney Project brings Paul up close

Tony Burlingame as Paul McCartney. CONTRIBUTED

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Tony Burlingame as Paul McCartney. CONTRIBUTED

Tribute show captures Yesterday, and today.

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Tony Burlingame always wanted to be a Beatle. Although he never played with John, George or Ringo, he’s got wings of his own when it comes to Sir Paul McCartney.

Just like Macca, Burlingame is a left-handed bass player who looks a lot like “the cute Beatle” and sports a dead-on imitation of the familiar Liverpudlian accent.

Maybe you’ll be amazed when Burlingame brings The McCartney Project, a celebration of solo, Wings and Beatles music, to the Gloria Theatre on Jan. 14.

It’s the first concert of the year for the Life Goes On Tour, a reference borrowed from the McCartney-penned Beatles tune “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”

“Every generation discovers The Beatles, young and old, and we’ve got a good thing going,” said Burlingame.

It’s hardly a one-man show. The McCartney Project features its own Linda McCartney in keyboard and percussionist Sara Reat, lead guitarist Robb Anagnostis, guitarist, bassist and keyboard player Lar Wolkan and drummer Phil Stearns.

Each is active in other bands and joins in the vocals.

McCartney isn’t the only Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Burlingame portrays. The Columbus-area musician also does Roy Orbison on occasion.

Burlingame grew connected to the Fab Four watching “A Hard Day’s Night” on cable as a child, although his first choice was Ringo. But being a natural lefty drew his interest to McCartney.

He got his chance to become Sir Paul as lead in an Elvis-McCartney music legends show.

While there are countless Elvis imitators and numerous Beatles tributes, there’s fewer McCartney-focused groups. Many are either older performers from past Beatle shows or use orchestrations, and that’s where the McCartney Project stands out, recreating a lot of what Sir Paul does with his high-profile tours.

“Music is so rewarding,” Burlingame said. “It’s touched so many people’s lives, they connect with it and we like to make moments on stage.”

One of those standout moments includes their own special take on “Live and Let Die.” McCartney’s tours add energy and effects on the tune.

This show will bring strobe lights and other effects adding to the upbeat feel of the classic song from the James Bond film of the same name.

Burlingame said the Gloria Theatre will be just the right size venue for the show.

“There’s always better acoustics in older cinemas, and it’s a little more intimate. We’re a family-friendly show. We love to get people involved.”

Burlingame said he’ll be glad to meet fans after the show for photos and will have merchandise for sale.

How to go

What: The McCartney Project

Where: The Gloria Theatre, 216 S. Main St., Urbana

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14

Admission: $15-20 advance, $20-25 at the door

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