The Best of An Under Cover Weekend at the Firebird

Sep 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm
Via Dove's Andy Shadburne as Aerosmith's Steven Tyler - Jason Stoff
Jason Stoff
Via Dove's Andy Shadburne as Aerosmith's Steven Tyler

An Under Cover Weekend is a time to get silly, abandon caution and get lost with ten St. Louis bands in some of the most loved music ever. Many of us will never see Aerosmith in concert. The majority of the two sold-out crowds missed Michael Jackson. And here they are, in joyful incarnation. Just for St. Louis.

AUCW, more than most other shows, is a spectacle, a two-night cover extravaganza studded with goofy and inspired moments. Here are eleven:

An Under Cover Weekend 2012 Night Two: Slideshow

Night One:

Best Use of an English Accent: The crowd couldn't help but guffaw every time Aquitaine's Will Hildebrandt spoke. In full-on mind meld with Liam Gallagher, Hildebrandt teased the audience, "Do you wanna heah "Champagne Supuh-no-vah"? DO YOU WANNA HEAH "CHAMPAGNE SUPUH-NO-VAH"? Well you cuhn't. Et's tooh lunhg of uh suhng!" An audience member was overheard saying, "I'm beginning to believe he is Gallagher." Crowd members were seen Instagramming pictures of themselves with "Oasis." To us, the band was in the building.

Expect to See on More Playlists: PJ Harvey. The audience howled in rapturous praise, possessed by the band's energy, when Animal Empty paused between songs. It felt like an authentic rock show. Like something dangerous could happen. When Ali Ruby, a statuesque blonde who looked beautiful a Camaro-red shift dress, introduced the last song, there was a palpable hunger for more.

Probably Made a Baby Post-Show: A couple began grinding aggressively during Humdrum's riotous version of Beck's "Debra." The young man and woman in the front row slammed themselves together and shifted back and forth throughout the song while the band sang, "'Cause only you got a thing/That I just got to get with/I just got to get, get with you." When Humdrum hit the chorus, its chutzpah jumped into a falsetto feeding-frenzy sincere enough to give power to a song steeped in whacky lounge-funk.

Most Likely Invited Back to Stage Crash: Volcanoes played at warp speed, probably caused permanent hearing damage and, as percussionist/vocalist Eric Peters later said, found the "rage" in the Killers' best known songs. Peters, bassist Jon Ryan and temporary synth man Charlie Brumley hammered out blunt-force versions, and eventually sought front-row friends for "All These Things That I've Done," leading them and the audience through the refrain: "I got soul but I'm not a soldier." Onstage, Chris Phillips of Bear Hive hopped around Peters' drum set singing and screaming, happy as a clam.

Stunned Silence: The crowd, surprisingly decked out for the occasion in button-downs, dresses and the comfiest of secondhand couture, appeared content to absorb LucaBrasi as it generated U2's grandiose sonic waves. Perhaps a bit quieted by fatigue, the audience stood in calm appreciation. LucaBrasi did its homework and delivered a spot-on rendition of one of the most ambitious bands of the weekend.