By Travis HoewischerPublished June 1, 2012
Just because they play other people’s songs doesn’t mean they aren’t original. Paying tribute to our most beloved tunes isn’t as easy as it looks, especially when you’re channeling everyone from Al Green to Journey to Wu-Tang. Check out these five unique local cover bands that take it a step beyond spot-on karaoke.
The 17th Floor
Part college tour hip-hop band, part dance party, this Arena District staple always put on a show that surpasses your average night at the bar. Perhaps that’s what opening up for Busta Rhymes, Ludacris and Snoop will do for you. The 17th Floor is to late-night Columbus what the Roots are to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
6/16 @ Lazy Chameleon, 4028 Presidential Pkwy, Powell, 10:15 p.m.
HooDoo Soul Band
Short of NFL Football, just about the best tradition in central Ohio is the HooDoo boys’ Sunday residency at Rumba Café. Every music fan in town should make the pilgrimage at least once, to see the rotating all-star casts of keyboardists, sax players and guitar slayers knock out some of the finest soul pieces ever put to wax. We promise you won’t regret it on Monday.
Winnie Cooper Project
Led by local attorneys Matt Crumpton and Alex Hastie – they’ve been known to sometimes wear full suits on stage – the Grandview-centric weekend warriors stamp their diverse portfolio with white-boy funk and a semi-serious delivery.
6/9 @ Grandview Café, 1455 W Third Ave., 10 p.m.
Shucking Bubba Deluxe
The band that bills itself as a live version of your favorite old mixtapes has been most recognized as one of the most consistent campus game-day bands of the last half-decade. But they rock the suburbs, too – in both Deluxe and acoustic-trio formation.
6/22 @ The Barn, 5451 Edwards Farms Rd, Dublin. 10 p.m.
It takes a special kind of band to pull off live versions of high-energy Top 40 hits and splice them into sets with Juvenile and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Billing themselves as the No. 1 Top 40 cover band in Columbus, Swagg backs it up by having the stones to cover Paul Simon, Prince, and Kings of Leon in the same set.
6/30 @ Kicks, 8333 Market Exchange Dr., Westerville, 10 p.m.