Rain presents its own magical mystery tour

The Beatles are irreplaceable.

But Rain is committed to bringing the next closest thing to fans of the band who still immerse themselves in the timeless melody of “Penny Lane” and the complex musicianship of “A Day in the Life.”

In existence since four years after the Beatles let it be -- initially as Reign -- the tribute band exceeds the expectations of a mere cover act.

Its show is as much about production as it is methodically replicating every sound used on the Beatles’ oft-trippy musical wonderlands -- all of it, even the handclaps -- live.

A touring success for decades, “Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles” landed on Broadway from October 2010 through July, playing more than 300 shows before heading back on the road for a run that stops at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center for five performances this weekend.

Mark Lewis, Rain’s original keyboardist until last year when he decided to focus on managing the band full-time, said the group strives to not only put you in the presence of Paul, John, George and Ringo musically -- the show follows their song-crafting progression chronologically -- but also historically.

“We’re taking you through a production with multimedia and props and costumes and set pieces. It’s very entertaining eye candy. Through video, it takes you through the history of the band -- actually, even to before the Beatles arrived in the 50s and 60s -- to their arrival in New York and Ed Sullivan,” Lewis, 60, said. “But it became a challenge for us to play the stuff live that they never played live. We’ve torn those records apart to find out how they did what, but everything you hear on that stage is live.”

The parts of the Fab Four were portrayed on Broadway by Joey Curatolo (vocals, bass, piano), Steve Landes (vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica), Joe Bithorn (vocals, lead guitar, guitar synthesizer) and Ralph Castelli (vocals, drums).

Those guys still tour, but there is a rotating cast of McCartneys, Lennons, Harrisons and Starrs to prevent burnout since Rain performs for more than two hours per show, often eight to 10 times per week.

As might be expected, finding musicians with the perfect blend of talent and charisma to emulate pop music’s most legendary band can be an ambitious task.

“We find a lot of guys who have been in other groups who do a Beatles thing who aren’t at the level of professionalism that we demand," Lewis said. "It’s the difference between finding a major league ballplayer or a single A player. They use the same bats and gloves, but if you take someone out of a single A team and put them in the big leagues, it’s a whole different world.”

Considering the seemingly endless appeal of Beatles music, it’s no surprise that Lewis sees multiple generations of fans in the crowd every night, from baby boomers to their grandkids.

“I think there’s a certain pride in [older fans] wanting to show their kids why the Beatles were great,” Lewis said. “We are as close to a live Beatles concert that anyone is going to come to.”

Event preview

“Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles”

Oct. 28-30. Times vary. $25-$60. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.