Tribute Bands

chillybilly

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I reckon you're seeing the extent of how record royalties have all but vanished even when music is sold by legitimate vendors whether they're selling digital product (Apple, Amazon) or merely streams (Spotify).

A tour of any kind isn't cheap given the crew and equipment required and the record company can't underwrite it because they have no money either.

The so-called glamorous rock star lifestyle is probably a thing of the past but there are still mortgages and bills to be paid by the band members. It may be cold comfort but after all the overhead the band members themselves are probably only getting a fraction of the ticket price, say 20%. It's a grind like it was in the 40s and 50s.

As a musician, I put tribute bands into two categories: lookalikes and soundalikes...even if the lookalikes are soundalikes ;)

Beatles tributes are, by and large, theatrical costumed nostalgia performances but the gear and sound are critical given the average person's familiarity with 'the look.' Others may try to duplicate the looks of certain bands but others are more concerned with duplicating the music eg Rush. And is anyone all that fussed about getting a Geddy or Lifeson doppelganger? ;)

I have long wondered what the plans are when fans still want to the hear the music but aren't as fussed about lineups. I admit I can't relate to such a viewpoint but Foreigner, for example, are doing gigs without any original members with or without advertising that fact. So are the people calling themselves The Ventures (although Leon Taylor, son of Mel, is still involved). It would seem that franchising, for lack of a better term, might be the way forward for Rush, for example, if they gave their blessing and a contract to a particular trio.

We played an outdoor gig once and during a break a bloke walked up and complimented us and said he was also a musician, later revealing he was a member of one of these Eagles tributes that try to do the full palette of stage/light show and soundalike versions. For better or worse, the Eagles wore their casual togs so no uniforms were required ;) But such tributes have some high ticket prices themselves especially as they're featured acts at festivals, fairs, car shows etc that have decent budgets for entertainment.

He revealed he did the Randy Meisner parts - bass and vocals in that rather high register. I noted that the real Eagles were playing in town the next weekend and asked him if he was going. His response was classic: 'Hell no! They want $250/seat!'
 

dmrogers

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Just before "that thing" happened, around 2019, I took my wife to see The Eagles. She had wanted to see them for years, but it never worked out. I went all out, really good seats, a nice hotel, good food, spared no expense. And we had a great time. Then we saw them again last year, she was in heaven. Those concerts were VERY expensive, but so worth it. My wife was on cloud nine!
However, that is the exception to the rule. We have some friends that have bands that we go see frequently. Great music, good times, and sometimes they play at a restaurant so that is a bonus.
For concerts, we really like going to smaller venues and seeing acts like Marty Stuart, Gov't Mule, bands like that.
We have been fortunate to catch Blackberry Smoke several times at smaller venues and they always put on a great show.

No big time bands we really want to see.
 

Slim Chance

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I still quote seeing Cheap Trick in the early 80s for $8. That is probably, what, $24, $32 in today's dollars? Yes, that was when tours were cheap and album sales earned the band's money, but still.

Ha! CT played at college dance in the mid 70s. Didn’t cost me anything.
 

buster poser

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Cheap Trick aren't playing in NM, but the nearest dates to me have seats for well under $100, same as the MGM Ohio show. I find multiples under $150/seat in the floor section if I say that I want two, and that's stubhub.


If you want to sit closer, you can surely spend a lot more; I'm reasonably sure this has always been the case, but I've only been going to concerts since 1980.
 

bottlenecker

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I am starting not to care if I never see original artists again. I think "the monopoly" is starting to price themselves out of the market. The boomers and older Gen-X crowd won't be paying those prices for that much longer.

The acts you've mentioned are called legacy acts. Touring original acts that are not legacy acts are playing for 15 to 30 dollars all over the US. For people who want to hear new music from artists in their ceative prime, it is not that expensive. If you need to hear hits you heard on the radio at least twenty years ago, then maybe tribute acts are for you.
 

bottlenecker

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Tickets in the late 70's at the Milwaukee Arena for headliners with a backup band were $6.50, $7.50, and $8.50. Saw Rush, ZZ Top, Journey, Genesis, and others I can't remember. o_O
They were promoting records, which people still bought.
Now the records are free, and tickets are the revenue.
 

Tmcqtele65

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My wife is a big Duran Duran fan. Earlier this year they released a concert film that we paid about $20 to stream. The premiere event we watched included interviews and other additional content. Watching a well made concert video event in my own home was excellent. We had a great view, and could even make out brand and model names of the instruments...no lines at the rest rooms...no obnoxious drunk fans...and the food and beer selection was second to none.
 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi.

People, being people, get emotional / invested in things they care about. Music is one of those things people care about. I try to remember that, simmer down and think if people like to see tribute bands, we’ll they’re hurting no one, and having fun. Good for them.

It’s just not for me.

I am starting not to care if I never see original artists again.

I’m with those who would say, see local original bands. But I also realise, depending on where folk live, it’s quite possible there might be none local to someone’s liking, or even, none local at all (from my point of view, those in the US and some other places around the world are absolutely spoilt for choice). But still, that’s what I personally prefer, so I still would say - see local bands (if you can).

Re the pricing, won’t be long before we have AI generated hologram concerts streamed into our homes, anyway. Concertflix… :)

Pax/
Dean
 

JPKmusicman

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Speaking of Yes, Richie Castellano does Yes covers on his youtube channel. Fricken awesome musicians. They don't play live that I know of.
 

Mowgli

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A little known Menudo tribute band, Gazpacho, is easy on the wallet. Too bad they don’t tour the states. They had more hits than Bonita Gordita back in the 70s and 80s before the great Menudo revolt. People have short memories.
 

metalicaster

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There’s a local bar I go to, they book tribute bands most weekends. I’ve discovered some good musicians there. Quite a few of the tribute artists either play original music together under a different name or have members who do.

If someone can put an interesting spin on a Stones number I’ve heard a thousand times, I’m probably gonna be curious enough to look them up.
 

fretWalkr

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I think the whole tribute band thing is kind of strange to me. Me, I wouldn't want to spend the time I have on the planet trying to perfectly reproduce someone else's music. (Yeah, symphony orchestras are 1800's tribute bands but I wouldn't want to do that either.)

It seems like the music business is out of kilter. Ticketmaster is charging outrageous, monopolistic ticket prices, royalties for new music have all but disappeared, and technology makes it easy for anyone to record an album which causes the market to be flooded.

I don't think creativity is so much lower than in the 60's/70's/80s but the bar to entry is so low that it's hard to find great music in the crowd of average or subpar recordings. If the Beatles, Bowie, the Who, whoever, were to come out today would they even be able to get a foot in the door?
 

2HBStrat

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I think tribute bands are a waste of talent.....
I have no interest in tribute bands. The ability and the desire to recreate the sound of another band is impressive, though.

I have seen a couple or four tribute acts, and I was extremely torn.

The best was dang good.
The worst was pretty ok.
Each time I felt kinda like I had won a game through cheating.
Yeah, I got to hear a bunch of songs I liked, played “properly”, but on the other hand, I could have listened to the records and been just as entertained.
I’d rather see an original band or a cover band that doesn’t worry about replicating a note-for-note recreation of the original.
Most people, I think, like to her songs covered "properly."

I have no desire to see a tribute band with the noted exception of Leonid and Friends..........
I haven't seen them live but their videos are great. They aren't a tribute band because they don't try to recreate the look of the acts that they cover.

I saw Rain sometime around 1980 at Harrah’s in Reno.

I imagine the members must change from time to time. Unless they are performing a “what if” show of the Beatles all aged over 65 or so.

Still, I suppose they could do a convincing version of “When I’m 64.”.....
Does McCartney sing "When I WAS 64" now?

...I have long wondered what the plans are when fans still want to the hear the music but aren't as fussed about lineups. I admit I can't relate to such a viewpoint but Foreigner, for example, are doing gigs without any original members with or without advertising that fact. So are the people calling themselves The Ventures (although Leon Taylor, son of Mel, is still involved). It would seem that franchising, for lack of a better term, might be the way forward for Rush, for example, if they gave their blessing and a contract to a particular trio.............
Acts like The Platters, The Four Tops, The Drifters, and others, have been performing with no original members for years. And aren't some bands from the big band era still working?
 
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