An Under Cover Weekend concludes with a rock & roll bang

The fourth annual An Under Cover Weekend concludes on Friday night at the Firebird (2706 Olive Street; 314-535-0353). As always, the rules remain the same: Five local bands have thirty minutes to interpret or reimagine the songbook of an established musical hero. This final night runs the gamut from baroque pop and classic blues-rock to '80s college rock and grunge. The show starts at 8:30 p.m., and admission is $10.

Band: Via Dove
In Reality: Since covering the Rolling Stones at last year's AUCW, the guitar-heavy quartet has ditched slow-burn atmospherics in favor of hot rock action.
Artist Cover: Pearl Jam
Why This Will Work: Via Dove can come in heavy and hard, but it can also explore introspection with arena-rock grace — a style Eddie Vedder and company have been refining for twenty years.

Band: Fractured Army
In Reality: A dark-pop foursome which hones the sharp corners of vintage synthpop and new wave.
Artist Covering: Pat Benatar
Why This Will Work: Keyboardist/singer Jessica Spitzer so fully transformed herself into Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics at last year's AUCW — down to the orange-tinted, close-cropped hair — that the band should have no problem making Benatar's anthems come to life.

Band: The Dive Poets
In Reality: A rootsy ensemble that pairs Americana textures with rock rhythms.
Artist Covering: R.E.M.
Why This Will Work: The Dive Poets tempers its country twang with plenty of indie-indebted jangle, a combination R.E.M. relied on during its '80s heyday.

Band: Theodore with the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra
In Reality: Theodore takes folk-song idioms and dips them in the dark ink of the best Southern Gothic stylists. The R&P MPO uses brass, strings and martial percussion to score silent films.
Artist Covering: Van Dyke Parks
Why This Will Work: Parks' best work re-imagines all types of folk music, from Appalachian banjo tunes to Calypso steel-band rhythms. The pairing of these two like-minded groups will bring orchestral discipline and classic pop sensibilities to these playful, layered songs.

Band: The Makeshift Gentlemen
In Reality: Slick modern-rockers that rely on equal parts buzzy synths and distorted guitars.
Artist Covering: The Doors
Why This Will Work: The Makeshift Gentlemen favors modern synthesizers over '60s combo organs, but like the Doors, its songs are keyboard-driven — and they leave plenty of room for a theatrical frontman.

 
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