By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
7 p.m. Saturday, September 13. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights. $110 and $150, lawn sold out. 314-298-9944.
The 2008 version of An Under Cover Weekend is double the fun of last year's inaugural edition: This event is now spread out over four nights instead of just two. And although the premise of the extravaganza is still the same — your favorite local musicians paying tribute to bands of yesteryear by doing all-covers sets — each night will focus on the music of a specific decade. The bitching '80s and the grunged-out '90s are up for tribute this Friday and Saturday night — and so without further ado, here are the participants.
In reality: A quintet inspired by dark-wave dance-rockers and decaying glam-pop stars.
Artist covering: David Bowie — the '80s period.
Why this will work: With its expanded five-piece lineup — including talented keyboardist Natalie Huggins — the Bureau can tackle the Thin White Duke's cheesiest moments with aplomb.
In reality: An earnest outfit raised on a diet of Americana, jangle-pop and roots-rock.
Artist covering: The Replacements
Why this will work: Ragged, old-fashioned twang never goes out of style — and Magnolia Summer can easily turn up the bar-band bluster in a heartbeat.
In reality: A keyboard-buoyed pop act.
Artist covering: Huey Lewis & the News
Why this will work: Last year's Cars cover set demonstrated the band's ability to ape new-wave pop's finest, and it doesn't get much more choice than the sax-and-synth gems from ultimate preppie Huey Lewis.
In reality: A hard-rhymin' hip-hop trio.
Artist covering: Run-D.M.C.
Why this will work: Robb Steele is borrowing vintage records for the occasion, which means that its set should skew close to the old-school tone of Run-D.M.C.'s jams.
In reality: A kinetic quartet that's half gypsy-punk, half frantic twang.
Artist covering: Devo
Why this will work: Its hyperactive live show matches the tone of Devo's tunes, and rumor has it the band will use synthesizers to replicate the Akron band's quirky synthpop.
7 Shot Screamers
In reality: Punk-a-billy spazzes.
Artist covering: No Doubt
Why this will work: If anyone can capture Gwen Stefani's in-your-face, exuberant stage persona, it's head 'Screamer Mike Leahy.
Heroes of the Kingdom
In reality: A loud quartet incorporating elements of classic rock, Rust Belt X and post-rock murmurs.
Artist covering: Smashing Pumpkins
Why this will work: In real life, the Heroes are grunged-out and epic; plus, Chris Powell's sprawling vocals recall Billy Corgan's mews more than one might think (but minus the nasally irritation).
John Henry & The Engine
In reality: An earnest heartland act in the vein of Springsteen.
Artist covering: Green Day
Why this will work: Not sure if it will — but earnestness and vulnerability sure separated Green Day from other punks in the '90s.
In reality: A topsy-turvy indie-pop act with keyboards and a keen eye for hooks and melody.
Artist covering: Alanis Morrisette
Why this will work: Love or hate her Earth Mother aesthetic, there's no denying the indelible songwriting on Jagged Little Pill — something the Sham should be able to capture.
The Epic Mayhem
In reality: A ska-leaning band (it has a trombonist, after all) that's an equal-opportunity creator of raucous punk and somber rock.
Artist covering: Weezer
Why this will work: A disproportionate amount of ska fans (and/or ex-ska band members) love Weezer — and Rivers Cuomo and Co. were way more fuzz-punk than most people realize.— Annie Zaleski
8 p.m. Friday, September 12, and Saturday, September 13. The Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street. $13 under 21, $10 over 21. 18-plus. No phone. www.bluebirdstl.com.