An Ode to Cover Bands

I love cover bands.

But some other people have their qualms with cover bands, and I’d like to put to rest some of their reasons that have no weight.

a)      They aren’t as good as the real thing***

Obviously.

The songs these bands cover are amazing because of the original bands that created them. A cover band simply can’t be Smash Mouth and Fall Out Boy and Spoon and Lynyrd Skynyrd all at one time. And they aren’t trying to be. They are trying to do each song justice. If cover bands don’t sound exactly like Dave Grohl on their cover of Foo Fighter’s “Learn to Fly” that’s alright because Dave Grohl is amazing and interviewed the president so cover bands should get a pass on not sounding exactly like him. And really, would you want to sit through a 2 hour long Smash Mouth concert? Maybe not – but you probably would love to hear “All Star” and “I’m a Believer” live at some point.

Next time a song isn’t 100% as good as the original studio version please cut them a break – remember you’re probably overly opinionated, drunk, and in a dark bar, so just dance and have fun. That’s why you went out isn’t it? Instead you’d just be reading about cover bands online… oh you’re reading about them right now, eh? This is awkward.

***This is only for cover  bands that do a mix of artists. If you are a Kiss cover band I may have a different opinion on you.

b) They only play crowd pleasers

Sure, they only play crowd pleasers – but there is a reason they are called crowd pleasers. They are the songs that make you want to dance and sing along (though to be honest you’re really just shouting the chorus). They remind us of our youth, warm summers, amazingly awkward middle school dances, and the music your siblings blasted so that it could heard from two rooms away. It’s the songs you wish you could have written – or have had written about you.

c) They don’t encourage people to listen to good music

This is hog wash. Here are some classic bands to cover as a cover band:

The Beatles

Foo Fighters

Nirvana

Franz Ferdinand

The Rolling Stones

The Who

Wilco

The White Stripes

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Cake

Smash Mouth

Counting Crows

MGMT

Outkast

Say what you will about Smash Mouth but “All Star” is pure gold.

 

d) The musicians aren’t any good.

I can’t exactly put this one completely to rest. But anywhere you look there are bad musicians from grunge rock to polka to me as the second to last chair clarinet in 5th grade band. Just as there are great grunge rockers, polka players and people who actually know who to play the clarinet. The same goes for cover bands. They can be amazing musicians

 

So go kick up your shoes, let you shirt tails fly, and throw inhibitions to the wind. Because some band it going to cover The Kink’s “You Really Got Me” and you better bet your bottom that they want you to think they are playing it just for you.

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