Much like turkey, mashed potatoes and awkward conversations with relatives, Thanksgiving means something special to two local cover bands.
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Teaming up for the first time since 2018, the ‘80s cover band Blue Oyster Culture Club and hip-hop tribute group Dolewite will rekindle their wild energy tonight.
“It’s the biggest show of the year (for us), so we try to do things differently than we have the whole year prior,” said guitarist Todd Cooper.
Dubbed “The Night Before Thanksgiving Throwdown,” the two bands will perform at 7 p.m. at The Metropolitan, 107 S. Sixth St.
For B.O.C.C., they’ll be breaking out some of the biggest hits of the ‘80s, while Dolewite will be giving a little rock and funk flare to some of the most iconic hip-hop songs.
“That’s the thing is we each put on our own spin on it. We’re not just playing the songs the way they were recorded. That would be boring,” said Dolewite drummer Mike “Sumo” Bransfield.
Cooper added, “It’s ‘80s music, but it’s much heavier than you’re used to hearing them. The thing I always tell people is just picture if ‘Footloose’ was on (Metallica’s) ‘Ride The Lightning.’”
For Dolewite’s portion of the show, they will be joined by special guest guitarist Collier Cash.
“If you saw the video of the kid that the Foo Fighters invited up onstage at the Sprint Center to play Metallica, he was that kid. He’s only got better at guitar. We’re super excited for him to join us,” he said.
The two bands have a connection that has followed them through their careers. Starting out as one-off acts in small bars in the area, their popularity brought them to stages as big as the Civic Arena in St. Joseph and the Uptown Theater in Kansas City.
Cooper said it’s something B.O.C.C. didn’t expect, but they appreciate that they have a loyal enough following to consistently pack whatever venue they play.
“It would have been just as easy for it to go the other way. People (would) have enjoyed it for a year or two and then been like, ‘Oh man. That’s old hat now.’ We would have just been that thing that we used to do in 2008. It could have so easily been that and that’s why I never ever take any of them for granted,” he said.
Bransfield agreed. For Dolewite to go from being an accidental success at one of the old bars he once managed to headlining in Kansas City is bewildering.
“It’s always exciting coming home again to play. These shows are always special to us,” he said.
A fun coincidence for both is they used to play The Metropolitan together back when it was the bar and music venue Room 107, which Bransfield managed. It’s now run by B.O.C.C. lead singer Chris Clark and his wife, Claire.
“It’s kind of strange being back. I thought about that the last time we were there. I love what the Clarks have done with the place from the pictures I’ve seen,” he said.
Through the years, the two bands have bounced around from venues, including long-lost spots like No Place to packing a ton of people into former haunts like the American Legion.
Receiving the news that advanced tickets sold out, Cooper said it brings him a lot of joy that people are still pumped to see them all together.
“It’s such a cool feeling ... It’s just freaking cool to have an advanced sellout like that,” he said.
Knowing people build their long weekend around the show, with some using it as a reunion of sorts, is always a good feeling too.
“It’s something like 16 years now as a band, (we were) supposed to be one show, (now), people have built their little holiday traditions around this and still come to see us and still have fun,” he said.
While advanced tickets are sold out, tickets will be available at the entrance, as capacity allows. Tickets are $20 and only available by paying cash.