Rock ‘N Roll Combat: 2010 Battle of the Tribute Bands

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fan-halen summer and music battle of the bands 2010

Tribute Bands like Fan Halen will battle it out in downtown Long Beach on Saturday.

Five of Southern California’s top tribute bands will tune up once again for a sonic showdown and the chance stake a claim to their share of $3,500 in cash prizes at Battle of the Tribute Bands, a Summer And Music (SAM) 2010 event in downtown Long Beach.

Likely the only concert in the world where Van Halen’s hits compete with Depeche Mode’s demos, Battle of the Tribute Bands takes place on Saturday, July 11 from 1p.m. to 6 p.m. and marks the third major event of SAM 2010—downtown Long Beach’s homegrown, sustainable concert series, providing an entire summer of free music to the public. Battle of the Tribute Band performances will be held outdoors in the Rainbow Harbor amphitheater, at the intersection of Pine Avenue and Shoreline Drive.

SAM Co-Founder Rand Foster described the sentiment behind Battle of the Tribute Bands to a tee. “We put this show together to celebrate some music we love, primarily music by bands that have either moved on to playing huge venues or selling pizza by the slice,” Foster said. “The tribute bands do an amazing job of capturing all of the excitement of the original, with a slightly wonky, somewhat askew quality that makes it not only seem their own, but makes it charming in a way that seeing the original could never approach.”

On the bill for three rounds of rock ‘n’ roll combat: Fan Halen (a tribute to Van Halen), Blonde Day (a tribute to Blondie), INXS-IVE (a tribute to INXS), Blasphemous Rumors (a tribute to Depeche Mode) and Pyromania (a tribute to Def Leppard). Tribute performances by this dedicated array of talent representing groups rooted in the late 1980s and 90s—are so close to the real deal, you might have a few episodes of déjà vu, as axe men, vocal forces and bass slappers play head to larynx for their supper.

“I thought I had the killer Deborah Harry moves and clothes,” SAM Band and Business Coordinator Ashley Hectus commented, “until I saw Blonde Day.”

Battle of the Tribute Bands: Rock out to Old Hits

In the heart of Rainbow Harbor’s restaurant boardwalk, Battle of the Tribute Bands will be the prime opportunity to shamelessly rock out to old hits while you grab a bite to eat at one of the many dockside dining destinations. Be sure to stay hydrated with a brew from the event’s Beer Garden, serving Magic Hat #9 presented by Stefano’s Pizza, and cheer obnoxiously loudly for your favorite group—it determines who goes home with the gold.

Tribute bands will compete in a three-round elimination process. Two bands will play back to back on a solar-powered stage, moving to the next round after a decibel reading from the crowd’s applause and the judges’ consensus. Prize money will go to the three crowd favorites: $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second and $500 for third, respectively.

Alternative transportation to the event is encouraged, with several public transit options offered by Long Beach Transit. Local cycling advocacy group Long Beach Cyclists will also be offering free bike valet parking throughout the day.

Still to Come for Summer and Music

After an enormously successful inaugural season in 2009, Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) and the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) are bringing Summer and Music back for a solar-powered sequel. Scheduled to run from June to August, the line-up for SAM 2010 is estimated to draw at least 34,000 people throughout the summer.

This year’s itinerary features 13 eclectic music events, including some favorites from last year, such as Funk Fest and BuskerFest. Concerts will span the genres of folk, jazz, pop, rock, funk and beyond, bringing together artists and art enthusiasts of all kinds. Classical Beats for example, will be an innovative August show bridging the gap between classical string arrangements and hip hop overdubs, set to the scene of public art displays.

Showcasing a renewed focus on environmental concerns, all concerts will be held on self-contained solar-powered stages. The DLBA and RDA, in conjunction with SAM founding members, are partnering with Sustainable Waves, a San Diego/Austin-based all-solar staging, lighting and sound company offering 100 percent pollution-free concerts.

To that end, SAM is a homegrown development on all fronts. It’s founded by two Long Beach residents with strong musical connections to the city: Justin Hectus, founder of Schooled In Song, and Rand Foster, owner of popular local record shop Fingerprints. SAM features an abundance of local and regional talent, including Long Beach musicians, photographers, graphic designers and media professionals. And, it generates enormous support from and revenue for local businesses and community organizations. In short, SAM is of the people and for the people.

For more information on Battle of the Tribute Bands, or other SAM events, visit the Summer And Music website or call (562) 436-4259.

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