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tribute bands, a growing trend?


Jimbilly

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Saw Anthem with some old friends last night, Anthem is a Seattle based Rush tribute, and quite good! 

Great choice of mostly older tunes, including some of the even more difficult ones. A group of my oldest friends went, all Rush fans.

I got the feeling that this was a bigger and more well attended show for them.  The audience was energetic, involved and appreciative (which always helps). Tickets were under $30 including all the fees, good venue with good sound and lighting.  I would see them again, and will keep an eye out for other interesting tribute bands.

What's your experience with tribute bands?

anthem 1.jpg

anthem 2.jpg

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It seems like there have always been Beatles tribute bands, but I used to travel a bit for work and I noticed when all kinds of other tribute bands started popping up in bigger cities.  I thought it was a pretty cool idea.  Like every other new thing, it took 20 years for Richmond, VA to pick up on it but it finally did.  I ended up forming two myself.  I'm Rick in a Cheap Trick tribute band (we don't practice and rarely play out anymore) and Malcolm in an AC/DC tribute band that has gotten some really good gigs and always goes down huge.  Malcolm and Rick are my favorite two guitarists so I am happy as can be playing the two of them.  I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to with the hearing issue I'm fighting (next specialist appointment tomorrow), but I have a nice short 1-hour show with the AC/DC tribute band this weekend.  We're opening for a Dio tribute band whose singer, Ronny Munroe, was apparently in Metal Church for a few years.

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Zoso really nails the Zep thing, they are worth seeing. Ex Pantera vocalist Matt Lamour has been touring w/ them for going on 30 years.

In the past I have gigged w/ Skynyrd & Rush tributes (and briefly rehearsed w/ Kings X & ZZ Top projects before deciding to bail).

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Went to see a group called Journeyman not too long ago here in Chicago at the City Winery. The bands front man, Shaun Hague, wearing a beard and fake glasses puts on a very convincing performance of Eric Clapton in looks and vocals. I nursed a beer all night, but if I was stupid drunk, I'd swear I was back in time lookin' at the real Eric.🤘

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Tribute bands have been something of a mixed bag for me.  It's cool to see someone who has a passion for the same kinds of music I love.  I go back and forth a little on the bands that dress like the real bands, but for something like a Kiss tribute band, it's kind of important.  And while I have some level of respect for the bands that go for note-perfect recreations of the music, I kind of prefer the bands that put a little of their own spin on it.

What I really hate - and it's just creepy, frankly - is when the tribute bands act like they're really the artists they're paying tribute to.  I saw a Fleetwood Mac tribute band on TV a few years ago, and the singer said, "We're gonna let Lindsey sing one of his songs now..."  I've seen Kiss tributes do it as well.  Just...no.

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I saw Brit Floyd earlier this year. Very well-attended. The first half was good--pretty much note-for-note copies in my opinion with great backup singers in addition to the main band. I enjoyed the end of the show more, once they cut loose more and seemed to improvise a bit. I guess like @alantig said. I may get flamed for this but I think in some cases a good tribute band today may be a better experience than seeing the original. In part because the tech and sound quality today is so much better. But if I had been a big Pink Floyd fan and seen them in person, I don't know if I would have appreciated the tribute act or been disappointed. Interesting thread, I will have to think about it. 

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3 hours ago, bry4321 said:

I think in some cases a good tribute band today may be a better experience than seeing the original.

Likely so.  To wit, bands like Foreigner and Blackfoot have effectively been tribute bands for several years now (several decades in the case of Blackfoot).

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4 hours ago, tweed said:

Went to see a group called Journeyman not too long ago here in Chicago at the City Winery. The bands front man, Shaun Hague, wearing a beard and fake glasses puts on a very convincing performance of Eric Clapton in looks and vocals. I nursed a beer all night, but if I was stupid drunk, I'd swear I was back in time lookin' at the real Eric.🤘

But did the faux Eric play his beloved Epiphone just like the real EC?

EE1886.jpg

 

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10 hours ago, Brooks said:

Zoso really nails the Zep thing, they are worth seeing. Ex Pantera vocalist Matt Lamour has been touring w/ them for going on 30 years.

In the past I have gigged w/ Skynyrd & Rush tributes (and briefly rehearsed w/ Kings X & ZZ Top projects before deciding to bail).

I saw them maybe 15 years ago - mind-blowingly great.  
 

Honestly though, as dead-on as the Robert and Jimmy were, the JPJ guy blew me away.  The real JPJ was the quiet linchpin of the band.

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Mixed bag for me - on one hand, good music is good music. A lot of the old bands just flat can't do it anymore, while (some of) the tributes put in real effort and actually sound better.

On the other hand - been there, done that. I mean, if you're going to put in all that effort, why not do your own thing (says the guy currently recording covers :lol:)?

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Tributes bands have their place.  If you are a musician, it is all laid out right in front of you.  You just need to learn the songs and you know the people that come to see you play are going to enjoy it if you are any good.  As a spectator, maybe you are nostalgic about say Iron Maiden, but you also like chicks.

 

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I have a favorite tribute band, of course, Cheap Chick.  In the first photo, they're all playing my guitars.  And the 2nd, just because Robin is such a rock star!  I don't believe they're playing much anymore.

CheapChick.jpg

20121027CheapChickRobinStandard.jpg

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Tribute Bands are raking in the most cash of any genre in our area.  You can't swing a dead cat without hitting 15 tribute bands. 

While I have been a life long supporter of local music and while I prefer musicians who perform their originals (okay with a cover thrown in),  the tribute genre here has exploded.   My personal favorite bands are Cheap Trick and ZZ Top followed by AC/DC.   Therefore, I have seen dozens of Cheap Trick tribute bands over the last several decades and quite a few ZZ Top Tribute Bands.

Several local tribute bands here are now nationally recognized - "Back in Black" which has their own DVD documentary.  Mike Roz's AC/DC band is phenomenal and his singer auditioned for AC/DC after Brian Johnson had his hiatus. 

"Texas Flood" Tommy Katana has being doing this all his life.   They play more gigs than the Beatles did back in the 60's!  Every night he is somewhere playing SRV and Hendrix and brother let me tell you, he is damn good.  

About a month ago, there was a local awards show open to the public just to present awards to tribute bands.   "Rise Against the Machine", "Tools", Even It Up (Heart) the lead singer -  a early gorgeous version of Ann Wilson with great vocals, a Blake Shelton band and the guy was a taller but spot on version and about 10 performances with 3 songs each.  From country to Green Day, they were there. 

My wife's  favorite tribute band was "Rise Against the Machine"  She was only aware of "Bulls on Parade" (sort of)

They were spot on - F Bombs and all and tore the damn roof off.   It looked like a scene from the Weird Al Video of Nirvana's "Teen Spirit".  

Mrs. Hamerica's favorite band is Bad Company.   We support the local "Breaking Bad Company Band" which is a very good tribute band.  We recently surprised an old friend of mine who recently joined a tribute band  named "Electricland".  We were visiting family on his first live performance with the band and we had to stop in.  They were really good covering all eras of Bad Company including Brian Howe.  

Even 1,300 miles away,  you can't swing a dead cat...I rest my case.

Hamerica

 

 

Edited by Hamerica
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2 hours ago, ChugD said:

Tributes bands have their place.  If you are a musician, it is all laid out right in front of you.  You just need to learn the songs and you know the people that come to see you play are going to enjoy it if you are any good.  As a spectator, maybe you are nostalgic about say Iron Maiden, but you also like chicks.

 

Another good band with a lot of good guitarist rotating in and out using the platform for recognition 

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I now recall that I saw one of the bigger Beatles tribute bands about 20 years ago, I think it might have been Rain?, I think there were 2 pretty well known acts at that time.  A local friend has been in a Janis tribute, but it hasn't worked out to see them yet. Hells Belles play locally with some frequency. 

 It was a bit of a no-brainer to see Anthem the other night: local, low price, and all the guys were able to make it, which always helps.

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It seem's to be very popular in this area. With ZZTop clone, Greatful Dead Clone and several others. 

On another note back in the late nintys the top forty wasn't drawing very well any longer. So our drummer suggested we do sets of different bands. Dress like them and nail their music. The rooms started filling seats again. We employed the cheap table tents for suggestions of what that area wanted to hear. Lined it all up and we where back to packing the house again.

Trust the power of table tents!!! Cheap, and great insight to what that room enjoys!!!

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