The Temecula music scene has more than its fair share of exciting artists and styles. Now you can add Tribute Band to that mix as one of the country’s newest and most popular tribute acts is based right here in Temecula. The Heart of Rock & Roll pays tribute to the music of Huey Lewis & the News. We caught up with the band as they prepare for a big show on May 17th headlining the “Back to the 80’s” concert and costume party at the M15 Concert Bar & Grill in Corona.
If you’re unfamiliar with the tribute band genre, lead singer and Huey Lewis impersonator, Roger Langdon gives a quick definition, “Unlike a typical cover band, a tribute band is a group of performers that impersonates a particular artist or band. The goal is to not only mimic the sound but also the look of the original band and recreate the experience of seeing the original band in concert.”
What began in the 70’s as a few Elvis & Beatles impersonators has grown into a large scale music genre all its own and has become big business across the country. Langdon explains the growing popularity, “What do you do when your favorite band is no longer performing? That’s where a tribute act fills the void. We all wanted to see the Beatles or Elvis perform live, but obviously that’s just not possible today so a great tribute act is the ideal way to get that live musical experience and “feel” like you saw the real performer.
But as The Heart of Rock & Roll proves, even a band that is currently together is ripe for the tribute treatment. “Many of the biggest tribute bands out there are tributes to currently performing artists,” says Langdon. “There’s a market for quality tributes for many reasons.
Venues enjoy booking tributes because it gives them a high quality show that usually has a built in audience ready to buy tickets since they already know what type of music will be played. And let’s face it, a tribute act costs much less to book than the real artist.”
But don’t the real artists take issue with a venue booking a tribute act instead of the real thing? “There’s really no conflict at all,” says Langdon, “Since the types of venues that book tribute acts don’t generally have the ability, space or budget to book the real artists.” As for the real artist having an issue with being impersonated, Langdon says, “It’s quite the opposite reaction really. In fact, many of the artists are fans of their tribute counterparts and have even joined them on stage if they happen to be in town. They don’t see it as a threat at all. I think they’re happy and maybe even honored that their career has created such a lasting impression that a group of musicians would take the time to learn all of their songs and work so hard to replicate what they do in such detail.”
“You have to love the music you’re playing,” says Langdon. “I think that’s ultimately the key to being a successful tribute act. All of us in the band are fans of Huey Lewis & the News and we’re having a great time traveling the country bringing the music of one of the biggest bands of the 80’s to everyone.”
You can catch The Heart of Rock & Roll on May 17 headlining the “Back to the 80’s” concert and costume party at the M15 Concert Bar & Grill in Corona. Opening acts include Lifetime Rocker and Faultline. Langdon promises a great party for anyone who loves the 80’s, “We’ve got three great bands and some special guests all playing amazing 80’s music all night so we’re encouraging everyone to come dressed 80’s style and just have a great time with it.”
For tickets or more info go to: m15concerts.com or call (951) 200-4465.