NJ Woodstock tribute offers evidence that cover bands are taking over the world

NJ cover bands

The Let It All Hang Out Fest will take place Aug. 23-25 at the Waterloo concert field in Stanhope.

Anyone who keeps a close eye on bookings at New Jersey music venues, as I do, will have noticed that over the past few years, cover bands are becoming more prevalent than ever, on even the state’s biggest stages. Fittingly, perhaps, even the three-day Let It All Hang Out Fest, a Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration planned for Aug. 23-25 at the Waterloo Concert Fields in Stanhope, is dominated by cover bands.

With the possible exception of Sha Na Na, the spirit of the original Woodstock festival, which took place in August 1969, was about fresh, new sounds. Let It All Hang Out, though, seems to mainly be about imitating what was fresh and new a half century ago.

More than half the Let It All Hang Out acts currently listed are devoted to covers. More original acts may be added, obviously. But the flavor of the festival is unlikely to change.

Acts listed for Aug. 23, billed as “Home Grown Day,” include C.C. Coletti, Anthony Krizan, Everyday People (Sly & the Family Stone tribute), Joe Cirotti, Whiskey Crossing, Jaded Past, Nick Colavito, the Andrea Nies Band, and School of Rock Randolph.

On the bill for Aug. 24: “American Idol” alumnus Constantine Maroulis, Tuesday’s Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute), Who’s Next (The Who tribute) and CSNsongs (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tribute).

Closing the festival on Aug. 25: Kiss the Sky (Jimi Hendrix tribute), Experience Janis (Janis Joplin tribute), El Viaje (Santana tribute), Back to the Garden (Woodstock tribute) and Splintered Sunlight (Grateful Dead tribute).

Festival hours are listed as noon to 9 p.m. daily. Prices are $50 in advance, $65 at the gate, per day; $80 for two days; or $120 for all three. There is also a $12 parking fee.

For information, visit njrockfest.com.

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