The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd are all coming to Fredericton this season…sort of.
If you’re a fan of tribute shows, Fredericton’s got you covered. From the smallest stages to our largest concert hall, the timeless classics of years gone by continue to be heard and continue to draw impressive crowds.
Grimross Brewing Co. has been hosting monthly tribute shows featuring local musicians performing the music of Motely Crue, Tom Petty, Coldplay, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Waits and many others, and the events never fail to draw a large audience.
The same is happening on stages throughout the downtown district including Fredericton’s premier concert venue, the Fredericton Playhouse.
For the past several seasons now, Toronto’s Classic Albums Live have been a staple performer as part of the venue’s Spotlight Series. Their upcoming November performance of CCR’s album Green River is almost completely sold out and tickets for the April 2020 performance of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ Damn The Torpedoes are well on their way.
“One of the main reasons people come to see any live performance is to escape from their everyday life,” said Fredericton Playhouse Executive Director Tim Yerxa. “For lots of folks, hearing the music from their younger years brings back memories and even feelings of simpler, more exciting, or pivotal times in their life.
“I think a lots of us tend to revere the music of our teenage years as the power of music can recall the powerful human experiences we had in our youth,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to revisit those emotions for a couple of hours in a concert?”
In advance of a season lineup that currently includes nine tribute shows, Yerxa says it’s important to understand that not all tribute shows are the same, noting that some are as much a work of theatre as they are a musical performance.
“Some are very theatrical in their realization and include costumes, choreography, scripted text and acting,” said Yerxa. “Some shows are aiming to recreate a specific concert that was actually given or a TV special like Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special. Others are using theatrics to convey a full story like some of the Beatles shows that take the audience from the beginning to the end of their career. In some cases, like the Beatles shows, you’ll see things that never actually happened…like the Beatles performing in the Sgt. Pepper outfits.”
“Others are more focused on the music,” he said. “In the case of the Classic Albums Live concerts, there are no costumes or acting at all. They are just focused on the musical performance of a body of work. In fact, I don’t consider these [to be] tribute shows at all. I think of them as recitals of important musical works. When a symphony orchestra plays Mozart, no one plays the part of Mozart. Same goes with Classic Albums Live.”
Yerxa says concerts like those performed by Classic Albums Live and others have a strong multi-generational appeal, with many adults bringing their children along to share the experience.
“I come to quite a few tribute shows and what surprises me is how many people bring their kids – especially to the rock shows like the Pink Floyds, the Led Zeppelins and the like,” he said. “I think there are loads of folks who want to introduce their kids to the music they listened to in their youth and connect with their families in that way. That’s pretty cool.”
Whether you’re a fan of the classics or just looking for a fun night out, here’s a quick run through some of the many upcoming tribute shows set to rock the city in the weeks and months to come.
Hotel California (The Eagles) – October 11
Rumours (Fleetwood Mac) – November 1
PIGS (Pink Floyd) – November – 10
Classic Albums Live (CCR) – November – 15
Four by Four: Holiday Show (Beach Boys, Beatles, Bee Gees, Motown) – November – 19
Formidable! (Charles Aznavour) – November – 21
Bee Gees Gold – January – 9
The Highway Men – A Music Tribute – February – 9
Classic Albums Live (Tom Petty) – April 16
Grimross Brewing Co.
David Bowie Tribute – September 27
Van Morrison Tribute – October 18
Nautical Disaster – A Tribute to The Tragically Hip – October 19
Dose – A Tribute to Government Mule – November 9
Riversmoke – 70’s tribute – September 28