I had the pleasure of seeing a Pink Floyd tribute band, Several Species, for the “nth” time at Baltimore’s Pier Six Pavilion last night. It was a great show, as always, that has become an annual ritual for many (about 3,500 people turned up this time) local music fans.
That got me thinking about the tribute bands. This group certainly has, as has Pennsylvania-based Get The Led Out (a great band that I’ve seen perform across Pratt Street at Rams Head Live, also in Baltimore, several times), an ardent following, and they’re always great about mixing up the set lists. Some people sneer when they refer to tribute bands (or the current line-up of an older group that only includes an original member or two) in a bad light, like they’re “less than” the original product.
In a way, maybe; but think about the alternative. Would you rather not have the opportunity to celebrate the music again? Many of those original groups will never reform, for various reasons. And, like the two groups I mentioned, tribute bands can bring the live show to a whole new audience, provide dates for venues, sell tickets (which often include entertainment taxes), contribute to a local economy and generally “keep the flame burnin'” for a much-loved act.
Several Species just popped a post on to Facebook, thanking everyone for coming and telling them that they hope to see us again next year. I’m not one to complain about time marching on, so good tribute bands are fine with me. How about you?