Fear you’ll never hear your favorite band live? These Maine tribute shows might do the trick (2024)

If you’ve never seen a tribute act perform the songs of artists that are either too big to play in Maine or who have passed away, there’s a way to do a whole bunch of that this week in Portland.

There are also tribute shows happening in venues around the state all summer long.

Fear you’ll never hear your favorite band live? These Maine tribute shows might do the trick (1)

A Strange Day is the Portland-based tribute to The Cure. Photo by Seth D. Warner

Let’s start with Portland-based A Strange Day, a tribute to British alternative act The Cure, fronted by singer and guitarist Seth Warner.

The band will perform The Cure’s second album, “Seventeen Seconds,” in its entirety, along with some hits and other cuts at Portland House of Music on Thursday.

The album was released on April 18, 1980. Lead singer and guitarist Robert Smith turned 21 three days later. The single“A Forest” marked the band’s debut on the U.K. Singles Chart, where it reached the No. 31 spot. The song remains a setlist staple at The Cure’s live performances.

Warner said he put himself in the shoes of Cure fans when deciding what album to cover. “What I would like to hear from a Cure band is a dive into the specific eras that surrounded each record, and ‘Seventeen Seconds’ set the tone for the more introspective and gloomy textures and themes.”


As for Warner’s favorite “Seventeen Seconds” tracks, he said, “I really like ‘At Night’ for its dynamic potential, and the edgy and angsty ‘M.'”

The band took its name from the track “A Strange Day” from The Cure’s 1982 album “p*rnography.”

Along with Warner, the band is Pete Dugas (keys), Andrew Hodgkins (drums), Matt Kennedy (synth/sax), Kevin O’Reilly (bass), Casey Urich (trumpet) and Corey Urich.

Angel Butts, a copy editor living in Westbrook, has seen The Cure more than 100 times on three continents and at least 10 countries, including Latvia and Colombia. “They’re like breathing to me. They have this massive catalog and it spans every possible mood, I don’t know of another band with a palette like that. “Seventeen Seconds” is among her favorite of the band’s 13 studio albums.

Butts has seen The Cure play the “Seventeen Seconds” album all the way through three times. “One of those shows stands as the best show I’ve ever seen in my life. The Cure: Reflections, Nov. 27, 2011 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.”

Butts said she and her 13-year-old daughter will be attending the A Strange Day show. “I think she’s more excited than I am.”


A Strange Day
8:30 p.m. Thursday. Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland, $12 in advance, $15 day of show, 21-plus. portlandhouseofmusic.com

Another British act that will likely never perform in Maine is The Rolling Stones. With more than 30 albums, the band achieved legendary status decades ago. Singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards are both 80, and the band is currently on tour and will be at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, on Thursday.

There are still tickets left for that show, but you can save yourself hours of traffic jams and a lot of more by instead heading to Aura on Saturday to see Satisfaction: The International Rolling Stones tribute show. Or maybe you’ll see the real deal and then keep the party going here in Maine.

Satisfaction has been slinging Stones hits for over two decades and has played more than 4,000 shows. Chris LeGrand’s take on Mick Jagger is pretty convincing, and he and the band will surely bepleased to meet you.

Satisfaction: The International Rolling Stones Tribute Show
9 p.m. Saturday. Aura, 121 Center St., Portland, $15, $25.50, 18-plus. auramaine.com

Fear you’ll never hear your favorite band live? These Maine tribute shows might do the trick (2)

The Prince/Bowie tribute act performing live. Photo by Tammie Birdwell

David Bowie and Prince died within five months of each other in 2016, at the ages of 69 and 57, respectively, and their losses were felt by millions of fans around the world.


With contributions that are impossible to quantify, both artists left behind a legacy of music that lives on through radio play, home listening and tribute shows.

Boston-based musician Eric Gould loves both artists and is the bandleader of a Prince/Bowie tribute coming to Portland on Saturday. The band is a revolving lineup of players from all over the country.

Gould plays bass and designs the setlists. For this show, the musicians are Cal Kehoe (guitar, vocals), Adrian Tramontano (drums), Sammi Garrett (percussion, vocals), Josh Schwartz (baritone sax, vocals), Rob Somerville (tenor saxophone), Rob Volo (trombone) and Kiran Edwards (keys).

Gould said that, to him, Prince embodies soul, creative arrangement and precision. “His music has the best energy and makes you feel on top of the universe.”

He described Bowie as having a voice and character that is completely unique.

“It is powerful and epic and decadent,” said Gould, who has made a career out of finding unique connections through the songbooks of artists. “It is such a treat to present music people know and love in a way that is fresh to the ears. This combination brings so much joy to everyone on and off stage.”


8 p.m. Saturday. Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland, $25, 21-plus. portlandhouseofmusic.com

Other upcoming tribute shows

The Peacheaters: An Allman Brothers Band Experience, Friday. Jonathan’s, Ogunquit, $31 to $72.50. jonathansogunquit.com

Sweet Baby James: James Taylor Tribute, Saturday. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, $30 to $45.vinhillmusic.com

Studio Two: The Early Beatles Tribute, June 9. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, $30, $35. vinhillmusic.com

Magic Bus: A Tribute to The Who, June 14. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, $30. vinhillmusic.com


The The Band Band, June 21. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, $45, $55. vinhillmusic.com

Bruce In The USA, June 21. Aura, Portland, $20 to $39.50. auramaine.com

Elvis Tribute Show, June 22, July 20. Jonathan’s, Ogunquit, $29 to $70. jonathansogunquit.com

Higher Ground: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder, July 20. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, $40. vinhillmusic.com

Studio Two: The Early Beatles Tribute, July 6. Jonathan’s, Ogunquit, $41.50 to $82.50. jonathansogunquit.com

Johnny Cash Tribute Show, July 7, Aug. 10. Jonathan’s, Ogunquit, $29 to $70. jonathansogunquit.com


Rose Alley: A Tribute to Jerry Garcia, June 28. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, $23. vinhillmusic.com

Runnin’ Down A Dream: The Tom Petty Tribute Band, July 13, Nov. 14. Jonathan’s, Ogunquit, $35 to $76. jonathansogunquit.com

The Elton John Experience, July 21. Jonathan’s, Ogunquit, $29 to $79. jonathansogunquit.com

Zach Nugent’s Dead Set, Aug. 1. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, $25. vinhillmusic.com

The Stray Horses, Aug. 8. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, $25. vinhillmusic.com

Wake Up Mama: The Allman Brothers Tribute Band, Aug. 24. Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, $25. vinhillmusic.com

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