Anyone skimming through the musical offerings of Chicago and surrounding area will notice an abundance of Tribute bands. Why is that? Is it simple economics? It may be for the Venues booking them. It's a clear path to marketing for a Tribute band.
But the economics do not equal the passion behind the tributes for the bands dedicating themselves to another artist. There is a phenomenon of talented, professional musicians forsaking other artistic endeavors to pay tribute. Obviously there is the love of the music and its creators. For those who love a challenge, accomplishing the greats leaves one feeling like you could be a "great". (Journey found tribute artist, Arnel Pineda, from a YouTube video after Steve Perry left)
At Coffee Cup Productions we've been working closely with some talented Tribute artists who are "greats" in their own right. There seems to be a historical significance and a connection to what the music meant at the time and what it still means now. If you're my age, you are witnessing the sunset of an era. Few of our heroes are left or can still deliver the goods on the music that shaped our identity. Maybe that's why we get so excited when we see and hear someone really laying it down like our heroes did. Maybe I want to feel a part of my childhood again, when I discovered the music and it spoke to my other discoveries. And now I can stay out as long as I want, see as many shows as I can afford and even have an after party if I want (and if I get clearance from the "Tower").
There are many reasons as to "why a Tribute?". Maybe a more important question is which one, and by whom? This Friday, Steve Kikoen and The Lotus Kings will recreating the music of Carlos Santana at the famed Park West in Lincoln Park. CCP will be capturing and live streaming the show and we produced the video back drops in collaboration with the great John Theroux of Blazin Space. ...AND there will be samba dancers! This will truly be a great event beyond the typical tribute. We met Steve through his Grammy Allstar Tribute to Steely Dan, Deacon Blues and we made a little splash together with his tribute to David Byrne and The Talking Heads with his astonishing band, BiG SUiT. Now Steve is in his element, his true hero from child hood and believe me Steve has the guitar chops to bring us all right back to that precious memory when we discovered Santa for the first time.