Theory of Everything set the bar rooftop-high with a dead-on impersonation of Cake. Darrin Drda sang “Frank Sinatra” through cupped hands, and Ryan Groff guested on lead guitar to great effect. The Elanors as John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band combined music and comedy, aborting “Yes, I’m Your Angel” after one and a half verses because hardly anyone wants to hear Yoko Ono sing, even when as good and gifted a singer as Adriel Harris wears the Yoko Ono wig. Angie Heaton as Dolly Parton was most notable for Lynn Canfield in a Santa Claus beard as Kenny Rogers, for the duet “Islands in the Stream.” “It’s Dylan,” Matt Ostrowski of Probably Vampires proclaimed, and he meant the son rather than the father. Probably Vampires brought down the house with four flamboyant covers of The Wallflowers. Shipwreck was simple, straightforward fun as Harman Jordan and John Owen traded lead vocals on four Billy Idol songs. “White Wedding” coincidentally blared from Soma as the last night of the Cover Up let out. Brandon T. Washington and DJs Bozak and Kosmo joined Lorenzo Goetz for an elaborate Public Enemy tribute complete with bananas and a nonfunctional clock necklace.
“Are you ready to hear the truth?” (Yes.)
Elsinore got glammed up as Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Ryan Groff in red vinyl pants complete with cucumber adult accessory. “Almost couldn’t get into me pants this evening; maybe some of you could,” he said. Beat Kitchen slew with a surprise – Queens of the Stone Age. Brandon T. Washington demonstrated his versatility, never really in question, opening with “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” and working up to “Little Sister” featuring Jesse Greenlee on jam block and in a sheep mask that stayed onstage the rest of the night. What most distinguished “No One Knows” was solid guitar work by Michael McLoughlin. Delta Kings saluted AC/DC, as did Tractor Kings Wilco. Tractor Kings previously had done Uncle Tupelo, so be on the lookout for Son Volt next time. Mike Ingram Band began with “The Dam at Otter Creek,” then moved on to more familiar fare by Live, with “Lakini’s Juice” for the finale. Mike Ingram was convincing as Ed Kowalczyk, while Adam Wolfe licked the guitar. Ambitious Pie Party as Beach Boys bounced Big Bird beach balls across the audience and covered six songs. Between “I Get Around” and “Don’t Worry Baby,” drummer Chris Baker was introduced as Uncle Jesse of “Full House”, with mullet and pink tank top. For “Surfin’ Safari,” the sextet pulled off a fadeout!
Nadafinga kicked off night three with not just Jimmy Eat World, but Hasidic Jimmy Eat World, with a yarmulke worm by guitarist Eddy Rippel. Emotional Rec Club as Guided by Voices was more interesting than the real Guided by Voices and played an eight-song set with such rarities as “Sad If I Lost It” and “An Unmarketed Product.” Joseph Donhowe sang his way through a twelve-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Esther Cho made magic on a Korg Triton. The Greedy Loves moved things into high gear with six songs by hometown heroes The Vertebrats, promising more shows soon at Mabel’s and Channing-Murray. Just hop in your time machine. Terry Wathen shone as Jim Wald on drums. Terminus Victor as Fugazi worked the front row into a lather and sounded good whether or not you knew the source material. Josh Lucas supplanted the drum machine. Mike Clayton of Mad Science Fair wore a thistle blouse and black skirt to front Triple Whip for another Illinois favorite, Smashing Pumpkins, digging deep for “Bury Me” and ending sneering “Today.” Bassist Holly Rushakoff made a fine D’Arcy Wretzky in a blonde wig and Morticia Addams dress with studded choker. Poster Children as The Rolling Stones ended the night right. “Sympathy for the Devil”
recalled “Mr. Goodnight” (from New World Record, by Poster Children) in its drum intro and first verse, then burgeoned, with backing vocals by bassist Rose Marshack and two others who rushed the stage, took over for her, and jubilantly jumped up and down as a mosh pit broke out. It calmed, then resumed for the one encore in three nights, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”