Recap: The Great Cover Up 2013

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**Note: This recap only covers Days 2-4. If you want some Day One info, WPGU has you covered.**

Scathe as Van Halen

The 22nd annual Great Cover Up came to a close sometime around 1 a.m. on Friday morning, and it would be an understatement to say that it was anything less than ridiculous and one of the best times I’ve had all Winter. The concept is great: Local artists covering niche legends, defunct greats, one-hit-wonders, and everything in-between, over the course of four days at The Highdive in Champaign. Participants dress up like the artists they’re covering, act like them, talk like them, dress like them, and even if I hadn’t heard a single original song by the covered artist, there was always something there to grab my attention, which is a pretty impressive feat.

Here are some of my favorite moments from Days 2-4, after which you can catch a slideshow, courtesy of our new Flickr account:

    • Mike Ingram as Europe playing all their hits, including “The Final Countdown.” Twice.
    • Kayla Brown as Courtney Love ala Hole, and her shot at stand-in drummer Dave Grohl’s attempts at seducing her daughter. That lady’s got spunk.
    • Curb Service’s incredible throwback to hip-hop great Notorious B.I.G., beats and dollah bills up the wazoo.
    • Morgan Orion’s true blue, country-folk presence upon his renditions of tunes by The Flying Burrito Brothers.
    • Megan Johns’ impersonation of Billy Corgan in The Smashing Pumpkins, destroying gender barriers and making me question if the two are really separate people.
    • Electric Bitters (as Death Cab for Cutie) distributing Valentine’s Day heart candy covered in photos of semi-recent heart-breaker Zooey Deschanel.
    • Ben Wilson’s (of That’s No Moon) uncanny Phil Collins accent.
    • Anna Karenina/Anna Karina’s unexpected and high-energy covers of Violent Femmes, resulting in the best call-and-response crowd interaction of the Cover Up during the chorus of “American Music.”
    • Every breakdown performed by Isaac “Damien Rice” Arms.
    • The ridiculous improvised interplay between Grandkids guitarist Evan Metz and the horn section towards the end of the band’s set of Paul Simon/Graceland tunes, and a shakin’ cameo from Santah’s Stan McConnell.
    • The last set of the festival – The Dirty Feathers covering The Who: An appearance by an incredibly drunk Mick Jagger, an aptly dressed Elton John, the throwing of actual dollar bills into the crowd, and frontman Andrew Kling completely destroying a tambourine, his guitar, and a tom, as hazardous bits and pieces flew into the crowd, without any subsequent hard feelings or deaths.

All photos by Adam Barnett: