Breaking Out as a Cover Band

There’s no shame in taking inspiration from tried-and-tested music

Cover BandLocal bands who are looking for something different may be interested in moving past regular bar gigs and opting for a gig at someplace like the Ho-Chunk Casino here in Madison. The lounge regularly offers live entertainment to its patrons, and it’s an excellent way to reach out to a new audience.

This opportunity is ideal for bands who are yet to discover their own niche and whose sets are often composed of covers of proven hits. The casino’s live entertainment usually carries themes that work as tributes to great acts. One of the more recent shows that was held at the casino was a tribute to the great Frank Sinatra.

Although it’s understandable to want to play your own music instead of playing tribute gigs, it may be worth your time to take on performances such as these. Impersonating or covering classic acts is a great way to get your name out there, as the 2009 Betfair Promotions proved to the world. Gathering 150 ABBA impersonators, they set the Guinness World Record for the Largest Gathering of ABBA Impersonators in a celebration of London’s Leicester Square.

Bands looking to spread brand awareness need to be willing to take on whatever gigs they can find. After all, it’s only through performing that they learn how to come together as a band, and a long list of venues and events played increases the chances of a band getting hired again. Imagine Dragons, claims that its first big break was given to them by the O’Sheas casino on the Las Vegas Strip. O’Sheas has now been demolished, but the band claims that it was here that they learned how to be a band.

It’s also through these events that local bands can demonstrate their versatility to future employers. Moving out of their comfort zone will allow them to appeal to a great variety of clients, and once they’ve established themselves and their kind of music, they will have an existing client base that they can narrow down.

Of course, it’s recommended that before taking on any gig, bands develop a clear goal for the future. Playing at impersonation gigs is a good way to start out, but it’s important to make sure the band doesn’t lose direction and end up playing gigs as a cover band forever. Use the time spent covering other bands to develop a unique sound, and a personal performance style.

Quentin is a guest blogger who occasionally posts about music industry topics that often have a broader view.

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