By Chuck Cox
I don’t know where you guys stand on tribute bands. Some people love them; some people don’t want anything to do with them.
For me, I’m mainly interested in seeing tribute bands of groups I have never had the opportunity to see live. For some reason, I just feel like a tribute band playing songs by a band I’ve seen would be such an unfavorable comparison for the tribute band. And while I know that’s not the point, it’s just kind of how I’ve always viewed tribute bands. I’d much rather see the real deal.
Having said that, a buddy of mine and I headed over to the Granada on Saturday night to check out A Hard Night’s Day. If you’re not familiar with A Hard Night’s Day, it’s a Dallas-based Beatles tribute band that has been around for 15 years. Any time a tribute band has been around 15 years, that’s a good sign.
And it didn’t take us long to see why the band has enjoyed such longevity. With Chris Holt back in the band, A Hard Night’s Day played two sets, starting with the early Beatles stuff, including every song the iconic British rockers played on its famed three-night stint on the Ed Sullivan Show, and culminating with the later stuff. The band really endeared itself to me by playing “Rocky Raccoon,” one of my favorites. All told, I would say the band churned out about 50 songs, doing killer renditions of Beatles classics like “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Come Together,” and “All Across the Universe.” The musicianship was incredibly impressive. I would go see the band again in a heartbeat. Truth be told, I left kind of mad it took me so long to see A Hard Night’s Day.
The opening act was another Beatles tribute band called Run For Your Life. The cool thing about this band was it was made up of kids. One of the kids in the band is the son of member of A Hard Night’s Day. And I can honestly say I have never been to a show where I saw young kids and older people singing and dancing in front of the stage like I did on Saturday. Seeing kids who aren’t even teenagers yet singing along with Beatles songs was pretty awesome.
The last time I saw a tribute band was a couple of years ago. I saw Led Zeppelin 2 at House of Blues. The biggest difference between that band and most of A Hard Night’s Day is the guys in Led Zeppelin 2 actually resemble the members of the real band. I thought that was pretty neat. The drummer for A Hard Day’s Night sported a pretty serious Beatles haircut, but otherwise the band just looked like regular guys. Both worked just fine, I thought. If you run across a good tribute band, like all three of the ones I just mentioned, it’s definitely a great night of entertainment. And it’s usually very affordable, too.