Tribute bands reproduce another group’s music to keep it alive for an interested audience and San Antonio is definitely interested. What's behind the homage industry? What keeps fans coming back for more? The San Antonio Current's Sanford Nowlin, local musician Nathan Alvarado and the University of Rochester's John Covach speak on "The Source."
If you missed your chance to see AC/DC, Journey or Pink Floyd in their heyday, you’re in luck: there’s a tribute band for that. Don't want to pay a hefty ticket price to see Tool or System of a Down? Don’t worry – there’s a tribute for that, too.
Imitative entertainment plays a significant role in contemporary culture, especially in the Alamo City. From dive bars like Boozehounds to larger ticketed venues like the Aztec Theatre, a few dozen tribute bands regularly rock venues all over town.
Whether it's because of the communal experience of rocking out with people who like the same songs or a desire to keep the music of a beloved artist alive – who shows up for tribute shows and why? Is it pure nostalgia that keeps diehard fans coming back for more?
Are tribute bands glorified performance artists riding the wave of another’s success or are they consciously preserving the repertoire of iconic entertainers?
- Sanford Nowlin, editor in chief of the San Antonio Current; writer of the article "The Hit Parade: "San Antonio's Tribute Bands Thrive as Audiences Look for Comfort in the Familiar"
- Nathan Alvarado, San Antonio-based original musician and tribute band member
- John Covach, professor of music theory at the University of Rochester and guitarist in a Yes tribute band
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*This interview aired on Wednesday, November 28.