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How Cover Nights Can Create Local Music Fans

​Some people get stuck in ruts. My dad, for example, has been listening to the same 300 songs for the past four decades (let us take a moment to remind you of Nothing Not New, where our own Jay Bennett gave up all his favorites and listened to nothing but new releases for a whole year).

But back to my dad. His radio dial never leaves 100.7. The only reason he goes out to concerts these days is 1) If one of his favorite classic rock artists comes into town or 2) Someone is covering one of his favorite classic rock artists. 

In short, I've seen a lot of Beatles cover bands. 

It's frustrating, sure, especially when I know he would love acts like The Black Keys or Ryan Adams if he just gave them a shot. 

I notice younger people do this, too, which is probably why we hear from the same 10 artists over and over again in popular music and rarely get introduced to new music on the radio. If you can't beat 'em, you might as well pander to them, I guess. 

Everyone loves a good cover, but nights like Cover the Crescent and Rogue Bar's Beatles cover night have taken local covers to a whole new level. They combine two extremes - local music and the most popular music ever written - for a night when just about anyone can get on board. 

Each concertgoer gets something different out of their experience. The people like my dad (We'll call them the "rutters,") get exposed to bands they would never otherwise go see on their own accord. Local bands like Mergence, Future Loves Past and What Laura Says all fuse classic rock elements with modern melodies. I can easily see a rutter latching on to one of these bands because they gave a rockin' rendition of "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window."

Just a few weeks ago, I highlighted what I think needs to change within the local music scene for it to thrive and expand in this blog. In short, there needs to be a sense of community, and not just among the folks with the most indie cred. You need regular Joes to come out to see local music and tell their friends about it. 

If you want to get someone hooked on local music, you need to get on the pop level, at least initially.  

The next Cover the Crescent rolls around January 19 and features The Madera Strand doing The Police, Terra Firma doing Joy Division, Secret Fox doing Guided by Voices and Robin Vining doing PJ Harvey. On February 3, bring your dad to see Tucson's Roll Acosta and locals Field Trip and The Foleys do an all-Beatles night. 

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Christina Caldwell