This year's Fakefest at Trump Marina's the Deck covers Jimmy Buffett to the Who to Styx in Atlantic City's marina district for three nights
For more than 10 years, Trump Marina has been putting on an annual weekend rock festival with a line-up of music that rivals the best rock festivals in music history. And this weekend, rock fans can hear the music of such greats as the Who, Kiss, Foreigner, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel.
Of course, you won’t hear those actual artists, just the music. But close your eyes (and even if you don’t), you’ll hardly know the difference.
Fakefest on The Deck at Trump Marina has become an annual tradition that brings the best in rock tribute bands to the city for three days of nostalgia and, decidedly money saving, concerts (over the real thing anyway).
Once described as a sort of Woodstock without the mud, the Fakefest kicks off the summer with a festival atmosphere. Many of the bands performing have been regulars at the annual event as well as performing numerous gigs throughout the city’s casinos and beach bars.
Old favorites such as B Street Band (formerly Backstreets) a Springsteen tribute band, Parrot Beach, a Jimmy Buffett tribute band and DoOkiE, a Green Day tribute band, return this year.
Most of the new bands this year are based out of New York and bring the sounds of groups such as Styx and Foreigner into the mix.
Also on tap for the Fakefest is the The Jerry Garcia Art Show, including other artworks by numerous celebrities. Complementing the Fakefest festivities, the exhibit showcases some of the great works of art created by celebrities including Jerry Garcia, John Lennon, Ron Wood, Tony Bennett and many other superstars. Presented by Image Makers Art, the show is free and will be open on June 25 from 5-11pm; June 26 from 1pm-11:30pm; and June 27 from 1pm-11pm. Check out some of the artwork online at imagemakersart.com.
The Fakefest runs Friday to Sunday. Here’s a look at this year’s lineup.
Performing Friday, June 26:
Head Games – Foreigner The band consists of five seasoned New York music scene vets who share a love for classic arena rock. Head Games features Mike Ledesma on lead vocals, Simon Walsh on bass, Al Spinelli on keyboards and John Francese on guitar. headgamesnyc.net.
DoOkiE – Green Day Formed in 2004 in central New England, the band features Louie Joe, lead vocals and guitar; Steve “Finster” on bass and vocals; Tré Frank on drums and Mark Hole on guitar and vocals. The group consists of experienced rockers who have played up and down the East Coast and into Mexico and possess a love of loud energetic music, so Green Day was a natural fit. Go to myspace.com/greendaytributedookie
Performing Saturday, June 26:
Rockin’ The Paradise – Styx Another band based out of New York, Rockin The Paradise “focuses on Styx’s trademark high-pitched harmonies, mixed with the dual-guitar assault of James Young and Tommy Shaw, the Panozzo brothers’ solid rhythm section as the driving force of talent and Dennis DeYoung’s influential, flashy keyboards.” The band is made up of lead singer Jim Vignato, keyboardist John Pagliarulo, guitarists Chris Iazzetta and Reuven Jenkins, drummer Sean Minardi and vocalist Paul Cruz covering three decades of the arena rock gods’ hits. thestyxtribute.com.
Who’s Next – The Who The band formed in 1998 and goes to impressive lengths to recreate the look and feel of The Who. As the group describes it: “to capture the sound more accurately, replicas of Pete Townshend guitars, Premier drums, HIWATT amps, and vintage overdrive pedals, are used to recreate the most powerful sound ever to hit a stage. Who’s Next not only recreates “The Who sound” they also match the high energy explosiveness of the greatest live Rock & Roll band in the world.” Bill Canell, Bobby Reynolds, Dave McDonald and Dom DiPalma make up the core of the band. whosnexttribute.com.
Kiss Army – Kiss All tribute bands have to capture the look of a band, but rarely is it as important as in a Kiss tribute band. Kiss Army formed 18 years ago to honor a legendary group that has more than a few competing tribute bands. Marc Shadows, Steve Clark, Bryan Angel and Rob Evans look to create the ’70s era feel of the real Kiss Army. kissarmyrules.com
Performing Sunday, June 27:
Parrot Beach – Jimmy Buffett A regular performer at the southern New Jersey shore, the band will play gigs in Wildwood and regularly Wednesdays at The Deck in July. The band is a fulltime Buffett tribute band formed 10 years ago that also plays favorite island tunes. The colorfully named band includes Remy St. Martin on vocals, Jah on bass guitar, Hurricane on keyboards, Snake Stone on guitar and Jax on drums. parrotbeach.com.
52nd Street - Billy Joel Danny Vechesky has been the frontman for 52nd Street since 1994 and offers up all of Joel’s biggest hits. After meeting Joel in 1974, Vechesky learned to recreate his sound and style, eventually taking on the name Dan the Piano Man. The band is now the longest running Joel tribute band in the country. 52ndstreetband.com.
B Street Band - Bruce Springsteen Perhaps the Granddaddy of all tribute bands, The B Street Band was formerly known as Backstreets and has played the New Jersey Shore since 1980 and even formed in Springsteen’s old stomping grounds of Asbury Park. The band can also cover dance music from Roy Orbison to the Bee Gees. Willie Forte (Vocals, Keyboards), Glenn Stuart (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Congas), Mike Chan’ Kelerchian (Drums), Steve Baranian (Vocals, Lead Guitar), Steve ‘the Count’ Lopresto (Bass Guitar), Steve ‘the Phantom’ Myers (Sax, Vocal) and John Colyer (Lights/DJ) make up the band. bstreetband.com.
Probably in the same way a casino revue show casting legends of the past can still fill showroom seats nearly 30 years after it debuted, and retro nightclubs with ’70s and ’80s themes have been outdrawing many of their contemporary counterparts, FakeFest remains a super-popular, three-day summertime musical event 12 years after it started.
If all goes as planned, Atlantic City will have its most substantial non-gaming, built-from-the-ground-up and demographically diversified amenity in place by 2014.
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