Back to Music

A musical masquerade

Night of the Living Tribute Bands has you covered

“Alice in Chains” from Night of the Living Tribute Bands 2016. Photo courtesy Olympia Film Society

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

Halloween is a time of putting on costumes that represent wilder, more striking versions of ourselves, so it makes sense it'd also be a time for cover bands to shine. Each year since 2003, Olympia Film Society has devoted its Capitol Theater to a late-October program of local musicians donning the leather and lace of radio idols. Past evenings included simulacra of Alice Cooper, the Bangles, Judas Priest and Meat Loaf. Often, the roles are gender-swapped, so the multitalented Lauren O'Neill has portrayed both Glenn Danzig and Layne Staley of Alice in Chains. This year's hostess, "Vanessa the Witch," is the same performer who played Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles in 2015. She'll welcome six cover acts to the stage, ranging from household names to a scrappy little outfit from Tumwater.

In alphabetical order, the first act represented is Butthole Surfers. This San Antonio, Texas, group formed in the late 1970s, scoring radio hits with "Electriclarryland" and "Pepper" in 1996. Before that, though, the Surfers attracted a rabidly devoted fan base with their humor, stylistic diversity and drug-fueled, chaotic live performances. Expect mayhem. The band's signature nudity is probably out, though, as this is an all-ages event (with a 21-and-over beer mezzanine).

(David) Crosby, (Stephen) Stills, (Graham) Nash & (Neil) Young were the '70s supergroup that gave us three Billboard-chart toppers, not to mention all their classic hits recorded singly or in other configurations. Each member has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, not only for this quartet but also for other bands.

Hardcore-punk band Fitz of Depression, aka drummer Craig Becker, guitarist and vocalist Mike Dees and bassist Jim Koontz, formed in Tumwater in 1987, releasing three albums over the following decade. Fitz's 1991 benefit performance alongside Bikini Kill and Nirvana was recorded for the documentary Hype! Rumor has it this cover band was trained by the real deal.

Those who saw "The Hanson Brothers" on the lineup might assume "MMMBop"-trilling, Oklahoma-born siblings are on the bill, or those ice-rink hooligans in Slap Shot. No, this particular set of Hanson Brothers is a British Columbia-based, punk trio that took its name from the aforementioned hockey players. In fact, it also began as a cover band, of the Ramones, and was a side project of Vancouver punks NoMeansNo. The Hanson Brothers recorded four albums under that name from 1992 to 2008.

Cyndi Lauper is, of course, Cyndi frickin' Lauper; and if you don't love Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders, you've never owned a radio, so get on that, why don't you? This event sells like crazy, so be sure to snag tickets ASAP. OFS marketing coordinator Noraa Danielle adds, "We got bands you wouldn't usually think of, a lot of locals ... People are gonna come to see music they haven't heard in a long time and rock the hell out."

Night of the Living Tribute Bands, 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28, Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia, $10-$15, 360.754.6670,

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search