A.V. Club’s quick five-step guide for a DIY classic-rock tribute show
An easy, cheap alternative to the upcoming Dead and Floyd tribute shows
The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd have practically had parallel careers. They both started in the underground psychedelic-rock scenes of their respective countries—the U.S. and U.K.—in the mid-’60s. They moved beyond the cult status of their early records by sweetening their music with pop hooks, though onstage they could still play one song for a half-hour or longer. They eventually became two of the most popular bands of their generation, even as they lost founding members. They ended up dissolving the mid-’90s, but they’re as popular today as they ever were.
The most important thing the Dead and Floyd share is “the experience.” The next batch of teenagers will inevitably turn to these bands at some point because they represent a particular lifestyle and sensibility that appeals to rebellious kids with raging hormones and a nagging curiosity about illegal substances. “The experience,” arguably, is even more important than the actual bands, which explains why the Dead and Floyd have inspired more tribute acts than pretty much anyone other than Elvis Presley. It doesn’t matter if Jerry Garcia is the one doing the soloing on “Dark Star”; as long as someone is doing it while you’re huffing on nitrous, what’s the difference?
On Friday the Riverside Theater welcomes Dark Star Orchestra, and on Sunday it greets the Pink Floyd Experience. (There’s that word again!) But why pay as much as $29.50 for a tribute band when you can create your own Floyd/Dead experience? Here is Decider’s quick five-step guide for a DIY classic-rock tribute show:
(1) Drive to the biggest parking lot in town—let’s say Miller Park—while shotgunning cans of Milwaukee’s Best and taking hits of your drugs of choice.
(2) Stop by a Walgreens and pay three times the regular price for bottled water.
(3) When you get to the parking lot, continue drinkin’ and druggin’ outside of your car.
(4) Once you get sick of doing this, take out a boombox and put on your favorite Dead/Floyd bootleg. Press play and walk 100 yards from the boombox.
(5) Pass out. Par-tay! Was that a great show or what?