The Dan Band is probably best known as that wedding band that added the word “fuck” to cover songs in Old School. If not that, the group is widely recognized as that wedding band that added the word “fuck” to cover songs in The Hangover. The longstanding comedy rock band’s formula isn’t exactly difficult to distill: popular songs (almost exclusively originally performed by women artists) with profanity liberally peppered in. As simplistic—and far away from high art—as the concept is, The Dan Band stands at the forefront of its very specific genre. As Dan Finnerty and company showed a patchwork-but-passionate Turner Hall during an enjoyable 75-minute Mother’s Day nightcap, the band might just be a novelty act that shoehorns curse words into female-fronted classics, but it’s really (fuckin’) good at it.
After a short video of Dan’s origin story—basically a mannequin that was dressed in a mechanic’s uniform and had Zima poured into its mouth—was projected on a gigantic white sheet, the curtain was dropped to reveal the real-life man(child), a small backing band, and his two background singers that each wore black-rimmed glasses and similar bookish attire. Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In The World)” started off the musical medley, quickly followed by an ABBA amalgam of “Mama Mia” with “Fernando” spliced in.
Once he’d dispatched “happy fucking Mother’s Day” wishes to all the mothers and motherfuckers (“Without them that shit wouldn’t be possible,”) Dan noticed a woman in the front row texting. Instead of asking her to stop, he dialed up the woman’s friend (whom she was texting) and ribbed her for skipping the show, ending the phone call with “Enjoy Game Of Thrones, motherfucker!” and easing into Janet Jackson’s 1986 single “Nasty.” The tight three-person choreography concluded that song with a nip-slip, hearkening back to Jackson’s infamous Super Bowl halftime moment. The nostalgia continued as the band melded two Salt-N-Pepa songs—“Shoop” and “Whatta Man”—along with En Vogue’s “My Lovin (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” into one satisfying multi-tempo offering.
Between songs, Dan (outfitted in a blue work shirt with a Dan name tag and backwards adjustable cap) harassed audience members. He hit on women, made fun of their significant others, and had many of the vocal onlookers who’d crept to the edge of the stage ask questions into his “microphone cock” he draped in front of his zipper. While ribald, beneath Dan’s flurry of fucks, backup singer degradation, and generously doled middle fingers was an endearing front man who was committed to his cocksure character throughout. What could have been a single-layered bit with a dude swearing and singing from a female perspective while being a dick to people was turned even more nuanced when surprisingly solid renditions of songs by Shakira, Christina Aguilera, TLC, and Britney Spears came complete with impressive vocal work and synchronized dance moves not at all befitting three middle-aged men.
Of course, The Dan Band squeezed in its Old School gift horse, “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” before its faux-finale, and a rousing version of Flashdance hit “What A Feeling” with pantomimed jizz-slinging and bukake-ing a woman in the front row with a water bottle. “We’re going to leave after this song, then come back for two fake encores,” Dan warned during the song. “It’s contractual.”
That agreement was amended, as the offensive outfit provided three encore songs, two of which were originally performed by men. Channeling the group’s cameo as The Hangover wedding band, Dan sweetened 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” when he took the phone of a man recording him and sang directly into it—before air-humping it and putting it in his pants. They then dusted of Old School-performed “Lady” by Styx before finishing the night with Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” because (in Dan’s words), “Fuck it.” Though much sweatier and lumpier than the leotard-wearing beauty projected behind them, The Dan Band matched Bey’s every elaborate dance move and hit every note…a couple octaves lower.
Say what you will about The Dan Band’s cover band status. It might be a gimmick, but between impressive singing, fearlessly off-color between-song banter, and dance moves that are both humorous and admirably executed, nobody on Earth does said gimmick better.