Tribute Bands, No Thank You.

There are many types of tribute bands. I guess it’s a way for the musicians to pay homage to their own music gods.  But first off they look nothing like the original band even when they dress in the bands signature outfits.  And secondly they don’t sound like the original.

The other night on AXS TV I actually watched a part of a concert that was solely a Foreigner tribute band.

A tribute band got its own show on a pretty sizable cable station.

I didn’t realize Foreigner was deserving of a tribute band but to each his own.

For the short amount of time that I watched they didn’t sound or look like Foreigner.  They sounded like they were trying to be Foreigner and to my ears not succeeding.

So what’s the point?

If I wanted to see AC/DC or Foreigner or any other band I’d wait for them to come within a reasonable distance and then pay the price that national and international acts are now charging.

You may ask, well what if they stopped touring or they are dead?

Well, I’d realize I’m never going to see that act live. I would buy any albums I don’t have or concert DVD’s and sit in the comfort of my home and watch and listen.

If I go out to specifically listen to a cover band I want to hear that band.  I want to hear their own unique sound, good, bad or indifferent.  Play somebody’s song but do it your way, do it so differently that I can barely recognize it, but do it how you feel.  Put yourself into it don’t try to channel Jimmy Page.

You’re never going to sound like the band you are imitating.  I don’t care if all the members are the most “awesome” players in the county, state, country or world it’s just not going to happen.

Impressionist might imitate some famous voice but then they put their spin on the voice with their own humor.  Would you go to see an impressionist stand on the stage and do his impersonation of Jimmy Stewart by reciting all of the dialog from “It’s A Wonderful Life”?

No, you listen to them insert their own unique brand of humor which combined with the voice takes their show to another level.

I’ve never been to Beatlemania and never had a desire to go to Beatlemania or any Beatles simulation show.Beatlemania

When I was young, local bands rarely tried to cover Beatles tunes.  You knew you wouldn’t sound like The Beatles and no matter how close you think you would come to sounding like The Beatles you would always be judged inferior.

But as Beatlemania (the phenomenon not the show) faded in the 70’s I heard some very talented club bands do Beatles’ songs.  They didn’t sound like the Beatles and they weren’t trying to sound like the Beatles.

What they did was they took very very very good songs put their own creative unique sound to them and they kicked ass.

That’s what I’m looking for, a band with their own sound.  They don’t have to be this bunch of great composers just a couple of musicians who know how to take all the parts and come up with a sound. They know how to sound like one smoking instrument.

Tribute bands, no thank you.  Just not for me.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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