Or is it Fakefest at Trump Marina?
Imagine attending a music festival where you could see some of the greatest bands of all time performing at the peak of their popularity -- for free. That would be difficult since many of the classic rock bands have disbanded or changed personnel (some of whom have passed on). Other bands tour infrequently or hit their peak decades ago. Yet, love for those musical groups border on devotion, and enthusiastic fans clamor to see any semblance of their favorite band on stage.
Some fans mimic their favorites by forming tribute bands.
That ultimate festival scenario takes place at The Deck at Trump Marina this weekend when some of the greatest tribute bands on the planet honor their idols at the fifth annual Fakefest. Sit back, have a drink and relax while they perform the music of their heroes. If you don't look too closely, you may think you're experiencing the country-rock sounds of the Eagles, the heavy rock vibe of Led Zeppelin or the unique music of six other classic rock bands and solo artists. You may also think that you're in the middle of a dream come true.
"It was a brainchild of both myself and Todd Moyer [former senior vice president of marketing at Trump Marina] with Steve Gietka's input," says Bill Schmal, director of entertainment at Trump Marina and Trump Taj Mahal. Gietka is vice president of entertainment of Trump Properties.
"We came up with a fun way to kick off the summer season in a big way on The Deck. It's part of the public's never-ending thirst for tribute acts. That's where it started."
Why are these bands so successful? "It's because they play all A-sides," laughs Schmal.
The weekend schedule begins this Friday, June 22, with Sticky Fingers portraying the Rolling Stones at 7 and 9:10pm. Dookie does Green Day at 8:05 and 10:10pm. The event continues on Saturday with Sir Rod appearing as Rod Stewart at 3:10 and 7:50pm, Runaway depicting New Jersey's own Bon Jovi at 4:30 and 9:10pm, and 2U portraying U2 at 5:50 and 10:30pm.
|Sticky Fingers Band|
Another full day of music occurs on Sunday as Hotel California pays tribute to The Eagles at 2:30 and 7:30pm, Black Dog plays the songs of Led Zeppelin at 3:50 and 8:50pm and Warped appears as the Red Hot Chili Peppers at 5:10 and 10:10pm.
Each band will play two sets of approximately one hour each. Sir Rod, 2U and Sticky Fingers have played at Fakefest before. 2U, the Long Island-based U2 tribute band, has performed extensively in Atlantic City and elsewhere over the past five years.
"If I haven't booked one specific band for a few years, and I know that they did well, I'll bring them back," says Schmal. "Hotel California did such a phenomenal job last year, I couldn't resist bringing them back immediately."
These bands are more than cover groups and don't just play decent covers of rock hits. They emulate the original bands to such a degree that, in many cases, only a die-hard fan would know the difference. In addition to being excellent musicians, they perform as actors portraying their musical heroes.
This is the fifth Fakefest taking place at the Trump Marina. Yearly, it symbolizes the beginning of a wild summer season at The Deck. Other fun events that have taken place there are the Miss Deckadance contest, the Incredible Hunk contest, numerous live remote radio broadcasts, plenty of live music and outdoor blackjack tournaments.
"Of course, we do other events and do some entertainment from Memorial Day weekend up to Fakefest, but Fakefest is really such a successful event it puts a stamp on the 'go' button for the party to begin," says Schmal.
Specialty drinks and a good draft beer selection perpetuate the wild summertime theme at The Deck. The bar offers casual fare, cool drinks and hot times. There's also a full selection of imported and domestic bottled beer. So sit back, appreciate the good food, cool breezes and excellent entertainment, while enjoying the great views. It's all at The Deck, where there's no admission charge, but plenty of festivities like Fakefest.
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.
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