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Tribute Bands: Love or Hate 'Em

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by StyleOverShow, Oct 3, 2008.

Tribute Bands - Where Do You Stand

Poll closed Oct 24, 2008.
  1. Love Them

    7 vote(s)
  2. They're Okay

    16 vote(s)
  3. Don't Care One Way or the Other

    8 vote(s)
  4. Don't Really Like Them

    8 vote(s)
  1. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Have noticed quite a few local "Tribute" bands. Maybe they've been around for awhile and I just didn't notice them.

    While I can appreciate just about any excellent act, doing someone else's stick doesn't exactly excite me personally. How 'bout you?
  2. CrazyArcher


    Aug 5, 2004
    I usually frown upon these. I don't mind one-time tribute concerts, or a band playing a 'tribute set' once a year, but forming a band with a sole purpose of playing songs of another band? Whoa, that's an overkill... Usually it looks like a bunch of fanboys who have nothing better to do with their time.
  3. TheDarkReaver

    TheDarkReaver Banned

    Mar 20, 2006
    Lincolnshire, UK
    A decent Tribute band can be pretty good, it's a bit like theatre because they're playing characters.
  4. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    I am in a band where the singer/guitar player has written all the original songs...he has even written some of the bass lines. I play them as he asks...after all, he heard the song first in his head, so who am I to tell him how it should be played? On other songs he lets me come up with a bass line, but will ask me to change something if he doesn't think it fits the song. And on some songs he thinks what I play is just fine.

    I look at it this way...if you are in an original band and don't contribute to the writing of songs, then you are playing someone elses songs anyway which is not much different than being in a tribute band.
  5. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    If the band doesn't exist anymore it could be considered ok, but I was reading about Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters tribute bands which seem kinda silly to me since these bands have had recent tours.

    There was a Guns and Roses tribute band from Richmond VA I believe called Rocket Queen and they had an overweight African Amercian singer named Chris I believe (called himself Blaxl Rose), he could do Axl better than Axl. One of the only Tribute bands I have actually liked.
  6. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Tribute bands do well here. Since we are off the beaten path.... gigs by original artists can be few and far between. So the tribute acts fill the gap.
  7. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    OMG!! At least, the very least get a singer who can carry a tune in a bucket!
  8. getfunky


    Jun 12, 2008
    I never thought about them much until I saw Badfish, a major Sublime cover band. I can understand the desire of people to see Sublime songs played live (after all, I paid to see them play.) Seeing them really turned me off to the whole idea though, because they didn't play the songs with any real "feeling." They played them just like they sound on the radio, which was impressive but not what I'm looking for in a live performance. They could have just put a CD on over the PA really loud and danced around on stage for all I cared. Also, Badfish sells CDs of themselves covering Sublime songs. That just seems totally asinine. And the nail in the coffin... they didn't have a DJ so the guitarist made "scratch" noises using his pick on the guitar strings. :rollno:
  9. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    There are a couple of really good Beatle tribute bands out there, and at least one really good Cream tribute band.

    I'm not sure I see the point in tribute bands for groups like Sublime, but Hall of Fame bands might merit such.
  10. fishtx

    fishtx Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Genzler Amplification/Spector Basses/Mojo Hand FX
    There are a bunch here in the Dallas area, and they seem to get a lot of work. I have a Bass player buddy here who plays in a couple (Judas Priest and Scorpions), and he's gigging all the time...he also subs from time to time in a AC/DC tribute band...*shrug*

    Personally (even though I voted "they're OK), I like playing a variety of material, and don't think I would want to do a tribute thing all the time...
  11. If the band is good and nails the original material faithfully they can be a good take. There is market there especially if the original band is no longer playing.

    If you pick the right band - can play their music well and have captured the right demographic - you can make decent money and will draw a good crowd.

    Draw the line was a pretty good Aerosmith Tribute Band up here. There was also a good Ozzie Tribute Band. They nailed the material and sound like the originals.
  12. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    The guy who writes the cover band book (TB poster, Stephan is his name) says that tribute bands tend to do much better financially than regular cover bands, provided of course they are really good. True fans will turn out and pay good money to see a faithful reproduction of their favorite band.
  13. I'm in a Rolling Stones "tribute" band. We don't do the look, but I think we do the sound pretty good. We do all right. We have people that come quite a ways to see us- which I think is pretty cool.

    As far as the "tribute" band thing goes- I'm fine with it. It may not be what I would want to see- or even what I'd be really interested in playing.

    Keep in mind, you're looking at it (ostensibly) as a musician. The majority of people that go out to see cover bands want to see those songs done as on the record. They don't care that McCartney played a Hofner and you're using a Epiphone. They don't care if you dumb down a line- if you play it pretty close to right and in the style in which it's on the record- as far as they're concerned- you "nailed" it. I've said it before- the worst bunch of people to play for are musicians. No matter how good you are- there's going to be those duds standing there with their arms crossed thinking they could be doing it better.
  14. kangia


    Aug 10, 2008
    They can be so much fun.....even if they suck!
    When I think about it , I even prefer that ones that are bad...
  15. KsToaDangr

    KsToaDangr Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    Columbia, SC - ever since a big group of parents got together and banned NIN and Marilyn Manson from playing here 10 years ago, pretty much every good rock band has stayed away. I know the members of a couple of tribute bands, and they do pretty good. One of them is a Motley Crue tribute band that sells out every show they play.

    I used to be in a Joy Division/New Order "tribute" band kind of like that. We didn't really go for the look, but tried to nail the sound perfectly. After a few months of playing nothing but covers, me and the guitarist decided to start writing some originals, and Failures Of The Modern Man evolved into a fully original band.
  16. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    Since I just joined a Judas Priest tribute, I'm gonna have to say "love 'em".
  17. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I've seen two I really like that are easily worth the price of the ticket.

    The Australian Pink Floyd show is simply fantastic. They don't try to cop the look, but they do some great job "paraphrasing" the video clips to suit them. The music and vocals are very well done.

    The other band, The Musical Box, *COMPLETELY* recreates specific old Genesis concerts and are probably much closer to theater than they are a concert. Each musician looks like the person he's portraying, many of the visual display are the real thing and on loan from Genesis, Peter Gabriel supports them, they've worked with the band and the original engineers on to listen to old master tapes track by track to ensure they're played properly, "Peter Gabriel's" costumes are exact recreations, and even his banter is as close as possible to what Gabriel actually said in those shows. I was skeptical at first but how now seen them six times and will continue to see them when they're in my area. It's that good a show.

    I'll also put in a good word for another Pink Floyd tribute band - The Machine. They're very different from Aussie Floyd, but also do a great job recreating the music and visual effects. They're another show worth seeing.
  18. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Enjoying the gig is I think the best part of playing. It's work to get to the gig, set up and then perform and there should be at least a smile in payment.

    In regards to musician's being a tough audience: only the jealous and alpha dog players bark about playing, if you suck the crowd wouldn't be digging it; and I've played for jazz audiences that have made insightful and critical remarks about the band and in particular my playing (Give the drummer his space was the remark and it was absolutely accurate for that performance).

    Every act is part music, part show. When the two become unbalanced, and it becomes a routine with synchronized dance steps, that's a musical and not music, IMO.

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