The first Ralston and Sink’s Virtual Podcast of 2018 tackles the intriguing popularity of tribute acts, along with looking back at 2017 and forward to 2018.
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Tribute acts. Tribute shows.
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They’re everywhere drawing big crowds these days, some of them paying homage to bands and artists who are still alive, with others coming out of the woodwork after the death of an influential icon: Tom Petty, Prince, David Bowie.
Heck, there are four tributes of different stripes playing Grand Rapids this week alone, including yet another Petty tribute (7:30 p.m. Thursday at Rockford Brewing), an Elvis Presley birthday bash (9 p.m. Friday at Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill in Grand Rapids), a Boy Band Review (9 p.m. Friday at 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids), and a tribute to Guns N’ Roses featuring Founders staffers (9:30 p.m. Saturday at Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids).
Obviously, there’s the intoxicating nostalgia that draws fans to these tribute shows and it’s cheaper for venues than booking the real thing (if that real thing is still alive), but is this a good thing (as compared to artists performing original material)? Even musicians who usually play their own songs love to unfurl music by icons who’ve influenced them with approving crowds cheering them on.
Some of these tributes try to look like the bands they’re covering, with varying degrees of success; others do their own thing, also with varying degrees of success.
And what about artists who record one of those icon’s songs for their own albums — what are the potential pitfalls?
Grand Rapids singer-guitarist Ralston Bowles and Local Spins publisher John Sinkevics took up those topics — and a bunch of others — for the most recent edition of the RSVP Music Chat, along with recapping 2017 and looking ahead to 2018.
Listen to the podcast here and leave your own comment via SpeakPipe below.
PODCAST: RSVP Music Chat, Episode No. 9
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