How do you judge a tribute band? Perhaps the goal of such an act might be to make you forget they’re a tribute band. Their sound should be authentic, mirroring what you’d expect from the original band or artist. Too much improvisation could hurt the cause.
The RI-based Neil Young tribute band Forever Young fits that bill. At their January 25th Greenwich Odeum show, the band re-created many Neil Young classics quite realistically, even down to Neil’s renown guitar feedback.
Each member of this band contributes. On songs like “Needle and the Damage Done” and “Like a Hurricane,” Dan Lilley (guitar and vocals) sings with Neil’s primal intensity. Violinist and singer Amy Bedard leads of some of Neil’s more mellow tunes, including the classic “After the Gold Rush.” Pete Vendettuoli on lead guitar painstaking recreates Neil’s screaming solos, John Fuzek is the multi-talented instrumentalist who belts it out on “Hey Hey My My,” and bass player Sean Finnerty sings a sweet version of a really deep cut, “The Losing End.”
Playing to a near-capacity crowd on a stormy night, the band rocked the house. They play throughout New England including a few RI shows a year. Highly recommended!
Opener Napoleon in Rags, the duo of Tracie Potochnik and Steve Allain (also known as Cardboard Ox), were stellar playing songs made famous by Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. The duo sang a moving version of “Boots of Spanish Leather” rocked “It Ain’t Me Babe,” and closed with “Times They Are a Changin’.” Potochnik was transcendent on the Baez classic “Diamonds and Rust” and Allain was equally compelling with his take on the Dylan masterpiece “Tangled Up in Blue.” Don’t miss this duo, as Napoleon in Rags or as Cardboard Ox, at a show sometime soon.
Check out photos of the bands below from WhatsUpRI photographer Rick Farrell.