If you couldn’t make it out last night to The Highdive for WPGU Presents: The Great Cover Up, here is what you missed: wigs rule, costumes are even better, and if you’re going to cover a band, go big or go home. If last night was any indication, the following nights of this annual extravaganza are sure to impress. WPGU Presents: The Great Cover Up continues tonight (Sunday, January 15th), Tuesday, January 17th, and Thursday, January 19that The Highdive in Downtown Champaign.
**Correction: My apologies, my ears must have been a bit off during Day 1. Originally I had said that Double Standard Practice covered The Rolling Stones, when in fact they covered Rod Stewart. I had also said that Lonely Trailer was The Beach Boys, when in fact they were Sam Cooke. Sincere apologies for the mistake and thanks to Mike Ingram for the catch!
CARNIVALE DEBAUCHE as Lady Gaga (9:00-9:20pm):
Most of the acts on the line-up for The Great Cover Up range from hard alt/rock groups to acoustic performers with a somewhat lighter feel, which is why seeing the name Carnivale Debauche on that list likely left some scratching their heads. However, after last night, Carnivale Debauche proved to be the best act to kick off The Great Up. This large group of performers known for their burlesque dance and vaudeville-style, put on a show nothing short of an extravaganza. Each performer from the troupe was dressed as Lady Gaga from a different video. There was Gaga from “Telephone,” complete with a grandiose blonde wig curled by Coke cans; “Just Dance” Gaga with a blue lightning bolt running down the side of her face; and many more, even the live house band behind the performers were dressed as Gaga from the 20009 VMAs decked out in red lace hats. Not only did Carnivale Debauche look the part, but the learned the dance moves and nailed them. Carnivale Debauche performed a compilation of Lady Gaga’s biggest hits including everything from her latest “Marry the Night,” to “Just Dance.” Needless to say it was an incredible, strong performance that set the tone for an amazing night ahead.
TRAILER PARK MOSES as TOOL (9:40-10:00pm)
Following Carnivale Debauche was Trailer Park Moses, a band known not only for their own music but for their amazing 90’s rock and classic rock covers, as well. So it just seemed right that they crashed the stage as TOOL. Three of the four band members were wearing long wigs getting playing the part, but lead singer Andy, went all out in red butt flap pajamas, black work boots, a long black haired wig, and two masks, one on the front of his face which looked more bird than human, and one on the back of his head which looked like a blank white face. While singing the beak of the bird mask covered the microphone and the lead singer was running his fingers through his long fake black hair, throwing in moves timed to drum hits and guitar rifts using all of the stage space; it was certainly a sight to see. The set included a powerful performance of Aenima.
DOUBLE STANDARD PRACTICE as Rod Stewart (10:30-10:50pm)
Double Standard Practice performed as Rod Stewart, pulling out wigs and a rockin’ stage performance. While performing as Stewart, Double Standard Practice managed to incorporate a mandolin and tambourine into their mix, pulling out the mandolin for “Maggie May.” Rod Stewart brought it all the way to CU and killed it on stage, leaving the crowd dancing and throwing their underwear on stage. Yes; bras were indeed thrown on stage.
LONELY TRAILER as Sam Cooke (11:10-11:30pm)
Lonely Trailer took us back performing as the soul music pioneer Sam Cooke. The mood was set as daisies were placed upon the stage. As the performance went on, party poppers of confetti were handed out to the crowd to be let off throughout the performance, and those same daises were thrown throughout the crowd.
AMY MITCHELL as Aerosmith (11:50-12:15am)
As Amy Mitchell was preparing for their on stage performance, it was easy to see what was coming to the stage as scarves were tied to the microphone. As expected, Amy Mitchell and her band came out as Aerosmith in full costumes kicking off their set with “Sweet Emotion.” Amy Mitchell’s singing was spot on and just as intense and powerful as Steven Tylers. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand as the bass line to “Walk This Way” blared through the speakers. As the chorus kicked in, the crowd sang it right back. Perhaps the best moment of the set was when guitarist, Tom Grassman asked the crowd, “Do you all love Aerosmith?” Then uttering, “You might recognize this one…” at which point the band went on to play “Dream On,” and The Highdive crowd went wild.
BROTHER EMBASSY as Parliament (12:35-1:00am)
Another act that got decked out for their performance was the final act of the night, Brother Embassy, who performed as the funk band Parliament. Performing such hits as “Give Up The Funk,” and “P. Funk.” The funky performance included a break dancer who went all out on stage and then made room on the floor in front of the stage to get down. The atmosphere was relaxed and perfect for rounding out the first night of The Great Cover Up. In fact, I think we reached the “Mothership Connection.”