Concerts come in all shapes and sizes. Getting down with the best of the best and future Rock & Roll Hall of Fame stars has plenty of perks – but sometimes the less than famous tribute band can be a more suitable substitute or the perfect recipe for nostalgia inducing fun. Here are our top 5 reasons to see a cover band:
1. ITS CHEAPER THAN THE REAL THING: With the price tags of big brand music increasingly moving north, whether the tribute band is for someone still at the peak of their touring or some 80s hair rock cover act, the substitute generic variety is always going to be cheaper than the name brand. The nostalgia comes cheaper from a cover band.
2. MORE CROWD PARTICIPATION: Tribute bands may not be talentless hacks, but if the vocalist had the skills of Adele, they probably would not be riding the tribute circuit. While attendees at big arena headliner shows may take offense to you belting out every lyric to every Guns N Roses classic, the cover band crowd will not. Sing your heart out even if your voice is not great. Dance like no one is watching. Be an absolute goof. The people on stage are already doing it.
3. INTIMACY: When was the last time Dave Matthews Band, The Black Keys or The Grateful Dead played a room smaller than 1,000 people? It’s been a long time. Tribute bands? They’re rarely playing for crowds that even approach 4 digits. Want to close your eyes and go back to your front row experience at Pantages Theater in December 1983 where Talking Heads performed and recorded Stop Making Sense? Well – just go see Gravity A do it and you might feel like you’re back there.
4. ALWAYS PLAY THE HITS: The tribute cover band is not yesteryear’s act du jour trying to promote their latest album that no one likes. The cover band is (usually) not aging rockstars trying to savor the spotlight of the stage with one last hurrah. The band’s members are most likely average Joe’s and Jane’s looking to have a good time and create a good experience for the crowd. Just like an attendee – they are a fan of the act and they want to hear the hits. All of the hits. They will deliver the hits because that’s the whole foundation upon which a cover band can survive.
5. YOU CAN GET TICKETS LAST MINUTE and/or THE SHOWS ARE FREE: No cover band really requires advanced planning or advanced ticket buys save a few (Dark Star Orchestra, Furthur, etc.). Many cover bands are a venue or bar’s de facto party starter or crowd pleaser and their tunes are FREE. Like tonight, the infamous indie rock cover band Black Crystal Wolf Kids play a free show at The Mint in Los Angeles.