Tribute bands, over done?

Discussion in 'The Cellar' started by chromeboy, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. chromeboy

    chromeboy Active Member

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    Just thought I'd throw this out as a topic. In my area, the Sf bay area, there are a lot of tribute bands. AC/DC, Zeppelin, Journey, Bad Company , The Stones, and of course The Beatles and a few country bands as well. Some are OK and some are horrible. The funny thing is that some band are paying tributes to bands that are still touring like Journey, Santana, and AC/DC although they may be done touring.
    Anyway, I just don't get it.
    Why would people want to see this when you can go to just about any club that has live music and see a band that plays all of those bands. Some of these tribute bands play wineries and are seen at a lot of county fairs. At least at the fairs there is no charge to see these bands. I don't think I would pay to see a tribute band.
    It amazes me that there is seem to be in demand.
    I prefer to play my own music and some covers but mostly my stuff. Not currently playing right now but then again I'm turning 59 this month. Just don't have it in me to play out a lot or tour. Done that many times in the past and had a blast. Anyway, what do you guys think?
     
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  2. ricksconnected

    ricksconnected Well-Known Member

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  3. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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    Some people don't wanna see the saggy geriatric Stones

    They regret missing the original experience or feel nostalgia for it, and would sometimes rather see a golden age knockoff than the current version
     
  4. fifteenohms

    fifteenohms Well-Known Member

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    I think about this often and resolve it with: those are cultural songs bigger than the artist and nobody cares anymore who plays them, except that the band plays as good or better than that track's artist.

    The throwback era is timetravel and people use that to remember, to escape.

    So a fat black Vince Neal singing "Piece Of Your Action?" Perfectly acceptable.

    Philipino Steve Perry lookalike/soundalike in the original Journey?

    Nobody cares! As long as it doesnt distract the people doing that Memory Lane mental tunneling thing... theyre gone remembering that guy or girl in high school - theyre not even in the same room because its 1981 in their head
     
  5. ricksconnected

    ricksconnected Well-Known Member

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    i listen to authentic
     
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  6. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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    A good tribute band is supposed to be about the show/atmosphere/experience moreso than music as I understand it

    It's like calling bs on a costume party or reenactors or a ren fair or something... OF COURSE it's bs, but that's not the point.

    The people want their corny fun
     
  7. Georgiatec

    Georgiatec Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Looking for something I don't remember what.
    Some are great. Dave Gilmour said Australian Pink Floyd are better than real Pink Floyd. I've seen them and while the music is pretty much spot on, the vocals and what it means to the singer are missing. I think it's the one thing that cannot be replicated accurately.
    The thing is there's money in it so bands are going to sell out to play and pay the bills.
    Back in the 80's, I was in a really good soul & funk outfit. We got a record deal, but ended up getting nowhere. We ended up streamlining the band and going on the U.K. & European club circuit, playing mostly contemporary covers, with a few oldies and originals thrown in to fill the set out. I think the only real tribute act back then was the Bootleg Beatles.
    It's all right these guys saying "we only play original songs" but, it's soooooo hard to get anywhere. Ultimately the strength of your material and how good your vocals are is what matters.
    Greating sounding bands playing very average material with dodgy vocals are 10 a penny.
     
  8. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    There definitely are many tribute bands around these days. Probably too many. In my area, there's lots of them floating around, and yeah, some are horrible. Some are very good, too (a friend of mine plays in a Band tribute that does The Last Waltz from top to bottom and NAILS it, another one is in a very good Pink Floyd tribute).

    As for myself I'm in a Queen tribute band, and we're doing pretty well. Lots of demand for it these days, especially since the movie came out. The thing is, we've taken kind of a tangent, as we don't dress up (I'm not a fan of that, except for bands such as Kiss where the visual aspect is a big part of the appeal), I don't play Vox amps or a Red Special (I bring my Marshalls, Strat and Les Paul), and my singer definitely doesn't try to ape the Freddie moves or looks. We market ourselves as a tribute to the music of Queen, not as lookalikes. I DO play most stuff note-for-note though (but allow myself to do some more "me" stuff on some "less signature" lead parts, while always trying to keep a similar vibe), and my singer can sing the songs spot-on (though again, he's not try to pretend sounding exactly like Freddie, he just happens to be pretty close, even though he's mostly a Bono and Steven Tyler fan).
    And yeah, lots of demand for that, people love listening (and singing along) to these songs. Especially since seeing the real thing is a) rare in this area, b) pretty expensive. Even more so, in my opinion, than watching some guy in a fake moustache and yellow jacket dancing around aping FM (most of these imitators are pretty blah singers at best, too).
    So yeah, we're more about paying tribute to the music and bringing it to people that only ever heard it on TV, radio or records.

    I'd love doing all originals (I have a rock/hard rock all originals project that gets pushed back constantly as I don't have enough time available to focus on it properly), but I don't see it allowing me to make a fraction of the money I'm making with the covers/tribute band. Plus I have 3 kids, and also work quite a bit as a soundguy. And there's only 24hrs in a day. Soooo...
     
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  9. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    Then you're in a cover band.
    In the jargon of the biz a tribute band goes the whole nine yards. Show biz.
    BP
     
  10. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    Might be. I don't really care about that kind of minutia tbh. And for the most part our audience doesn't either, AFAIK.
    Also note that the "official" Queen tribute band, Queen Extravaganza (which was put together by Brian May, Roger Taylor and Spike Edney, can't get much more official than that I guess), doesn't dress up either. But hey, to each his own.
     
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  11. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    "moreso than music as I understand it..." No your understanding is incomplete.
    If a tribute doesn't have first of all "the sound" and the "chops" then you can forget about it.
    Everybody can dress up which cannot be said of playing the instruments and fine tuning the sound.
    I remember, about this same topic,DOD posted clips of some of his friends who play in tribute bands. One was an Elton John trib. They were excellent with sound, chops and looks.
    The other was a Stones trib which just didn't connect with me on various levels. Although the front man basically had the looks he didn't sing in Jagger's key or even close. Of more nerdy details the Keef guy, if I remember correctly was playing a Strat when for that particular song he should have been playing an LP. It's a matter of sound.
    Your words kind of indicate that you've got an issue with tribute bands.
    So imo sound / chops / looks in that order.
    BP
     
  12. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    Well that's just like the Jimi Hendrix Extravaganza or whatever the heck it is. Nobody puts a plumed hat on but they do feature top of the line guitarists playing Jimi tunes.
    I suppose it does depend on the venue too. If you have a captive audience i.e. seating only well I guess people can sit and enjoy the live musical performance and light show.
    If you have an active audience with dancing, revelry etc., etc them imo the tribute, look and move a likes add an awful lot to the fun and are part of the fun.
    :2c:
    BP
     
  13. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    Kinda agree, but to me it's chops/sound/looks in that order, always.
    If you can't play the songs (I mean, NAIL them and play them like you mean it, not half-ass your way through them), tone is totally irrelevant, not even mentioning looks.
    And even tone is kind of a mixed bag. Meaning, to a point, as you're as you're not massively off-base (like, doing Beatles with an EMG-equipped ESP and an Engl...and even then, I'm certain some could make that work alright), being "close enough" usually works alright. The main thing being, getting a similar vibe and gain level first and foremost. But if you don't get the right articulation, phrasing and vibrato, it doesn't matter. Also, you need to actually deliver that onstage in a convincing manner. Same for pretty much everyone else in the band btw.

    And I'm much more confortable getting lots of "man, you guys sound just like the real thing" (which isn't entirely true btw, all things considered, but as a band we're getting close) and looking and moving the way I am at the price of a few annoying guitar players (and we can be crazy annoying, guess we can all agree on that) listening with their eyes and commenting that I don't use a Vox or whatnot than the other way around.
    Even tried to use a clone of the old Wampler Cranked AC as a way to get closer to the Vox thing...not cigar, made very little difference if any at all, I ended up sounding pretty much the same (which reinforces my opinion than no matter how much we can obsess on it, gear is largely irrelevant compared to musicianship).

    Brian May sounds like that because he's Brian May, plain and simple. Gear only gets you so far.
    Same for clothes. But to me, unless you're doing kind of a circus act, or try to do some very select artists (mostly thinking of KISS here), musicianship is first by far. And again, unless you're WAY off-base, if you play the songs right, you'll end up sounding pretty close to the real thing anyway. And play them well enough, and 99% of the audience won't really care about how you look (the originals don't look the way they did back then either, anyway).
     
  14. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Active Member

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    my general 2 cents about "cover bands": use your time to produce your own music. It might be shitty, but is yours. Be original, do it differently, be yourself. If by the end of the day you spent time and energy doing something, at least it is your thing.

    In portuguese we have an expression , a bad one, "To cum with someone else dick". that's what's cover bands do.
     
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  15. Crikey

    Crikey Active Member

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    For me, if i like the music enough to go play it live is my choice and if people want to pay to see it thats there choice. There is a fantastic Led zep tribute band that i will go pay money to see.
     
  16. Crikey

    Crikey Active Member

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    There is a forum member here who plays in Ozzie tribute with his son. I would pay money to see them play . Those guys shred it.
     
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  17. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    And make zero money (or even pay some) in the process ? No thanks.
    Between making a living playing covers and having to work behind a desk (or at a factory or whatnot) because of some weird misconception, my choice is making money by playing guitar, 100% of the time. That's not even a question. YMMV, but that's where I stand.
     
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  18. Crikey

    Crikey Active Member

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  19. ricksconnected

    ricksconnected Well-Known Member

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  20. Filipe Soares

    Filipe Soares Active Member

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    I've made a different choice. When I was like 17yo my dad asked me wtf I want do with my life. At the time I said "I want to be a musician" and my father wisely commented "filipe, you love music, but you love money even more. So I recommend you to be an engineer (which I also liked) so you will be able to buy all the guitars and cars you want".

    I play heavy metal... the bad thing about metal is that there's no money for heavy metal. medium to big acts struggles to pay their bills. It would be amazing to have a musical career that pays more money than engineering. but if in europe that's not the case, in Brazil it's worse.

    I totally respect the people who do that, but I know so many people that only do covers and they are not getting paid. So if it's for free do your thing. for making a living? do whatever pays your bills.
     

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