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Where lies the tribute?

I find that tribute concerts have become quite a thing to do, over the past few years.

music Updated: Oct 18, 2011 13:34 IST
Luke Kenny
Luke Kenny
Hindustan Times

I find that tribute concerts have become quite a thing to do, over the past few years. The first one that happened was the Jim Morrison Tribute that I did in 2008 at Blue Frog and subsequently, I’ve seen almost every musician, music event organiser and venue jump onto the tribute bandwagon. Not that it’s a bad thing. Tributes are great to give the listener a never before kind of experience of their favourite music legend.

But what tends to happen is that in favour of the vanity of the tribute, a lot of the experiential potential is left by the wayside. I have done many tributes with a number of great musicians who really felt for the artiste being paid tribute to, which, in turn, translated to a great concert-going experience.

It really helps if the musicians onstage actually love the music, then the syncopation and chemistry is awesome. But from what I have seen, that rarely happens, sadly. Tributes are a great opportunity for musicians and fans alike to experience the magic of their favorite artistes, I just wish that all tributes were worthy of them…If I May Say So.

Here’s what you want on your iPod, recommends Luke Kenny:

Twenty - OST
Pearl Jam
Sony Music
Rating: **** One of the greatest bands of the ’90s celebrates their twentieth anniversary. No mean feat considering the kind of music the ’90s and the 2000’s have been full of. So, celebrated director Cameron Crowe helmed an anniversary documentary of the story of the band right from the beginning. And going by the accompanying soundtrack, one can only imagine the brilliance of the film. Two discs — one of live versions of songs from across their career — and the other of extreme rarities and previously unreleased songs. Fans can drool over this while newbies can only imagine.

Welcome 2 My Nightmare
Alice Cooper
Rating: *
I don’t think there are too many Alice Cooper fans out there. I, for one, never heard of him before his 1989 breakout ‘Thrash…’, post which he soon slid in and out of musical obscurity. So resting on the laurels of his successful 1975 album, he decided to do a sequel and gave it an oh-so-smart title. So what begins as a sequel, is quickly abandoned to today’s pop excess via a duet with Ke$ha and even a rap on ‘Disco bloodbath boogie fever…’ Somehow, classic rock artistes can never seem to catch up with time and consistently get pulled back by past glories.

Rating: ***
The Swedish progressive metal stalwarts also celebrate their twentieth anniversary with their tenth album. And what a way to change track. Fans expecting the death growls will find none. The album, almost entirely written by leader Mikael Akerfeldt, is more progressive jazz in structure, yet elementally metal in execution. This is a band in complete control of their musicality, yet so full of courage, enough to change musical track at the risk of derailing their hardcore metal following.

The Whole Love
Rating: ****
Wilco are a band that continue to defy mainstream conformity and pleasantly maintain a cult following amongst the indie scene worldwide. This is their 8th studio album in seventeen years and epic time for a band to exist with their kind of music. This one begins with an epic seven minute 'Art of Almost' that starts being a poppy stop start ditty and changes track halfway to become this massive guitar solo laden smash-jam. And ten folky-retro songs later, the album ends with the mega 12-minute epic 'One Sunday Morning…' Now find me a band with those kind of balls.

First Published: Oct 18, 2011 13:26 IST