Musical tributes to popular rockers like the Beatles and Elvis Presley were once considered novelty acts, but they have become legitimate options for many concertgoers.
Fraze Pavilion in Kettering is having great success with these shows. Up next at the outdoor amphitheater is the Allman Brothers Band tribute Live at the Fillmore on Thursday, July 26, and Draw the Line: The Aerosmith Tribute Band on Thursday, Aug. 2.
Other upcoming Fraze shows are Steely Dan tribute Flippo on Friday, Aug. 3, Signs of Life: The American Pink Floyd on Thursday, Aug. 16, Get the Led Out: An American Led Zeppelin Experience on Wednesday, Aug. 22, and Neil Diamond tribute the Sweet Caroline Tour on Saturday, Aug. 25.
Fraze general manager Karen Durham recently discussed the popularity of tribute bands.
“We’ve been doing tribute acts, local, regional and national, since the early 2000s when we started our $2 Tuesday and $5 Friday concert series. We now present four to six tribute acts each summer and that number increased around 2014 when we entered into a partnership with the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission to offer free tickets when people choose to bike or carpool to the concerts.”
“We want a variety of music genres: pop, rock, R&B, country, etc. We also want tribute bands or names that haven’t been to the Fraze stage before like our Live at the Fillmore show in late July. A few years ago we had Natural Wonder, a Stevie Wonder tribute, and Who’s Bad, a Michael Jackson group. There are a ton of tribute acts out there and we work with other regional venues who book tribute bands to compare notes, crowd sizes and, essentially, how good the band is, not only on stage, but back stage too!”
“It really depends on the band and genre, but the average crowd would be around 2,000 to 2,500. Some shows do better than others, like Led Zeppelin tribute, Get the Led Out. They started out playing for the tribute series a few years back, sold out almost the first year and now we offer them as a standalone concert, and they’re on pace to sell out their August 22 date this summer.”
“These tribute acts are playing songs from the band’s catalog of music that might cover decades of recording or touring. People know the words to every song. The music is timeless and takes the ticket buyer to another place in time. And, most of the shows at Fraze Pavilion, when you buy in advance, are $10 or less.”