Summerfest, as we all know, is the “World’s Largest Music Festival.” And while that title is certainly well-earned, it obscures the fact that a good chunk of that music is provided by cover bands. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—cover bands can be great fun, and someone has to fill those early afternoon slots with “Don’t Stop Believin'” and Rascal Flatts doing Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is A Highway.” So, as the 51st installment of the Big Gig kicks off this afternoon at Henry Maier Festival Park, let’s honor Wisconsin’s working-for-the-weekened warriors with this collection of delightful cover band promo videos.
Highlights: obvious use of the “movie trailer” template on an early version of iMovie; rendering the final “Cherry Pie” in a Jurassic Park-style font for some reason.
Highlights: incredible post-production filters that wouldn’t feel out of place in a ’90s Oliver Stone movie; the promise of “MULTIPLE LEAD VOCALS WITH SOARING HARMONIES.”
Highlights: warehouse practice space; the leg lamp from A Christmas Story; a totally sweet cover of “P.Y.T.”
DENIM N LEATHER
Highlights: FUCK YEAH IRON MAIDEN; cross-cutting between gritty war footage and shots of the band playing at Kelly’s Bleachers or wherever.
Highlights: futuristic VR-style graphics that look like you’re firing up your Xbox 360; crowd noise that was clearly added in later.
ASK YOUR MOTHER
Highlights: a complete 10-year history of the band that includes more than 400 shows; “their niche is to NOT have a niche”; WAMI nominations and wins.
THE CHEAP SHOTS
Highlights: lots of selfie-stick footage; using a glass of beer as a guitar slide; grown men doing Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
Highlights: okay, The Gilligans are from Illinois, but they’re literally a cover band that dresses up like Gilligan from Gilligan’s Island. Incredible.