Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

9 May
Welcome to the Swap Meet.

Welcome to the Swap Meet.

The Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet has really taken hold of the tribute band circuit by continuously hosting many different kinds of faux rock legends.  What is a swap meet you ask?  It’s like a flea market.  What is a flea market you ask?  Well, it’s “a gathering at which enthusiasts or collectors trade or exchange items of common interest.” So mixed in with the sunglasses, bunnies, nuts, ladies clothing, kids’ toys, vintage action figures, tutus, beer and hats you will find some surprisingly entertaining music.  They hosted what may be one of the best shows I’ve ever seen for $1 – which is the entrance fee to the Swap Meet.

People getting into it.

People getting into it.

I was unaware of the underground (does it count as underground if I just don’t know about it?) world of phenomenal and very serious “tribute” bands.  I put tribute in quotes because of the couple I’ve seen, they are good enough to stand on their own.  However, instead of doing so they offer up their musical talents and pay homage to those that came before them and impacted them so fiercely.  I mean, it’s not just any day that one decides to completely embody another man so devoutly and fanatically.  It is a strange parallel universe, that’s for sure.  And let’s be honest, the band names alone make it worth it.  A majority of the time the wordplay bridge melding the names of the original band with the tribute band is fucking genius.

During my first foray into tribute bands at this “venue” I saw Led Zepagain, which I hope you’re picking up is a Led Zeppelin Tribute Band, and they were mind-blowing.  In a good way.  A really good way.  (Is it weird that the lead singer might be better than the current Robert Plant??)  So when I had the opportunity to see Bonfire, which is the not-as-obvious name of an AC/DC Tribute Band, I was 100% into it.  These guys are pure entertainment.  You don’t know if you’re laughing with them or at them, but the important part is that you’re laughing. Talk about pouring your heart and soul out onto a stage!  They were wild, loud and took advantage of their opportunity to shine in the spotlight.  They hit all the high points – hair, school boy uniform, duckwalk, devil horns, energy and everything that comes along with it – the “Angus Young” runs through the crowd and performs on tables for goodness sake!  Even though these guys originated in Los Angeles, the lead singer even had an Australian accent.  Real?  Not real? We’ll never know, but I think it says something about their commitment level.

Be warned – In some of the below photos you will see topless men of a certain age…

yeah!

Yeah!

Horns.

Horns.

A stint in the crowd!

A stint in the crowd!

Tandem

Tandem

"Angus"

“Angus”

Did I mention the groupies?  I didn’t?!  Well, they were an integral part to the whole retro experience!  The big hair and remnants of the once young, screaming AC/DC fans and panty throwers was a highlight.  Speaking of people watching, there was a lot of it.  Interesting crowd at the ol’ Swap Meet.  Plenty of tattoos, lots of kids and lots of people rocking both AC/DC and Bonfire T-shirts all making for a very watchable audience.

Awesome Hair.

Awesome Hair.

Thanks for the tip.

Her button says, “End Slavery Now.” – Thanks for the tip, Obvious Police.

Having a grand time!

Having a grand time!

Nice.

Nice.

A fan.

A fan.

Colors of the rainbow.

Colors of the rainbow.

Yep.

Yep, this picture sums up my experience.

They play three hour-long sets with one hour breaks in between.  During these breaks is a good time to explore the above mentioned Swap Meet merchandising. It takes about an hour to get there from L.A. in traffic.  So go get a churro and have a good time.

Coming up on the horizon this summer:

MAY

Hard Days Night (Tribute to the Beatles)

These Handsome Devils (Tribute to Morrissey and The Smiths)

JUNE

Red Not Chili Peppers (See above wordplay comment)

No Duh (uh huh, Tribute to No Doubt; this might by my favorite one)

Electric Funeral (Tribute to Black Sabbath)

Aeromyth (See above wordplay comment)

JULY

Pyromania (Tribute to Def Leppard)

The Rising (Tribute to Bruce Springsteen)

Damage, Inc. (Tribute to Metallica)

Lyvyn Skynyrd (Tribute to Lynryd Skynyrd)

Click here for Bonfire’s website – Click here for the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet’s website13963 Alondra Blvd., Santa Fe Springs, CA  90670

Out!

Out!

Out!

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