Fleetwood Mac’s 2014-15 reunion tour may be over, but Mekenzie Jackson is keeping the beat alive with a blonde wig, a tambourine and a dizzying collection of shawls.
Jackson is Stevie Nicks in a Fleetwood Mac tribute band.
The band, Rumours, which has been performing Fleetwood Mac’s catalog for two years, comes to the Music Farm on Friday, March 25.
“I’ve liked Fleetwood Mac my whole life, and people who come to our shows love them, too,” Jackson said.
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The appeal of tribute bands is strong in Columbia, where venues have been booking them with increasing regularity.
“The reality is, tribute bands can sell tickets,” Music Farm co-director Trae Judy said. The venue books seven to 10 tribute acts per year, he said. Michael Jackson, Sublime and Pink Floyd doppelgangers have all come through the Music Farm in recent months.
We can’t get Fleetwood Mac at Music Farm. The next best thing is a really good tribute band.
Trae Judy, Music Farm co-director
The allure is part nostalgia – the bands or artists are no longer alive or touring – and part cost-effective tactic. Tickets for Fleetwood Mac’s tour shows last year were some of the most expensive on the market. According to Forbes, secondary market ticket prices averaged over $305.
“We can’t get Fleetwood Mac at Music Farm,” Judy said. “The next best thing is a really good tribute band.”
A band that strives to play exactly like the original, for $15.
New Brookland Tavern and Newberry Opera House also have added tribute bands to their event listings.
“Tribute bands right now are basically the hottest thing in the music industry as a whole,” Newberry Opera House executive director Molly Fortune said. “Venues around the country are booking them.”
The Machine, a Pink Floyd tribute band, recently drew a large and diverse crowd to the Opera House, Fortune said. An Elvis tribute performer is on the schedule for this summer, and Fortune is in the process of booking a KISS tribute band for next year, she said.
The key, she added, is that the tributes have to nail their embodiment of the original performer.
“It can go very wrong. You have to be careful who you pick,” she said.
For Rumours, that means studying the musical styles as well as the mannerisms of Fleetwood Mac members. The Christine McVie in the band rules the keyboard with seductive shoulder movements, and the Lindsey Buckingham does funny little dance moves, just like the originals.
“We sit down as a group and listen to all the (Fleetwood Mac) songs on our set list once a month. Are we doing it exactly as it sounds on the record? If not, we go rehearse, hash it out and fix it,” Jackson said. “We like to take people back in time. Like they’re back in the ’70s. We want them to get that full experience of seeing Fleetwood Mac.”
Tribute bands in Columbia
Rumours: The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute Show at Music Farm Friday, March 25
Zozo: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience at Music Farm Thursday, April 28
Rick Alviti: Elvis impersonator at Newberry Opera House Saturday, May 21
Fentoozler, a Blink-182 cover band, at New Brookland Tavern Sunday, March 20
Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime at Music Farm Sunday, March 20
Invincible: A Glorious Tribute To Michael Jackson at Township Saturday, Feb. 27 (Show was canceled.)
Jim Curry Band: A Tribute to the Music of John Denver at Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County in Camden Sunday, Feb. 21
The Machine: Pink Floyd Tribute band Friday, Feb. 19 at Newberry Opera House
Night Fever: Bee Gees tribute band Sunday, Jan. 24 at Newberry Opera House
Runaway Gin, a Phish cover band, at Music Farm Friday, Jan. 22
Who’s Bad: Michael Jackson Tribute at Music Farm Friday, Nov. 20
Kashmir: A Led Zeppelin Tribute at Newberry Opera House Tuesday, Sept. 22
Erin Shaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you go
Rumours: The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute Show
WHEN: 9 p.m. Thursday, March 24
WHERE: Music Farm Columbia, 1022 Senate St.
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