[Ed. note: Special thanks to our writers, photographer, and videographers who are going above and beyond while “covering the Cover-Up” this year, turning over their articles, (analog!) photography and video very quickly in the wee hours of the morning in order to deliver the quickest and most thorough coverage of the event for our readers.]
With the line blurred between irony and inspiration by questionable taste and multiple drinks to the bar, The 17th Annual Great Cover-Up kicked off at The Highdive with the disco ball in full force and the crowd buzzing with anticipation. All participants are trying their hand at being the Sphinx in Vegas for those who can’t go to Egypt for the real thing, all while hopefully avoiding the karaoke- or Guitar-Hero-esque possibilities of the night.
Starting off the whole shebang right, Kilborn Alley Blues Band kicked out the jams as one of the original garage dwellers, the MC5. Taking on the most drastic stylistic change of the night, Brother Embassy (above) took the stage in punk-goth gear, tearing into some classic White Zombie, the truly superior work of band leader Rob Zombie.
Walking onto stage next in matching red pants and black shirts, Curb Service (above; featuring drummer Joe Funderburk) rocked a handful of The White Stripes favorites and was really dead-on throughout, stitching one song to another at the ends like they’ve been playing them for years. I never had a strong desire to see The White Stripes live until tonight.
Now, it’s time in the show rundown where I give some back-story to my hatred for all music clearly from the 80s. Basically, I wish I could throw all those horrible songs into a movie’s training montage and forget about it forever. So, that being said, it isn’t that the Mike Ingram Band (above) weren’t tight, they just chose Journey to cover, and Journey blows. I will mention, though, that the crowd really enjoyed it, and thank God for booze, tube socks, and Ingram’s pale arms in a cut off t-shirt. [Ed. note: Reporter’s opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the SP staff. “Faithfully” had us running through the crowd looking for someone, anyone, for a slow dance, tearfully wondering how eighth grade passed us by so fast.]
Closing the night was Beat Kitchen with special MC Larry Gates of Curb Service assisting Brandon T. Washington as Run-DMC in full proper Adidas attire and chains. The live accompaniment and dual lead MCs (featuring Ward Gollings in chaps as Steven Tyler on “Walk This Way”) really made it a standout performance full of great call and response rhymes.
Overall for the night, the crowd was receptive and into each band’s choice of cover, and it’s all for charity so everyone that was in attendance can feel good about themselves. The next night of this three-night event is Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. with another amazing line-up of bands, including some of the most well-known around town: Shipwreck, The Beauty Shop and many more. Be there. Cover charge is seven dollars; The Highdive is located at 51 Main St. in downtown Champaign.
Tuesday, January 22nd
Monster Honkey 9:30-9:50pm
New Ruins 10:05-10:25pm
The Chemicals 10:40-11:00pm
Terminus Victor 11:15-11:35pm
Tractor Kings 11:50-12:15am
The Beauty Shop 12:30-12:50am
All photographs are courtesy of David Cubberly>