I went to see a Bee Gees tribute band recently. Pardon? Did they play “Massachusetts”? Well yes, because we’re in… Ah! You were starting a joke.
There was a time in my life when I’d have considered going to see a tribute act indicative of Error, and said time may, in fact, include the present, but let me tell you: I really enjoyed the show. I sang along happily* until intermission, whereupon I went home and straight to bed. (Hypnos demands my daily tribute at about 9pm.)
Stayin’ Alive is the second tribute band I’ve ever seen. The first, years ago, was a Smiths act, Sons and Heirs, whom I saw because 1) they were playing roughly a seventy-five second walk from my apartment, and 2) Gary the Excellent Bartender told me that they were a lot of fun. (Also, the Smiths are my favorite band, and I have neither a DeLorean nor flux capacitor.)
And by gum: Gary was right! The first thing I noticed walking into the hall was that everyone seemed in a really good mood.** And not in a hipster ironic way (it being Brooklyn and all); there was an atmosphere of merry anticipation. I’m not sure what happiness means, but I looked in their eyes… (Smiths joke there!!)
Then the band took the stage, and in roughly seventy-five seconds I was, along with everyone else, singing at Sheila to throw her homework onto the fire (or whatever it was they opened with. I can’t remember because I sang along the whole set). It was revelatory. I went home hoarse.***
*My favorite was “I Just Want to Be Your Everything.” (Fine, OK, it’s an Andy Gibb single. Say, though. You want to read something funny? This line from that song’s Wikipedia entry: “The track is a fairly dramatic love song, with the singer declaring his unending passion and stating that without her, he would die.”)
** Reminds me of something a wise man once said:
*** And here’s where it gets “meta,” as they say in hipster Brooklyn: the Smiths’ bassist was there. Andy Rourke – for it was he! – even took the stage to play “Bigmouth Strikes Again.”**** He was doing a DJ set afterward, but I went home [See: Hypnos, above].
**** Perhaps the Smiths song I like least.