A lot of the cover bands who play down on Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore are incredibly talented musicians and really know how to put on a good show, display great stage presence and keep the crowds in the bars in Beach Haven entertained and revved up.
But, seriously, how many times can these bands play songs like Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” without wanting to hurl all over their amps?
This summer will be my eighth down on LBI, and I have never been more bored with the musical offerings. I love live music, but most of the bands who venture down Route 72 and onto the island seriously need to update their play lists.
I realize that learning new songs is a serious time investment, and bands don’t want to spend valuable hours learning a song that might be the flavor of today but gone from memory tomorrow.
And I realize that a cover band can’t really push the envelope with music that isn’t “bar-friendly.” Yes may have been a vault of musical ability, but if a cover band broke into a 12-minute Yes song, they might be staring at an empty bar by the time the number was over.
Finally, I realize that there are always going to be people yelling for songs like “American Girl” and “Living on a Prayer,” and pleasing the crowd is goal No. 1.
But come on, already. At least try to work in a few different things. Mix it up a little. Take some chances.
Most of the bands I’ve seen definitely have the talent and ability.
Other songs exist besides “American Girl,” “Living on a Prayer,” “Santeria,” “Mr. Brightside,” “All the Small Things” and a few others that seem to be required for entry onto Long Beach Island. For the love of God, please come up with something new.