Pride Plays Best Of U2 At Paddy K’s
By Brian Magoolaghan
Ultimately, the true test of a tribute band is the front man’s voice; looks only matter so much, and great musicianship won’t save a singer that can’t hit the high notes.
Consider Sticky Fingers, a tribute to the Rolling Stones. The band is right on the money and the guys even resemble Mick and Keith – the problem is that the singer looks more, and sounds less, like Jagger. So the end result is a guy acting and not sounding like Mick Jagger – and the idea of anyone but Mick acting like Mick is utterly ridiculous.
Then there are bands like Odds and Sods, a tribute to The Who. The guitarist’s windmills, white bell-bottoms and Townshend-esque looks are convincing. The lead singer swings his microphone just like Roger Daltrey and sounds like him too – but ultimately can’t match his vocal range in the clutch moments. Whether it’s a tribute to Led Zeppelin or Dave Matthews, if the singer doesn’t sound like Robert Plant or Dave, the ship cannot be saved.
It’s rare to find a tribute band that does well in all categories – never mind one that is strongest in the most important one. Pride, the U2 tribute band that played at Paddy K’s last Friday, gives a great performance – and the front man is perfectly cast.
The band provides a solid musical foundation for Laird, who sings in Bono’s stead and even resembles the famous rocker. What’s better is that he sounds remarkably like the real deal. Laird matches the vocals on everything from the chorus of "Angel of Harlem" to the "who-hoos" of recent hit "Elevation."
With his leather jacket and a pair of wraparound sunglasses Laird is Bono-fide. Some might say he’s better than the real thing, because he doesn’t lecture about saving the world between songs, and takes the glasses off sometimes (Bono hasn’t removed his shades in ten years).
The other members of Pride are Justin Cermignani on guitar, vocals and knit cap (The Edge’s signature headwear), Joe Bertino as Adam Clayton on bass and vocals and Rockaway resident Sean Minardi as Larry Mullen on drums. Together they cover many of U2’s hits – old and new, with a few b-sides thrown in for the more well versed fans.
The band played on Paddy K’s outdoor deck, last Friday, and will return there on Saturday, October 1. In between, they have gigs on Long Island, Manhattan and at the Hard Rock Café in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
For more information on the band check out their website at www.Pride ofNYC.com