Monday, July 19, 2010
Tribute bands stage takeover in Dallas
DALLAS Dallas has built a solid reputation for offering tribute bands a place to play. Not only do venues in Dallas book lots of tribute shows, but it’s also home to a number of really authentic musicians. This summer has reached a boiling point of tribute bands overflowing in and around the city.
“There is a trend towards tribute bands that has grown over the past few years, which has definitely provided the band with more bookings,” says Andie Jones, business manager for the Led Zeppelin tribute band Swan Song.
“I'm constantly amazed at how popular tribute bands are,” says Bill Porter, guitarist for Petty Theft, a local Tom Petty tribute band. “Our calendar is about as full as it's always been.”
So why are they so popular? Fans come to see tribute bands because “familiarity brings comfort,” says Michael Schoder, owner of the Granada Theater.
“I don't know how many times I've heard patrons at Swan Song's shows remark at how the band truly did make them feel they were at a live Led Zeppelin concert all over again. Now, that's the mark of a great tribute band in my book!” Jones says.
Many of the tribute bands go to great lengths make the listener feel like they are hearing the original band. At The Who Show at House of Blues earlier this summer, band members and dressed like The Who, used old-school sound equipment, and gave us a show truly reminiscent of the '70s rockers.
The House of Blues in Dallas is a Mecca for tribute bands. In July 2010 alone, five tribute bands have played there. I’m no math expert, but that’s more than one a week. If you follow tribute bands, then this should be your place of worship. August’s lineup boasts four more tribute bands.
The Granada Theater, an Ultimate Best Winner, is also getting in on the tribute band takeover of Dallas this summer. Not really known for hosting tribute bands, “we’re giving a few a whirl,” Schoder says. Granada has three tribute bands scheduled for later this summer, including a Metallica tribute band called Battery.
Two of the tribute bands to play at the Granada are Dallas natives Petty Theft and Hard Night’s Day (Beatles tribute band). The same goes for the House of Blues: Local bands Swan Song and Bebe Le Strange (Heart tribute band) will soon play HOB and are both based in Dallas.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen For A Day
Most tribute bands make a living playing at small venues, restaurants, festivals, and private parties, so openings at places like HOB and Granada are very desirable, especially when a venue “presents a band with a built-in captive audience to perform to,” says Jones.
Even a few are touring nationally. Arguably the area’s most well-known tribute bands, Naked Lunch (Steely Dan tribute band) and Queen for a Day (Queen tribute band), are busting into the scene in other cities around the U.S. like New York and Los Angeles.
“I think we have had the busiest year ever in 2010,” says Michael Crane, vocalist and guitar player for Naked Lunch.
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