Drawings of Yellow Submarines and Strawberry Fields

Nick Niespodziani from local cover band Yacht Rock Revue along with local musician Tim led a spin on a traditional Beatles tribute night at Venkman’s on Sunday night. Instead of shouting out or writing down songs, the audience was asked to draw their requests with crayons and notecards.

Venkman’s, a local restaurant and host of live music, was opened by Niespodziani along with a fellow bandmate in 2015. The restaurant hosts many different events from live cover bands to mimosa brunches and dance parties. The music played at Venkman’s ranges from classic rock to grunge, country and even to R&B and jazz.  They host many popular local tribute bands including the Dirty Doors (a tribute to the Doors), Flannel Nation (a female-fronted tribute band to 90s grunge) and more. 

The restaurant and bar are the perfect, cozy atmosphere to listen to live music while indulging in their menu which is far from normal, everyday pub grub. Customers can choose from normal American bar dishes like wings or french fries, but, instead of ketchup, the french fries come with a special pickle sauce. And, instead of typical buffalo sauce, the wings are covered in their house Latin-Lexington barbecue sauce.

It was a full house, and the audience waited excitedly for the show to start while indulging in their meals. Several David Bowie classics such as “Let’s Dance” and “Young Americans” played over the house speakers, greeting the audience upon arrival. 

A bucket was then put out on the stage with a sign instructing the audience where to place their request drawing. An example drawing was projected onto the screen on stage. The drawing was of a blue sky featuring Lucy from “Peanuts” and three diamonds, clearly indicating a request for “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

The performance kicked off with the title track from the renowned album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Accompanied by mouth-made trumpet noises, the acoustic version of the classic energized the audience as they led into the second track of the album, “With a Little Help from my Friends.”

They continued flawlessly through the first three tracks of the “Sgt. Pepper” album. The audience collectively participated in pounding out the three beats preceding the chorus of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” on their tables. 

The pair nailed the harmonies in “Help!” before leading into the first audience request for “Two of Us”. The next drawing featured a drawing of a man chasing a drawing of another man with the sun for a face, indicating “I’ll Follow the Sun.”

Many drew pictures of blackbirds for “Blackbird” or a gun with a smiley face for “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” “Octopus’s Garden” was also a popular drawing turned in, with several of the drawings being particularly well-done and detailed. “Here Comes the Sun,” requested through several drawings of sunrises, showed off the impressive finger-picking skills of the two musicians.

“Hey Jude” ended off their spectacularly creative, request-driven set and had the entire audience singing along to the bridge, ending off the night with the restaurant all singing the Beatles classic they all know and love together.