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Tribute: how far should we go?


Bollocks37

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At the start of this year I started with an AC/DC tribute.

Musically it was instantly great and we had lots of fun playing the music without giving attention to the theater that makes a AC/DC show.

We thought that playing their music well was enough.

 

Well after having a few gigs we found out that people wanted to see Angus and more of the AC/DC show. We missed out on a gig for 1300 people because the organisation was disappointed about our appearance, we play AC/DC but thats it.

I can relate to that but we have a few problems with that.

Our Angus is 1.90 meter, and Malcolm (me) has lost his hair since his late 20's :facepalm:

 

We decided we need Angus in uniform, it may look a bit silly at first but could add to the fun, we don't take ourselves too seriously.

Is this enough?

Should I go as far as to wear a wig :eek:

It must not become a tragic show of weekend warriors trying to pass as rockstars.

 

What do you think?

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If you bill yourself as a tribute, then IMO, then the audience expects it to be as authentic as possible. Angus in the schoolboy uniform, lead singer wearing a newsboy cap, etc. Cannons, bells, the whole nine yards. The more theatrical, the better. Being a tribute band isn't just about playing the music....it's about the entire experience. People want to see a tribute band and feel like they just watched the real thing.

 

The alternative would be to bill yourself not as a "tribute band", but as a band "playing the music of AC-DC". This lets people know not to expect any theatrics and AC-DC's over-the-top presentation, and that you're just focused on the music.

 

That being said, I suspect you'll find that the tribute route would be far more profitable....but a lot more work and preparation.

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Huh. Interesting topic. I dunno. To me, a tribute band tries to be as much like the original band as they can. Some of the most successful tribute bands go a long way toward looking and acting like the original act. The top tribute bands have the stage banter down, even.

 

But there are tribute bands out there that are very very successful where the members don't look like the band. There was a Genesis tribute act that was outstanding and they didn't look like Genesis, and I don't think anyone cared. But Genesis fans of that era were far more into the music. So it depends. For some folks, just sounding like the band is enough, and for others, they want the whole deal. How far should you go? How important is the money? How much can you travel? How much do you guys actually sound like the original?

 

Regarding wearing a wig - I think of it as being like an actor - in a tribute band, you're an actor playing the part of another person. I don't think wearing a wig would be a big deal. It doesn't seem to bother Paul Stanley! :)

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To me, a tribute band tries to be as much like the original band as they can. Some of the most successful tribute bands go a long way toward looking and acting like the original act. The top tribute bands have the stage banter down, even.


Regarding wearing a wig - I think of it as being like an actor - in a tribute band, you're an actor playing the part of another person. I don't think wearing a wig would be a big deal. It doesn't seem to bother Paul Stanley!
:)

 

Yes! And now I don't have to type all of this! :)

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Huh. Interesting topic. I dunno. To me, a tribute band tries to be as much like the original band as they can. Some of the most successful tribute bands go a long way toward looking and acting like the original act. The top tribute bands have the stage banter down, even.


But there are tribute bands out there that are very very successful where the members don't look like the band. There was a Genesis tribute act that was outstanding and they didn't look like Genesis, and I don't think anyone cared. But Genesis fans of that era were far more into the music. So it depends. For some folks, just sounding like the band is enough, and for others, they want the whole deal. How far should you go? How important is the money? How much can you travel? How much do you guys actually sound like the original?


Regarding wearing a wig - I think of it as being like an actor - in a tribute band, you're an actor playing the part of another person. I don't think wearing a wig would be a big deal. It doesn't seem to bother Paul Stanley!
:)

 

Good point about the Genesis tribute act. I would say that it depends entirely upon the band that the tribute band is emulating. If you're going to do a KISS tribute, you better have the makeup on (and on the right band members...no Demon makeup on the drummer lol), costumes and preferably a KISS sign and maybe some pyro. In contrast, do you really need to be buff with a beard to portray John Petrucci in a Dream Theater tribute? No, because they are based more upon the music.

 

The Cure? You need a Robert Smith guy to wear smeary lipstick, raccoon eyes and big, finger-in-the-light-socket hair. Boston? You could look like pretty much anyone, as long as the high vocals, soaring guitars and bombastic music is there. If you only want to do a music-only tribute, like the Fab Faux, bill it as such. If you want to up your game, then you'll have to at least try to dress the part (wigs and all) to have more of an impact.

 

Obviously, AC/DC has a specific image, so it's best to place those specific elements into the band (torn denim jacket/vest and jeans with bare chest for "Bon Scott" or newsboy cap for "Brian Johnson", schoolboy outfit for "Angus"). Malcolm obviously has shoulder-length hair, so if you are shaved bald, you'll "need" to have a straight wig to get that effect of watching AC/DC.

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But there are tribute bands out there that are very very successful where the members don't look like the band. There was a Genesis tribute act that was outstanding and they didn't look like Genesis, and I don't think anyone cared. But Genesis fans of that era were far more into the music. So it depends.

 

 

Yeah, it does depend. You don't HAVE to look like Phil Collins to do a Genesis tribute, but I'm sure it helps with the $$

 

[video=youtube;I2pPCdB9waQ]

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Here is a great book about tribute bands:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Like-Rolling-Stone-Strange-Tribute/dp/0385518900

 

One of the "Keiths" is described as as being "more keithy than keith". reportedly - he even went to the help of developing a heroin habit - then kicking it.

 

It is reported well, therein the full range of how various successful tribute bands approach the issue of authenticity.

 

Good airplane read.

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I hate it too. Especially when I catch myself watching it.
:facepalm:

 

I do that! Haha

 

IMO if you are going to be an ACDC TRIBUTE band......you gotta go all out otherwise there's no real point. At the very LEAST Bon/Brian and Angus have to be down COLD! I do hope that your Angus plays an SG......

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I think it depends on how far you all want to go with it.

 

It's a foregone conclusion that shoegazing while playing AC/DC, ain't gonna cut it.;)

 

So if you want the big money, and the best gigs that a tribute can offer, then have your guitarist play that red SG with a schoolboy uni and book bag and do all the moves. Which he will have to practice. Playing like Angus means copping his tone and learning his stuff. But putting on a show like Angus means bobbing your head in quarter notes, doing the "Angus duck" all over the stage, as well as doing the 'stand still walk' while you are doing that playing. And that for most, will take some work.

 

If you don't want to go all in, you can still do better than what you are doing with just a little stage effort. If you don't want to "do" Angus to the t, you can at least cop his energy and make it your own. Maybe cop the Angus duck thing and do it every other song, But remain moving and energetic....maybe only doing the head bob during solos while on the dance floor.....

 

The guitarist is the one on the bubble here. If he ain't comfortable or can't do it, you are stuck where you are at and might want to look away from doing the tribute thing. But I think your guitarist will find that the more Angus he becomes, the more crowd response he's gonna get.

 

I'm an old greybeard fat ass and I do the Angus duck during his solos (we do Highway and You Shook Me), complete with head bob. If you don't do it much, it'll make you loose your equilibrium or make you dizzy. I think that is why he does it all the time. And you can't do it with your eyes closed.:facepalm: (that's a story...)

 

But when you do it, you see that that is part of where Angus' style comes from. I have heard that he does a subdued version of his head and body thing in the studio.

 

My 2c....good luck!

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We decided we need Angus in uniform, it may look a bit silly at first but could add to the fun, we don't take ourselves too seriously.

Is this enough?

Should I go as far as to wear a wig
:eek:
It must not become a tragic show of weekend warriors trying to pass as rockstars.


What do you think?

 

Of course Angus isn't enough. I can't think of an easier band to mock up. Get a black tee, jeans and an English cap for Brian. A wig for you if you need it. Jeans adn tees for the band. Angus gets the outfit. He could be 8' tall and it really wouldn't matter. Done.

 

Unless you don't want to play those types of gigs. I get that, but it sounds like you do. So do it. Easy. No one's going to make fun...

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Thanks everyone!

There's no money to be made here in the netherlands with this sort of thing, so that plays no role.

Its really the kick of getting a venue going with music we love and maybe build a bit of a name for ourselves and having a filled agenda :)

I'll let you know where we end up and maybe post a picture or clip in half a year ;)

 

Ps thanks for the book tip, I just bought it new at Amazon for 48 cents (?!?)

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Yeah. My $.02, if you're gonna be a "tribute band" for anything, if you want to be what people expect out of a "tribute band", you have to go all out with your emulation.

 

It's more like theater and less like being a cover band.

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Yeah. My $.02, if you're gonna be a "tribute band" for anything, if you want to be what people expect out of a "tribute band", you have to go all out with your emulation.


It's more like theater and less like being a cover band.

 

 

I get the impression that a lot of people thinking about starting (or are in) tribute bands don't necessarily want to be in a tribute band, they just want to play a lot of songs by a band they really like.

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Wear a wig - hell, Paul Stanley in KISS does! Gene Simmons probably does as well.

 

I've thought about starting a Tribute act. I have some friends who played in a tribute band for years, and they made a lot of money at it - but they went the whole 9 yards. They said they found out from an earlier attempt that if you aren't going to try to look like the band as well, then you shouldn't bill yourself as a tribute act, because promoters look at it as false advertising..

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Regarding wearing a wig - I think of it as being like an actor - in a tribute band, you're an actor playing the part of another person. I don't think wearing a wig would be a big deal.
It doesn't seem to bother Paul Stanley!
:)

 

 

EXACTLY!

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I played a show where a Tool tribute band was on the bill. They were all complete psychos, which may or may not have been a little too realistic for me. :thu:

 

EDIT: Scratch that. It was just the guitarist's girlfriend who was a psycho. Never mind.

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