Break out those studded wrist bands and leave your hair long as you make plans to see one of the next tribute bands coming to The Talent Factory in Nevada.
Take it from the Bear — that’s Michael “Bear” Clair, spokesperson for Angus Khan, America’s Ultimate AC/DC Tribute Band — you don’t want to miss this performance.
“This [AC/DC tribute] band gives a complete tribute show that brings a lot of homage to AC/DC (the 1970s-formed hard rock, blues rock, heavy metal band).” AC/DC is remembered for hit songs like “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and Angus Khan will play all the biggest AC/DC hits during its upcoming show.
With some of the original AC/DC members being lost to death, “this tribute band (Angus Khan) gives you a chance to see what it was like” when AC/DC was in its prime.
On May 25, starting at 7 p.m. Angus Khan, along with opening act — tribute band Hack Sabbath, which pays tribute to Ozzy Osbourne’s Black Sabbath — will take the audience back to the ’80s when the Monsters of Rock tour brought heavy metal to the forefront.
Hack Sabbath, based right here in Cedar Falls, will start the show at 7 p.m. and play full-on Ozzy for about 45 minutes — then Angus Khan takes the stage for a 90-minute performance that Clair calls nothing short of “amazing.”
“This band gives you a chance to see what it was like (in the days of AC/DC). If you’re an AC/DC fan, we have a lot of video that goes up on screens showing AC/DC,” Clair said. Hands down, he promises, Angus Khan is the number-one AC/DC tribute band in the world. Based out of Australia, “these guys are their own entity altogether. They’re not a tribute band in the normal sense of the word. They make fun of themselves a lot and create these really cool characters, both on and off stage. But, (when they are on stage) what a show they put on. It will probably be the biggest light show that’s ever been in The Talent Factory.”
For AC/DC fans, here’s a rundown of the AC/DC characters portrayed:
Angus Khan (not only the band’s name, but also the name of this band member) plays AC/DC’s main character, Angus Young. Said Clair, “He’s (Khan) spot on. Everybody who has seen him says it’s like watching Angus Young when he was a kid.”
Malcolm Young, who was Angus Young’s brother and who just passed away last year, is portrayed as the guitar player.
Pheelup, Clair laughs as he says this stage name which ends in adult-humor fashion. We’ll let readers go to the band’s website for the full name. Clair said these band members have a really great time with adult humor. Pheelup portrays AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd.
Two singers represent the two time periods of the band, giving the audience glimpses of both AC/DC’s early singer Bon Scott, who died and was then replaced by Brian Johnson.
Last of the band members portrayed is Cliff Williams. His stage name, Blair said, is Clef (find the last part of his name online). Clair said Clef is a band member of few words. All he will ever say is, “I play bass,” no matter what the question is.
Tribute acts are big
Clair has been in the entertainment business — including a stint as a pro wrestler — for 40 years and has worked as a manager/spokesperson for many bands, especially tribute bands. “Tribute acts are where the money is; they’re making more money than any other genre,” he said. “I was reading that last year, tribute bands made $300 billion worldwide.”
Obviously, tribute bands have been a huge success for Nevada’s Talent Factory in the past two years, as owner Larry Sloan has brought in artists paying tribute to everyone from Toby Keith to The Carpenters to Frank Sinatra and The Beatles. In fact, Clair has hooked up some of his acts with The Talent Factory already. He’s helped Elvis and Johnny Cash (Joseph Hall and Paul Eve) with booking in Nevada and has already booked a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute artist, Harley Hamm, to come to The Talent Factory on July 12. Clair also works with Karie Skogman, who does a Joan Jett tribute show, and said she’ll be coming to The Talent Factory later this year.
Originally from Shellsburg, Iowa, Clair traveled and lived all over the country, and then came back to his home state to settle with his wife and kids in Mount Auburn, a little burg north of Vinton. “There’s a population of about 112, including the cats,” he said.
Getting back to the May 25 show of Angus Khan, Clair said he will be at the show, as he just loves listening to this band.
“For me, it’s about the music. These guys really pay attention to the subtleties in the music and they nail it… I just close my eyes and it’s like being there (all those years ago). They sound exactly like AC/DC.”
But fans won’t want to close their eyes for long. Because it’s not only about hearing, but also seeing this band and interacting with them. In fact, that’s one reason, Clair said, that the band is coming to The Talent Factory — to be closer to fans. In an arena performance, the band ends up 20 to 30 feet away from the fans. These guys want to be closer and interact with the people who come to the show.
“They don’t hide backstage, they go out and mingle. The audience will be harassed thoroughly,” Clair promised. “These guys… make new fans wherever they go. They will be there until the last person leaves; that’s the kind of people they are. They (the band members) are AC/DC’s biggest fans and for them, it’s about hanging out with all the people who appreciate the music.”
Clair said they’ve made the ticket cost for Nevada as “cheap as we can” to make it affordable to anyone who wants to see the show. Tickets are selling for $20 in advance (go to www.iowatalentfactory.com) or call The Talent Factory, 515-382-0085, to reserve your tickets now. Check out more about Angus Khan at the band’s official website: https://akdc.rocks/.
Michael “Bear” Clair is looking for sponsors for shows — people or businesses in the community — to help keep great shows coming and keep the local theater going. If you are interested, please email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.