Cleveland’s Robust Cover and Tribute Band Scene Remains Thriving, Which is Good News for Fans and Musicians Alike

“Well, it looks like we have a whole lot of Journey fans out there!” says Jason Kelty, the lead vocalist of E5C4P3–The Journey Tribute. Using his hand like a visor, he’s peering out at the sold-out crowd of New Year’s Eve revelers at Hard Rock Live at the Rocksino.

We’re still in the 10 p.m. hour, but the audience is clearly already feeling frisky as E5C4P3 rolls through their first set. A man and woman wearing festive shiny bowler hats playfully hold on to one another and dance around during “Feeling That Way/Anytime,” breaking only when the man, clearly overcome by the sheer awesomeness, starts air-drumming. Several feet in front of them, two women dressed alike in matching silver tops wave their hands in the air throughout “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’.”

During the ballad “Lights,” a nearby couple— her sporting a sleeveless glittery top and a “Happy New Year” headband; him rocking yellow and green leis—slow dances like no one else is in the room. As the set winds down with the fist-pumping anthem “Any Way You Want It,” the pair starts making out like lovelorn teenagers.