By DANIEL J. KUSHNER AND FRANK DE BLASE
The Rochester music scene is blessed with an abundance of individual artists and bands, in myriad genres, playing original music. But while those concerts dominate the concert calendars, it’s hard to ignore the creeping number of Facebook invites touting local “tribute shows.”
These concerts, in which musicians perform an influential album in its entirety or honor the catalogue of a legendary band or individual, pop up at least once a month. Flour City Station hosted a 25th anniversary celebration of Weezer’s “Blue Album” in May, Three Heads Brewing held a Counting Crows night in June, earlier this month there was a tribute to Green Day at the Bug Jar, there’s a July 31 Creedence Clearwater Revival show at Abilene Bar & Lounge, and the Bug Jar is hosting a night honoring the late Roky Erickson on August 31 at the Bug Jar.
In contrast to shows played by cover bands — in which musicians devote themselves full-time to playing the work of a particular artist, night in and night out — the Rochester tribute shows are special, one-off events performed by musicians who are committed to writing and playing their own songs.
With more and more local musicians lending their talents to these concerts, what’s the impact on the health of the Rochester music community? Do tribute shows diminish the vibrancy and originality of the scene, or do they contribute to more growth? How do individual musicians or bands maintain their own identity in a tribute or themed event show? Can they still be considered “original”?READ THE FULL ARTICLE