New Jersey’s ‘must see’ tribute bands are right here (Opinion)
Crosby Stills and Nash once sang, "It's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore." For many of these classic rock bands, it's past the point where they can't sing or perform anymore. But their music is too good to go away and this generation needs to hear it. Enter the tribute band.
What's great about tribute bands is that in many cases their love for the band they're playing added with the fact that they can still hit the notes and move on stage makes for a great show.
What makes for a great Jersey tribute band is that we have the most educated and appreciative audiences anywhere. As Hoboken's Frank Sinatra once sang, "If I can make it there I can make it anywhere." Granted, he was singing about New York but since Old Blue Eyes uttered those lyrics most of those people moved here to New Jersey.
So I asked my listeners and social media audience who the best tribute bands from New Jersey are. I've been lucky enough to have many on my show.
Here's what we have
These guys are the ultimate Bruce Springsteen tribute band and not only because my best friend and best man Glenn Stuart sings lead.
B-Street has been around so long they may have started paying tribute to the Boss before he even got his first record deal. I kid but I'm serious when I tell you that they are the best of the Bruce bunch not only for their music which also includes top 40 covers but seeing them with their following that turns out year after year is a real "Jersey" experience.
An 11-piece celebration that brings Queen’s studio arrangements to life on the concert stage as you’ve never heard them before. This band was so good that after hearing them perform in our New Jersey 101.5 studios, I went to see them at the Landis Theatre in Vineland and they were incredible.
Check out their Jersey lineup:
Justin Gonzalez- Mount Holly, NJ
Michelle Davis- Cherry Hill, NJ
Stephanie Davis- Barrington, NJ
John Tidwell- Toms River, NJ
Steven Wiggs- Sewell, NJ
John Dennis- Medford, NJ
Jim Drnec- former NJ resident
Check out their video here.
Based in Bridgewater, this Bowie tribute band has been together since 2014 and covers all stages of Bowie's career, complete with costume changes, humor and complete love of the music that comes out in every performance. Check out their video here.
DOUBLE VISION - THE FOREIGNER EXPERIENCE
Hailing from Secaucus, Lodi, and Elmwood Park, Double Vision nails Foreigner like I've never heard before. I got to hear it live in the New Jersey 101.5 studios.
Check out lead singer Chandler Mogel performing the band name with Jason Draven supporting him on guitar here.
Double Vision delivers the highest level of integrity and technical prowess, resulting in a legitimate tribute and authentic performance. Second to none at recreating the masterful songs Foreigner fans worldwide have come to love Double Vision. They bring audiences an unforgettable experience with ear to ear smiles, singing, dancing and clapping along to some of the greatest hit songs from the 70’s & 80’s, including “Juke Box Hero,” “Hot Blooded,” “Cold As Ice,” “I Want To Know What Love Is,” “Urgent,” “Double Vision,” “Head Games,” “Feels Like the First Time,” and more!
Check out their video here.
Hollywood Nights - The Bob Seger Experience
The band members hail from Belvedere, Browns Mills, Clayton, Green Brook, Hainesport, Southampton, Swedesboro, and Williamstown.
Hollywood Nights is the ultimate tribute to Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. This 9-piece New Jersey-based powerhouse has set out to re-create everything about Bob and his music right down to the smallest detail. Determined to leave no stone unturned, Hollywood Nights even tours with a baby grand piano. The band prides itself on continuing the amazing groundwork laid down by Bob over the past 30 years. They share the belief that only Bob and his fans have come to know, learn, and love: Represent the voice of every fan, his or her values, working-class background, and the love of rock 'n' roll. If you are a true Bob Seger fan, you won't want to miss Hollywood Nights!
It was an incredible night when lead singer Rick Murphy, guitarist Chris Uyvari, and sax player Chris Miley performed "Turn the Page" in our New Jersey 101.5 studios.
Check out the video here.
The Mahoney Brothers, Long Live The Beatles and Juke Box Heroes
Once upon a time in a galaxy known as WPST, the airstaff consisting of, among others; Dave Hoeffel, Tom Cunningham and I, made a bet with the Mahoney Brothers who were the most popular band in the area that we would beat them in a softball game. If we won, we'd get to abuse them on the radio, if they won, we'd have to get on stage in front of thousands of people at Kuser Park in Hamilton and sing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" to give you an idea of who won the bet just check out this picture.
Fast forward to the present and I can honestly tell you that the Mahoney Brothers only get better with age. They are the world's longest-running Beatles tribute show. The love, thought and geekiness that they put into their "Long Live The Beatles " show is not to be outdone. They are so myopic that when they do SGT Peppers, Tim/aka Paul turns his back to the audience just like Macca does on the album. When you hear them perform the Golden Slumbers medley, tears may come to your eyes,
Check out their "Long Live The Beatles" here.
And "Juke Box Heroes" here.
KICK- The INXS Experience
INXS is one of my favorite 80's bands. I was a big fan of INXS and lead singer Michael Hutchense. If there was an "it " factor, Hutchense had it and so does KICK.
Formed in 2014 two years after INXS stopped touring, KICK's vocalist, guitarist, and singer-songwriter Cory Massi, who comes from Maple Shade, is the founding frontman of KICK. He's long-held a respect and admiration for the late, great Michael Hutchence. Massi even auditioned for the reality TV show, Rockstar: INXS, in 2004, where contestants competed to become the new lead vocalist for INXS.
KICK is officially endorsed by Tina Hutchence, sister of the late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence.
KICK - The INXS Experience will take you back. It will reignite your passion for INXS. It will introduce you to music that is still as fresh today as the day it was written; from "Original Sin" to "Elegantly Wasted" and everything in between, including (but not limited to) "Need You Tonight," "New Sensation," "What You Need," "Don't Change," "Listen Like Thieves," "The One Thing," "Bitter Tears," "Suicide Blonde," "Not Enough Time," "Beautiful Girl," and "Devil Inside.”
Jingo-The Santana Tribute
Jingo recreates the music of Santana with infectious rhythms, searing legendary guitar, and true Latin percussion all delivered with an exuberance that is not only true to original recordings but note for note. The seven musicians that comprise Jingo – The Santana Tribute are dedicated to recreating this legendary music with integrity and respect. The band members come from Clayton, Cresskill, Hackettstown, Newark, Wayne, Boonton, and Maywood.
Check out their video here.
Here are some more great tribute bands that came in from my Facebook page. These are people who I imagine have both seen and recommended them
"ZoSo is very accurate in look and Sound. My band Ripped has shared the stage with them several times. Zoso - The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience."
"Almost Queen is 🎶🎸 awesome!!!"
"Rain - The Beatles tribute band."
"Thunderstruck and Get The Led Out."
"Dead & Co."
"The Soft Parade. Also The Machine."
"Best of the Eagles."
"Tramps Like Us are way better than B street in my humble opinion. The Ten Band are pretty good too."
Kevin D. Hill:
"To me are the best Elvis Tribute Artists in the World happen to be Dean Z. and Bill Cherry. There are many others that are great as well but these two stand for me personally."
"The Black Cross Band .. Most musically accurate Southern Rock Tribute around."
Paul D Beery:
"Definitely easily “the genesis show” ! These guys are great musicians that “bring it” everytime and I’ve seen them 5 times. If you like Genesis and don’t want to pay $300 and upwards for a ticket to see the real band this is your answer !!!!"
"Saturday Nite Fever and Neil and the Diamonds."
"Yasgur's Farm - a Woodstock tribute band. They had a guy who did a dead-on Joe Cocker.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7-11 p.m.. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.