Tribute acts have blown up in the last few years. Once a small niche market, a sub genre of the cover band scene, tribute acts now have established themselves as a viable form of nightlife. And while most tribute bands pay tribute to a specific artist, Mullett, which comes to the Showroom at Golden Nugget 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, has cast a bit wider net than most of their peers. Mullett is a tribute to a genre — air bands. This is going to be a fun show.
“People just love that music. They love that time period,” says Dan Halen, guitarist for Mullett.
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The time period in question is roughly 1983 to 1990 — a period in rock music when sky-high hair, flashy outfits, fast guitar solos and endlessly available groupies ruled the world. Bands like Poison, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Winger and countless others solidified a sound that perfectly matched the decade of excess that was the 1980s. Mullett attempts to recreate that period on stage. And if it seems like they are extra authentic, well, that’s because they are.
“We were an original band for 20 years. All these bands that we are covering, we would play with them (as the opening act) when they would come through town. Ratt … Dokken … we played with all of those bands,” Halen says.
While the music put out by “those bands” may have lacked something in depth, they shared a quality that Mullett has tapped into — he ability to make people have a great time no matter what. With a tribute band the key is to bring people back in time. Tributes by nature deal in the nostalgia business, something Mullet is keenly aware of.
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“There is just something about the ’80s. There wasn’t the terrorism that there is today,” Halen says. “It was just a different time in the world. I can’t tell you how many people come up to me at the end of a show and say ‘thank you for bringing me back to that time in my life. It reminds me of my high school days.’ They are just so thankful. It’s something I never imagined.”