Is anyone else weirded out by tribute artists/acts?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by glocke1, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    I have so many mixed feelings on this, on the one hand, I enjoy bands like Aussie Pink Floyd who bring a pretty killer show to people who've never had a chance to see the real Pink Floyd, on the other hand I can't help but think people take the whole tribute thing a bit to far, and gets pretty weird to me.

    At minimum, once the performers start adopting the looks and mannerisms of the artists they are trying to emulate is when the "weird to me" threshold starts. I get thats its part of some shticks like Elvis impersonators, but it's still strange to me. At the extreme end it starts getting really weird to me when the person in question carries that persona into their everyday life.

    This has been on my mind the past day or two as started collaborating with someone on some tunes. The guy sent me some pretty cool alt-country/outlaw country type tunes he wrote as he's putting a group together and I've been coming up with bass lines to them.

    I was pretty stoked about this until I started looking into the guy a bit more, and finally ended up meeting with him and realized that he's basically a Willie Nelson impersonator, to the point where he seems to have adopted that persona in his every day life. His latest project is all his originals, but he seems to like carrying that Willie act into his day to day life.

    I guess the line for me is that at some point that act has to be left behind on the stage but some people seem to get so wrapped up in it they can't seem to let it go.
  2. Texaspandj


    Feb 13, 2021
    Heart Of Texas
    This what you talkn bout... Willis.
    BassCliff, murphy, nixdad and 11 others like this.
  3. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    yeah. Sounds awesome and part of me gets the dress up part. I just hope he doesn’t carry that persona in the real world
  4. BLDavis

    BLDavis May the Tort be with you.

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    I sub-ed for an Elvis impersonator a few times back in the early 80's. It was weird. The guy had plastic surgery to make himself more Elvis-ish. But he was about 5'8" (Elvis was way over 6') and mostly bald with a dyed black comb-over. He had the jump suit and the sunglasses but couldn't sing for beans. We played one gig in Memphis not far from Graceland.
    Yeah, it was weird.
    murphy, nixdad, Dynacord and 3 others like this.
  5. Tribute bands/shows: Not quite my tempo, yea.
    Someone is making a buck though, and people attend, so, if it's your thing, have at it~
    Neil Folkard, nixdad, CJL and 3 others like this.
  6. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
  7. Raoul_Duke


    Jun 13, 2010
    The idea weirds me out, and it seems super niche, and I find it odd that people get so into seeing a tribute band, almost like it’s the actual band they’re a tribute to.

    That being said, there is a Pink Floyd tribute band that plays here every summer, and HOLY CRAP THEY ARE SO MUCH FUN TO SEE!!!! They make me jealous, too. Playing Floyd stuff all the time with the full light show to an engaged audience? Sign me right the eff up right meow!
    nixdad, dkelley, /\/\3phist0 and 5 others like this.
  8. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I’ve seen a couple of tribute acts but generally not my cup of tea. As a youngster we used to go see the Blushing Brides on a semi regular basis. We were (and are) huge Stones fans and these guys did a really good job at it. The front man could not have looked more like Jagger if he tried.

    The other notable one I saw was Michael White and the White - a Zeppelin tribute band. They were talented but only the frontman (White) was truly pulling off the Zep/Plant vibe. Looked a much like the 1970s Plant as one could. At one point he told a story about meeting Robert Plant in an airport somewhere. The whole thing came off as a little sad to me. It felt to me like this guy’s whole existence was based on one or two years of another guy’s life.

    I generally don’t seek out tribute bands although I have seen them by accident. A couple of years ago I happened to be in a place where a really good AC/DC only cover band was playing. They weren’t going for visual authenticity so to me wasn’t much of a tribute…is there another name for that?
    nixdad, J_Bass and kjp360 like this.
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I think that's brilliant :) .

    Right in line with this:

  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I’m on the fence as I’m in a Santana tribute band. We’re not trying to look like Santana though. Just honoring the music and vibe. I like most of the Prince and Chicago tributes. I saw a Fleetwood Mac tribute that was pretty good.
    fleabitten, nixdad and JettBlaq like this.
  11. marchone

    marchone Since 1951

    Nov 30, 2009
    It’s all entertainment. Some good, some great, some schlock. But if you want concert grade performances look at the Fab Faux or the Analogues.
    nixdad, dkelley, ahc and 2 others like this.
  12. Blackjac97


    May 27, 2012
    Yeah, I don't like them. I have actually seen the SRV tribute linked above, live in person, and while the musicianship was excellent, the idea of the gig I just couldn't get past.
    iammr2 likes this.
  13. dangevans

    dangevans Guest

    Mar 26, 2014
    I am okay with it when the focus is on making the music authentic and the whole gimmicky costume crap isn't the focus of attention.
    I played for an Elvis tribute artist once...yeah, he kind of actually really thought he WAS Elvis, but at least the group was able to pull off the act musically, with the 70's live show stuff. The best part is that I grew an great appreciation of Jerry Scheff.
  14. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    A guy I know works with a Beatles tribute band. Apparently the bass player was right-handed but learned to play left-handed to better fit the Paul image. That, to me, is just ridiculous.
  15. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

    Yea, the hard core Beatles fans may notice, but 90% of the audience wouldn't think twice about a right handed Paul.
  16. JohnnyBottom

    JohnnyBottom Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    I agree regarding looks. Im in an Airplane band, and Im bald. Close your eyes and you couldnt tell though.
    Although would be a hoot to do the 60's 'Jack' look at a show.
    nixdad and mikewalker like this.
  17. jdthebassman

    jdthebassman play to live live to play Supporting Member

    I was in a tower of power tribute band that was awesome but in general I dont like playing one bands material all nite.
    MynameisMe, nixdad and Max Bogosity like this.
  18. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I first encountered them in the late 70s playing clubs in New Haven, CT. A couple of Beatles tributes, Crystal Ship (Doors), Blushing Brides (Stones), Rust (Neil Young), Willie and the Poor Boys (CCR), etc. All of them went for the authentic look. Wasn't interested in seeing any of them.

    Some of the more recent ones that do the repertoire faithfully but skip the look like the Beatles tributes Beatlejuice (with Boston's Brad Delp RIP) and the Fab Faux (with Will Lee) make more sense to me...but I have never seen any of them either.
    Fredhead and DirtDog like this.
  19. getbent


    Aug 20, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    There's never a bad time to share the "Fat Elvis' letter to his band":

    This is for real, from an Elvis impersonator named Fat Elvis ;

    Post details: An Open Letter To The Band
    An Open Letter To The Band

    About the Disneyworld Gig
    Dear Band,
    Please allow me to express my innermost feelings. Know this is meant to be interpreted as a good natured rant from a flawed human being who wants to gently make a point to the ones he loves.

    I am facing a 13+ hour drive by myself pulling a trailer for the next two days.

    On the way I will eat all meals by myself and stay in some #@$! hotel worrying at all times about the security of our equipment and luggage.

    Once I arrive in Orlando, I will have to move the trailer early every morning.

    I will be super nice to EVERYONE, funny all the time, do 4-30 minute sets of music for 1000+ people but not repeat any song.

    I will pray that 4 people (you guys) don't oversleep or have a problem with your flight on Friday. I will pick you up at the airport and get your room key for you. I make sure you are fed, prepared for the Sunday show, dressed properly, and aware of show times. I will grin and bear the bad sound system, the amateur choir, and any last minute changes the client has. I will do all of this in a well pressed coordinated, stylishly conservative clothing. (If you have ever cared anything about me, read on.) But, this is one of two well paying gigs I have this month and the first one I've had in a few weeks.

    AND, I didn't pick the music for the Sunday thing. SO, (finally, the f*cking point) anything you can do to make this easier for me will be appreciated. Including, and especially, keeping all sarcastic and passive aggressive remarks about the Sunday thing to yourself. I didn't pick the music but the wife of the guy with the f*cking check did.

    I and the world know you are too good to do this #@$! music. Your refined ear makes it difficult for you to learn and rehearse these songs. I know it eases your pain (but increases mine) for you to approach the undertaking half-heartedly.

    I've been lifting weights all summer and I can tell you, it's a lot harder to pick that heavy #@$! up
    when you don't really want to pick it up. It's EASIER to have, sorry to sound corny, a positive attitude.

    I also know that you are enduring some cruel cosmic joke that causes you to labor in obscurity playing in hack cover bands at Amway conventions while others with half your talent are stars.

    I feel your pain.

    BUT, it's one thing to be a great musician in a cover band. It's another thing to be a great musician in a cover band but with a #@$! attitude.

    Remember, no driving, you're getting paid, your own room, out of town for the weekend, hanging on the Disney property, and, 5-30 minute sets over a three day period. One more thing. I know it's funny to you to make fun of this gig and the crappy Sunday morning songs. It is your way of saying, "I'm too good to do this." Leave the funny #@$! to me. I'm funnier than you will ever be, so don't even try.

    Just shut the #@$! up, wear the clothes, do the gig, and get your check.

    You can never be as funny as me unless you go back in time and are raised by a paranoid schizophrenic with bi-polar disorder in rural f*cking white trash Alabama with a job picking up trash on construction sights, brown paper sacks that sweaty f*cking hillbillies have #@$! in.

    Then, you can spend the weekend at your Uncle's pool with your molesting cousin and half wit brother who beats the f*ck out of you whenever no one is looking. After that, you can go back to your nasty house where the dogs and cats have #@$! all over the place and practice guitar even though no one in your family plays and you have no reason to believe that you can. THEN, after 20 years of struggle, you can support your whole family and spend your free time wiping your Mom's puke from your porch and bathroom. Then, you can go to 13 different f*cking therapists, every twelve step program known to man and be baptized twice.

    THEN you can spend your adult life being known as Fat Elvis. Then, after all that you can fly a guy to Disneyworld, carry him around, feed him, and pay him $550.00 to complain about learning some songs.

    THEN, you will be as funny as me and you can make humorous remarks for everyone to enjoy about the Sunday show. In short, every day I don't kill myself or someone else is a Goddam miracle. I'm glad to have this gig and I'm glad to be going out of town and I'm thankful to have you as a friend and colleague. I'm a sensitive person who wants to please everyone around me and it makes me feel bad when you seem to be bugged by what I ask you to do. Please shut the f*ck up, wear the clothes, play the songs, and don't make me feel any worse about my life and what I ask you to do than I already do.

    We have a lot to be thankful for.

    There are a lot of incredible players in Nashville who are working construction...I have their f*cking phone numbers.

    I love you guys, see you in Florida.
  20. In the northeast, it's like a cicada invasion of tribute bands. I think they draw a crowd, from the older set that isn't just going to go to a bar/club for "whatever band", and they are cheaper than local touring name acts.

    But it's weird to look at the calendar for a place like, say, Tupelo Music Hall and see half their schedule is tribute bands. Including, I noticed, a Neil Diamond tribute band. Yikes.

    That said, I've had a lot of fun doing "nights" of a single artist's music. A Nick Lowe night a few years back was a lot of fun.