Cover bands. What an interesting subject, to me, at least. Not so much the bands, but the people who show up to watch them.
There are 2 teams when it comes to the folks that show up to a night of gnarly covers;
The “I am so excited to listen to my favorite songs” team. The best team, really.
And then the complex team. They will point out the lack of creativity in covering already iconic music. They will snob on about the time they saw the real band live back in nineteen ninety… whatever, no way this will top that.
Then they mutter those magic words that every musician wants to hear.
“Don’t fuck it up”.
I don’t understand the pretentious hating of cover music. I love it. I had a blast at 90s Rock Night at the Aquarium (@aquariumfargo). I brought my wife, whom also had a blast. It was a special night of four bands covering four icons on 90s rock. Each band featured Bobby, because it was his birthday, after all. I have to pause to give a major shoutout to Bobby, right now. The show started at 9ish, and finished after 1. That’s damn near 5 hours of music, again, all featuring Bobby. The dude seriously nailed it. I get tired from a multi-hour talk session, and this dude somehow managed to sing, WELL, for roughly 5 hours.
Like I said, about five hours of music, wrapped up by the best cover of Nirvana I have heard. Bobby didn’t fuck it up. None of the guys did.
I want to touch on that, too. Travis Barker and Dave Grohl, the drummers for blink-182 and Nirvana, respectively, are considered amongst the best drummers of all time. Both are legends in their department with Grohl as the frontman of Foo Fighters, and Barker starting his own recording label, LaSalle Records, as well as doing some amazing collaborations. I’m serious, if you’re a fan of good hip-hop, check out the Barker collaborations. It will change you.
Anyway, these guys, considered at the top of their game, are being covered by our local greats. Our local friends whom maintain full time jobs, balance a personal life (or lack of) with practices, and coming out to the Aquarium to melt your damn face. Show some respect for these warriors of music. They are attempting to honor some of the greatest musicians of our time. Of course they don’t want to fuck it up.
One final point before I end the article with some mundane pros and cons of attending covers.
Kurt Cobain passed away in 1994. I was 10 years old. So, like many others, I never had the chance to appreciate a Nirvana show, live. Bobby and the rest of Wild Amphora made that a little less true, because it felt like I was living in rock history.
Here are those pros and cons:
· Hanging out, killing 5 plus hours listening to legendary music.
· A $5 cover. That’s a buck an hour to get lost in the music.
· These people put on an amazing show. They love you. Not even kidding.
· This gives those of us who missed our chance to listen to the live music of icons past.
· Happy (late) birthday, Bobby!
· You have to not be a dick for a few hours.