Fake movie bands are a funny thing. All too often you spend a great amount of time watching this fictional outfit struggling and surviving together, and that conflict insists upon your own feelings of hope and admiration. Which makes you essentially a temporary fan of a collection of musicians who don’t actually exist, but who write music that’s technically real, only it’s rooted in a world that’s purely celluloid.
It’s weird, right?
Yet this curious relationship has been a part of our culture for as long as music and film have been married together. The Jazz Singer? This is Spinal Tap? School of Rock? Hell, this month alone we’ve seen two more fictional acts added to that endless bill: The Ain’t Rights from Jeremy Saulnier’s punk rock thriller Green Room and Sing Street from John Carney’s coming-of-age musical of the same name.
Both films feature original music by their respective bands, which only adds a surreal cinéma vérité to the proceedings. Granted, Sing Street singer-turned-actor Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and guitarist-turned-actor Mark McKenna have been performing the songs acoustically at various screenings, but it’s still a weird feeling obsessing over the soundtrack’s collection of ’80s new wave anthems knowing it’s fictional.
Which got us thinking, What if we could see our favorite fake bands live? How would that feel? What would the tour announcements even look like? Naturally, we reached for the closest pad of paper and started jotting down names from cinema past, specifically the outfits we’d want to steal from the silver screen and place on stage — sort of like in Last Action Hero or The Purple Rose of Cairo.
To go one further, we decided to excuse the fake movie bands that have actually toured or performed multiple times, which canceled out legendary acts like Spinal Tap, The Commitments, The School of Rock, and The Blues Brothers. We also stuck specifically to film and planet Earth; in other words, you won’t find The Beets, The Nasty Bits, or the Cantina Band from Star Wars. Rest assured, this left us plenty to choose from.
So, click ahead and don’t forget your imagination…
10. The Lone Rangers
Listen up, guppies. Legendary LA disc jockey Ian the Shark, formerly of KPPX (Rebel Radio, not The Rain), is back and does he have a surprise for you! Palatine Records artist The Lone Rangers (wait, can you pluralize that?) — the biggest arena rock band in the world — are returning to their penitentiary roots for a run of exclusive, inmate-only prison dates.
“You’ll want to go out and get arrested,” says Palatine executive Jimmie “Super Duper” Wing, “just so you can tell people that you were there.”
You may recall that singer/guitarist Chester “Chazz Darvey” Ogilvie and sibling rhythm section Oedipus Rex (bass) and Pip (drums) crashed the scene in the mid-’90s when they broke into the KPPX radio station and took hostages, demanding at toy gunpoint that the demo for their eventual multi-platinum single, “Degenerated”, be played on air. Not only did that chaotic night reveal that Lemmy was editor of his school magazine, but it also directly led to a three-month prison stint for the band, which they parlayed into their triple-platinum debut, Live in Prison.
“Look, we ain’t pulling pud,” says Darvey. “Prison was the most rock-and-roll time of our lives. The conjugal visits from Kayla and Suzzi (with two Z’s) were great; I penned the hits “Generated” and “Regenerated” for Kayla in my bunk; and Pip inadvertently started a prison riot when he tried to sit at the black lunch table and talk hip-hop.”
“Yeah, prison was great,” adds Rex. “I got to call the warden a dicksmoke, half a butt puppet, and Rudolph Redpecker — and that was just on the first day. Frankly, I was willing to actually get arrested again, but we have people for that now.”
His brother is no less enthusiastic. “Playing the penal circuit again is a soggy dream come true,” says Pip. “They may even let me fart on a snare drum for an encore.”
Ian the Shark, now the band’s manager, promises set lists of 10-12 songs, possibly 14 or 15 with good behavior, and a rocking reminder that “if it’s too loud, you’re too old.”
Bea Arthur. Outstanding.
The Lone Rangers 2016 Tour Dates:
09/15 – Queens, NY @ Rikers Island ^
09/16 – Ossining, NY @ Sing, Sing ^
09/17 – Attica, NY @ Attica Correctional Facility ^
09/20 – Leavenworth, KS @ Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary ^
09/22 – Folsom, CA @ Folsom State Prison ^
09/23 – Attica, NY @ Attica Correctional Facility ^
09/24 – Marin County, CA @ San Quentin State Prison ^
^ = w/ Sons of Thunder
09. The Wonders
That Thing You Do! (1996)
“Ain’t no way to keep a band together. Bands come and go. You got to keep on playin’, no matter with who!” While these are certainly wise words from jazz legend Dell Paxton, it looks like The Wonders just couldn’t stop doing that thing they do.
That’s right, the Pennsylvanian boys are back, ladies and gentleman, touring with Diane Dane and “Mr. Downtown” himself — Freddie Fredrickson!
Proceeds from the tour go to my father’s local business, Patterson Electronics — we’re no longer just appliances!” says drummer Guy “Shades” Patterson. “The band and I couldn’t let that store leave my hometown community. They know customer service, and come on, I heard our #1 single, “That Thing You Do”, for the first time there. My shades missed looking and working with Jimmy Mattingly, too. So glad we got him out of his sandbox and away from his solo work.”
While there is no official word yet, sources report that The Wonders are recording new material. With frontman and head songwriter Mattingly back, we’re excited for anything these one-hit “Oneders” cook up.
The Wonders 2016 Tour Dates:
07/11 – Erie, Pennsylvania @ Villapiano’s ^
07/17 – Playtone Festival 2016 ^
08/01 – Greenwich Village, NY @ Blue Note ^
08/10 – East Village, NY @ IBeam Brookyln ^
09/02 – Chicago, IL @ Kingston Mines ^
^ = w/ Diane Dane + Freddie Fredrickson
08. Josie and the Pussycats
Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
No subliminal messages here: This summer, Josie McCoy and her Pussycats will hit the road for the first time in 15 years to rock arenas from Riverdale to New York City on their Decide for Yourself 2016 Tour. The pop-punk power trio have largely avoided the spotlight since their sold-out pay-per-view concert in 2001, which was critically acclaimed but mysteriously resulted in their immediate departure from MegaRecords.
McCoy will be joined onstage by the other two original Pussycats, bassist Valerie Brown and drummer Melody Valentine. Though they’ve kept a low profile, the band have stayed busy in the years since their final NYC concert, producing five full-length albums and releasing them on McCoy’s own Riverdale Records, which she founded in 2002. Though the band now have an extensive back catalog to draw on, their set is expected to lean heavily on early mega hits such as “Pretend to Be Nice”, “3 Small Words”, and “Spin Around”.
The Pussycats will get some help this time out from singer-songwriter (and McCoy’s husband) Alan M., who will be opening the show and filling in as the band’s backup guitarist. Other bands on the bill include popular ‘90s boy band Du Jour and the newly retooled Blink-182, who will also join the Pussycats for a brief stint on this summer’s Warped Tour.
Check out the full list of tour dates below.
Josie and the Pussycats 2016 Tour Dates:
06/10 – Riverdale, IA @ The Riverplex ^
06/11 – New York City, NY @ Madison Square Garden #
06/12 – Boston, MA @ Agganis Arena #
06/13 – Chicago, IL @ Allstate Arena #
06/17 – Seattle, WA @ Key Arena %
06/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore %
06/19 – Irvine, CA @ Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre %
07/03 – West Palm Beach, FL @ Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre $
07/05 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion $
07/06 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre $
07/07 – Syracuse, NY @ Lakeview Amphitheatre $
^ = w/ Alan M.
# = w/ Alan M. and DuJour
% = w/ Alan M., DuJour, and Blink-182
$ = Warped Tour
07. Barry Jive & the Uptown Five
High Fidelity (2000)
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and scarcity makes a concert ticket a must-have. Just when you thought Kathleen Turner Overdrive couldn’t be a more boring and obvious festival headliner, frontman Barry Judd went in an entirely different direction by announcing that his band will be performing at this summer’s festivals not as KTO but as Barry Jive & the Uptown Five — the second incarnation of his beloved band (originally Sonic Death Monkey).
Longtime KTO fans might remember that the band played only once as Barry Jive & the Uptown Five back in 2000 at a record release party for The Kinky Wizards. The bootleg of the show, which features Judd performing one of the all-time great renditions of “Let’s Get It On”, has become the holy grail for KTO diehards.
“Some people have asked why the change from Kathleen Turner Overdrive,” comments Judd. “They say I owe it to myself, to my friends, to my parents to keep KTO going, but I think I owe it to myself to go right to the edge. And Barry Jive does exactly that — over the edge, in fact. We want a reaction, and if lawyer bourgeois fans can’t take it, fuck them. Let ’em riot. We can take it. We’re fucking Barry Jive & the Uptown Five.”
With The Kinky Wizards also slated to play Bonnaroo this summer and DJ Rob Gordon’s traveling Dance Music for Old People tent paying a visit to the Farm, it seems almost inevitable that a Barry Jive-led superjam will break out at some point. Let’s get it on, shooga.
Barry Jive & the Uptown Five 2016 Festival Dates:
05/29 – George, WA @ Sasquatch!
06/04 – Philadelphia, PA @ Roots Picnic
06/05 – New York, NY @ Governors Ball Music Festival
06/11 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
06/23 – Detroit, MI @ Mo Pop Festival
07/30 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest
Note: Most festival posters were released with Kathleen Turner Overdrive still appearing as the headliner. Those same headlining spots will now be filled by Barry Jive & the Uptown Five. Plan your itineraries accordingly.
06. The Weird Sisters
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Accio Rock! Strange powers have colluded to bring the legendary Weird Sisters back together for a string of shows taking place in both the muggle and wizarding worlds. The Sisters’ Toil & Trouble tour kicks off this summer and will take them from London to Hogwarts. In a tip of the wand to Johnny Cash’s famed 1969 show at San Quentin, the tour will also feature a history-making stop at Azkaban, marking the first ever musical performance in the magical prison’s 400-year history.
Fronted by enigmatic vocalist Myron Wagtail, the Weird Sisters have not appeared in public since their breakup at Hogwarts’ 2006 Yule Ball, when Wagtail got into a scuffle with guitarist Kirley Duke on stage and used a hex to turn Duke’s fingers into worms. It took the band 10 years to mend fences and find a wizard powerful enough to break the hex, but they will finally return to cast their spell on audiences throughout the UK, performing hit songs such as “Do the Hippogriff” and “Magic Works”.
The band will be supported by wizard rockers Harry and the Potters and The Parselmouths. Wagtail’s half-brother, Jarvis Cocker, will also appear on select dates.
Check out the full tour itinerary below.
Weird Sisters 2016 Tour Dates:
07/05 – Edinburgh, UK @ The Elephant House ^
07/06 – London, UK @ Diagon Alley Amphitheatre ^
07/07 – London, UK @ Royal Albert Hall #
07/10 – Azkaban, ? @ Mess Hall #
12/25 – Hogwarts, UK @ Yule Ball #
^ = w/ Harry and the Potters, The Parselmouths
# = w/ Harry and the Potters, The Parselmouths, Jarvis Cocker (solo)
05. Citizen Dick
Does Eddie Vedder ever sleep? At the moment, he’s courageously leading Pearl Jam across North America on what has already been a stellar run chock-full of heart, surprises, controversy, and charm. Later this summer, he’ll appear at various festivals for a run of solo dates, which brings up the question: Why the hell is he reuniting Citizen Dick?
Who knows, but come this fall, Vedder, Stone Gossard, and Jeff Ament will share the stage with Cliff Poncier. You remember him, right? The Seattle Sound flower man who insisted he was “smarter than you” and tried to prove as much with his pompous, dick-swinging swill that we all knew better as powerslop. Well, he’s still around.
And here we thought he had moved on to Minneapolis or Los Angeles by now, a town where he could have disappeared into the masses and not stood out like the relentlessly mediocre talent that he is. Then again, there’s something exciting about hearing “Doghouse” as an encore, and the guy will be ably backed by Stone and Jeff with Vedder on drums.
In retrospect, we probably should have seen this coming, especially since they reissued “Touch Me I’m Dick” on a 45 last year for Record Store Day. Whatever the case, check out Citizen Dick’s full itinerary below and know that if you don’t plan on seeing them in the Emerald City, you’ll need to either save up some cash or plan to use those SkyMiles.
Citizen Dick 2016 Tour Dates:
10/12 – Seattle, WA @ Re-Bar ^
10/15 – Kortrijk, BE @ De Kreun
10/16 – Kortrijk, BE @ De Kreun
10/17 – Brussels, BE @ Vauxhall
10/19 – Knokke-Heist, BE @ Schaarpoort
10/20 – Ghent, BE @ Vooruit
10/27 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazen #
^ = w/ Mang
# = w/ Sweetwater
Almost Famous (2000)
It’s all happening! Fans, prepare to feel the buzz again. Band-Aids, your seats and tray tables should be locked and in their full upright positions. Swill merchants, pitch your thinkpieces (crazy). This summer, America’s favorite mid-level band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom will once again climb aboard Doris to commemorate the “William Miller” leg of their infamous Almost Famous 1973 tour. Troy, Michigan’s own Stillwater are back.
After their 1974 No More Airplanes Tour and lone Rolling Stone cover, the band soon went their separate ways. Hardworking lead singer Jeff Bebe and openly gay drummer Ed Vallencourt returned to their roots and reformed The Jeff Bebe Band with marginal success; incendiary guitarist Russell Hammond left the music business to become “a person of substance”; and sleazy bassist Larry Fellows opened up a chain of popular BBQ joints called Some BBQ or Something. For decades, it appeared as though the band would never play together again.
In addition to promising old favorites like “Fever Dog” and “Love Comes and Goes”, as well as covers of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue”, the frontman and the guitarist with mystique had the following to say about their upcoming dates.
“This reunion isn’t about money or popularity,” said Bebe, “although some money would be nice … and any chicks would be great, too.”
“Tell all our fans it ain’t a reuinion tour without them,” added Hammond. “We want them around like last time. Be sure to tell them just like that.”
When asked if Stillwater can still deliver a solid headlining set in 2016, Bebe insisted: “I can still get people off. I’ll look for the one guy who isn’t getting off, and I’ll make him get off. And if he doesn’t get off, well feck him. That you can quote me on.”
The reunion tour will run nine dates, including a special final night in Morocco during which, according to the band, “They will wear completely different clothes and pretend to be completely different people.”
Time to get on Stillwater’s back for one more piggyback ride.
Stillwater 2016 Tour Dates:
07/15 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues San Diego ^
07/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre ^
07/18 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion ^
07/21 – Topeka, KS @ White Concert Hall ^
07/23 – Greenville, TN @ Niswonger Performing Arts Center ^
07/26 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre and Ballroom ^
07/29 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues Boston ^
08/01 – New York, NY @ The Bowery Ballroom ^
09/15 – Casablanca, Morocco @ Rick’s Café Américain ^
^ = w/ The Jeff Bebe Band (also recently reunited)
03. Sex Bob-omb
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)
It’s time to think about death and get sad and stuff. Toronto garage rock act Sex Bob-Omb is hitting the road in support of a new album. Back in 2012, founding member and bassist Scott Pilgrim rejoined the band, supposedly taking a break to rekindle offstage relationships and replace his broken Rickenbacker. This will be their first tour with him since winning the Toronto International Battle of the Bands in 2010.
According to a DIY press release, the new album — tentatively titled Toad-ally — revisits the sound of their earlier material and will not see New York City producer G’Man behind the board. Lead single “Ramona Pt. 2”, which you can stream on Exclaim!, channels indie rock hooks akin to Beck.
With the original lineup in place, Sex Bob-Omb plan to break out some of their earliest singles on tour, including “Threshold”, “Garbage Truck”, and “Summertime”. Ex-bandmate Envy Adams will support with her other band, The Clash at Demonhead, as will fellow locals Crash and the Boys.
It looks like some bands get to graduate from Lunchapalooza to Lollapalooza after all. Consult the full itinerary — including the aforementioned festival date — below.
Sex Bob-Omb 2016 Tour Dates:
07/25 – Toronto, Ontario @ The Drake ^#
07/26 – Toronto, Ontario @ Lee’s Palace ^#
07/27 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement ^#
07/28 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas ^#
07/29 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/01 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair ^#
08/02 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom ^#
08/03 – New York, NY @ Baby’s All Right ^#
08/04 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle ^#
08/05 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 *!
08/10 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo ^
08/11 – San Diego, CA @ The Hideout ^
08/13 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern ^
08/14 – Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar ^
08/16 – Vancouver, Calgary @ Red Gate ^
^ = w/ The Clash at Demonhead
# = w/ Crash and the Boys
* = Wavves
! = Metz
02. Crucial Taunt
Wayne’s World (1992)
Party on Wayne, and party on Garth! This summer, “mega-babe” singer Cassandra Wong will revisit her ’90s hard rock outfit, Crucial Taunt, for a timely jaunt in support of their sixth and final album for the late Frankie Sharp of Sharp Records.
It’s titled Whammy Bar and includes 12 new tracks akin to her whopper hit, “Why You Wanna Break My Heart”, in addition to those unreal covers of hers that ranged from Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” to Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz”.
In a rather unexpected twist, producer (and former fiancé) Bobby Cahn returned to oversee the album, and it appears he’s brought some “real gigs” with him. Troubador? Metro? The Bowery? Who else?
Consult the full itinerary below.
Crucial Taunt 2016 Tour Dates:
06/11 – Los Angeles @ Troubadour
06/14 – Los Angeles @ Troubadour
06/17 – Aurora, IL @ Gasworks ^
06/18 – Aurora, IL @ Gasworks #
06/19 – Chicago, IL @ Metro %
06/21 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
06/22 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
^ = w/ The Shitty Beetles
# = w/ Jolly Green Giants
% = Opening for Alice Cooper
* = w/ Rip Taylor
01. Wyld Stallyns
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
Perhaps what makes Wyld Stallyns’ Station to Station Tour the most most-excellent concert ticket this summer is how little we really know musically about Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan’s most triumphant band. Of course, we all know that by 2688, our entire galactic civilization will be based on Wyld Stallyns music, which will bring an end to war and poverty and align the planets in universal harmony — and it’s excellent for dancing. But are the Wyld Stallyns touring in 2016 that most bodacious band or still those most heinous hacks blowing fuses in a garage?
Traveling through the circuits of time with Preston, Esquire and Logan will of course be the original lineup of Princesses Elizabeth (keyboards) and Joanna (drums), each 546 years old but still young enough to rock. Also joining them will be Station (conga and bongos), The Good Robot Us’s (backup dancing), and The Grim Reaper (upright bass), which leads us to believe that we’ll see the Wyld Stallyns who have gone through 16 months of intensive guitar training and are ready to unite the world with their Kiss-like rock.
What also makes scoring a ticket to this tour a most excellent triumph is not so much where the band is opting to play but when they are playing. If they happened to skip over your time and your telephone booth is in the shop, that may seem like most bogus news, but don’t dismay. Rumor has it they’ll be extending their tour through fall — 2436.
Until then, be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!
Wyld Stallyns 2016???? Tour Dates:
1805 – Austria @ Nap’s Camp
1879 – New Mexico @ Billy’s Saloon & Brothel
410 B.C. – Athens, Greece @ The Parthenon #
15th Century – England @ The Castle
2688 – San Dimas, CA @ Future’s
1901 – Vienna, Austria @ Freud Park
1810 – Kassel, Germany @ Beethoven’s Brahaus %
1429 – Orleans, France @ The Arc
1209 – Outer Mongolia @ Club Khan
1,000,000 B.C. – San Dimas, CA @ Prehistoric Pit Stop
1863 – Washington, D.C. @ The White House ^
# = w/ Socrates opening stand-up set
% = w/ Ludwig Van Beethoven opening
^ = Abraham Lincoln as keynote speaker
Note: Rufus and the Yes Way are supporting at all shows.