It’s ‘Beatles’ vs. ‘Stones’ at Belly Up on Aug. 22


The debate over the Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones has been going on ever since they first crossed paths on the charts 50 years ago. The argument at the time, and that persists, is that the Beatles were a pop group and the Stones were a rock band: the boys next door vs. the bad boys of rock. So who’s better?

Tribute bands Abbey Road and Jumping Jack Flash will engage in an on-stage throwdown — a musical “shoot-out,” if you will — between the two bands’ sounds at 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22 at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.

Taking the side of the Fab Four is Abbey Road, one of the county’s top Beatles tribute bands. With brilliant musicianship and authentic costumes and gear, Abbey Road plays beloved songs spanning the Beatles’ career. They face off against renowned Stones tribute band Jumping Jack Flash, which offers a faithful rendition of the music and style of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the “bad boys” of the British Invasion.

“Music fans never had a chance to see the Beatles and the Rolling Stones perform on the same marquee,” said Young Hutchison, who plays “Keith Richards” in the show. “Now, music aficionados can watch this debate play out on stage.”

The show is part of a 110-stop tour of the U.S., Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada that has been going since 2011. The show also performs long-term residencies for a number of the Harrah’s Casino properties. The production includes some of the more popular songs from the two rock pioneers and covers the scope of their musical careers, although the set list for Jumping Jack Flash usually includes Rolling Stones songs up to the 1980s.

“They may have more pop songs, but we kill it on the live show. They’re not even in the same league,” said Joey Infante, who performs as Mick Jagger.

During the two-hour show, the bands perform three sets each, trading places in quick set changes and ending the night with an all-out encore involving both bands. The band members have their outfits custom-made, since avid fans know exactly what the Beatles and Stones wore onstage during different time periods in their careers. There’s a lot of good-natured jabbing between the bands as well.

“Without Beatlemania, the Stones might still be a cover band in London,” said Jesse Wilder, who plays George Harrison. “There’s no question that the Beatles set the standard.”

The audience will hear top-shelf tributes to two legendary bands in the same evening. As the Orange County Register said: “If you see only one tribute show, see this one ... smart and loads of fun.”

Added Wilder, “It’s just a fun time and a cool back-and-forth nonstop show.”

“We’re going to bring it all,” said Infante. “It’s going to be a night of high-energy music.”

Tickets are $16 and may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 858-481-8140. The Belly Up is at 143 S. Cedros in Solana Beach 92075. The show is 21+.