Category Archives: cover bands

Throwback and Tribute: The Record Bar


Last night (Saturday, January 2nd), one of Kansas City’s most esteemed live music venues, the Record Bar, closed its doors for good. (Not through any lack of success, but as I understand it, solely on account of the property’s landlord refusing to renew the lease for various reasons.) I was there Friday night shooting Outhouse’s reunion performance in front of a packed house. But here I want to bring back a couple of oldies from the “early” days when I was still relatively new to photography. Rattle and Hum, Kansas City’s U2 tribute band, was playing a Friday night at the Record Bar in early May of 2007, barely a year after their own first gig there on St. Patrick’s Day 2006.

U2 tribute Rattle and Hum

These photos from that show are a couple of my favorites from those days, and I think it was the same day I bought a brand new lens (a Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 that cost all of $500, lol) and was so excited about taking it out for the first time. (I had to check the metadata of these pics, but at that point I was still shooting on a Canon Digital Rebel XT, which I think that was the very next camera after the original Digital Rebel.) I hadn’t even begun to think about things like hot shoe flash photography, to say nothing of off-camera lighting. It was just the camera and the lens, and I was still learning and teaching myself; I couldn’t tell you what lighting ratios were nor had any real clue about getting paid to shoot (thought I had shot a couple of other bands for like $50 each earlier that year, lol.) I really wasn’t setting out to make money with it; I was just having fun.


I enjoyed several shows there over the years; here’s a fun pic one of the Record Bar’s co-owners, Steven, as my lighting test subject before I was set to shoot a gig with Shots Fired back in March of 2009:

Co-owner Steven Tulipana, who was fighting a cold that night…

And here’s another fun pic, a fake magazine cover I mocked up of Shots Fired themselves, shortly after Steven’s pic:


Lots of good memories from that venue; I may post more pics later on. I hope Steve and his co-owner Shawn eventually continue the Record Bar legacy at a new location, but if not, the Record Bar will always be remembered as one of the great music venues Kansas City has been fortunate to have.

Outhouse playing to a packed house, second to last night, Friday, January 1st, 2016.

BPR’s Keys to being a Successful Cover Band: THE RELATIONSHIPS

4) The Relationships: Foster the relationships with your fans, because they are the reason you’re getting booked; with the bar owners and other clients, because they are not your adversaries; and don’t overlook the wait staff and bartenders, because they’re not your servants; they are your COLLEAGUES This subject I saved for last because I… Continue Reading

BPR’s Keys to being a Successful Cover Band: THE SHOW, PART 3

3b) THE SHOW: Sequencing is NOT cheating There. I said it. Now get over it. Seriously, this is one of the most controversial aspects I’ve encountered among many (especially older) musicians. For those unfamiliar, sequencing is when a band incorporates a pre-recorded sound—an effect or an instrument of some kind—that they use to back up… Continue Reading

BPR’s Keys to being a Successful Cover Band: THE SHOW, PART 2

3a) THE SHOW: Wardrobe does in fact matter, and a nod towards tribute bands I hadn’t originally intended to continue discussing the Show aspect of being successful, but I realized I probably should have elaborated more on the wardrobe. Then I remembered that I completely forgot about discussing whether sequencing is good or bad, and… Continue Reading

BPR’s Keys to being a Successful Cover Band: THE SHOW, PART 1

3) THE SHOW: Have the right songs at the right time, avoid indulging in personal favorites that drive people off the dance floor, don’t take too long between songs, and know when NOT to take a set break THIS is going to be the topic I think most people will have some of the biggest… Continue Reading

BPR’s Keys to being a Successful Cover Band: PROMOTION

2) PROMOTION: The most mysterious and elusive aspect of success Okay, I’m not sure I really have a lot of advice about this aspect in particular, but as the scope of this project began to expand exponentially the more I contemplated it, it grew to encompass four key “legs” holding up the table that supports… Continue Reading

BPR’s Keys to being a Successful Cover Band: PRODUCTION

1) PRODUCTION: Get a great PA, and yes, lights. Knowing that great PAs are expensive, rent one. And get a guy running sound from out front. And let’s add a fogger or hazer, too. There. I said it. Hello? Anybody still there? Crickets? Wow, that cleared the room fast. And that’s also why so many… Continue Reading

What it takes to be a successful cover band (INTRO)

Note: I’m taking a detour from my photography-related posts on my site to talk about my observations over the years regarding the most successful cover bands… Okay, so I was surprised by the response to my Facebook post last week regarding what **I** felt were some essential keys to being a successful cover band. And… Continue Reading