From left Mark Powell, Evan Monty, Alex Preece and in back Harrison Kisiel played at MacGregor Park in Derry as "The Fab," a Beatles cover band. The four Pinkerton graduates have been playing together for the past three years and played songs from each Beatles album.

DERRY | For many, there's nothing better than a night of free music under the stars | especially if it consists of two solid hours of Beatles tunes.

Derry Parks and Recreation's annual summer concert series in MacGregor Park kicked off Tuesday night with a warm weather performance by "The Fab," a Beatles tribute band made up of recent Pinkerton Academy graduates Alex Preece, Mark Powell, Evan Monty and Harrison Kisiel.

More than 300 people filled the banks and grassy areas of the park | gathering on blankets and folding chairs, greeting friends, chasing their children and settling in for a night of music.

For the members of The Fab, it was one last chance to play together before they head off in different directions to attend college in the fall. Monty, Kisiel and Preece will attend college in New Hampshire, while Powell will trek the furthest to attend college in Virginia.

Many in the crowd were family friends of the boys in the band; others were high school fans in the park to support their friends.

Some parents who grew up knowing the four boys all through school said it was a great night for a show, and were a bit sad at the same time thinking it might be one of their last together.

"We know these boys," said Janice Burke of Chester. "They are wonderful musicians, and they do a great job. It's also a bittersweet end to their career."

The four began playing together several years ago when Pinkerton Academy formed a "Beatlemania" group to play during its popular theatre night events every year. Since then, The Fab has played private parties, local events and school functions, with an impressive repertoire of Beatles songs on the play list.

When the musicians took the park stage, the Beatles tunes began flowing, beginning with some of the earlier gems like "Twist and Shout" and "All My Loving." Later on, the boys changed clothes and entered the Fab Four's later years with "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Get Back."

"And the man in the back made it all happen for us three years ago," Powell said in his best British accent as he credited Pinkerton choral director Thomas Quigley for all his support over the years and recognized his teacher sitting in the audience.

After two hours of music, Powell told the crowd the band would play one last song. An encore rendition of "Hey Jude" then finished out the set. When fans asked for yet another song, the boys ended with a band favorite, "I Saw Her Standing There."

"This is the song that we started with three years ago," Powell said. "And everyone, this is the last one and I'm tired."

Derry's summer concert series continues at MacGregor Park every Tuesday and Thursday night at 7 p.m. through Aug. 16. All of the shows are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Derry Parks and Recreation at 432-6136.

Upcoming shows

Tuesday, July 17 | Pony Express

Thursday, July 19 | Grinning Lizards

Tuesday, July 24 | White Mountain Bluegrass

Thursday, July 26 | B Street Bombers

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