Cover Up: 'Halloween for musicians'
CHAMPAIGN — Drummer Joe Fun (aka Funderburk) is starting to get dressed for his band's appearance at the Great Cover Up.
"Who's got my tutu?" he asks a friend.
On Thursday night at the Highdive nightclub in downtown Champaign, he is putting together an extreme '90s look. His band, We The Animals, takes on ska band No Doubt in the 23rd iteration of the Cover Up, which bandmate Kayla Brown calls "Halloween for musicians."
Organized by Ward Gollings, the Great Cover Up has some bands who goof on the material — and others who treat it reverently.
On this night, Fun, 32, who works as a farmhand while not at his drums, borrowed the tutu from a friend.
His mohawk is impeccable. Other than hair dye — which turns him from a ginger to a (mostly) blond — and black lipstick, he didn't spend much money on his look.
But Fun spent a lot of time with a razor. He shaved his beard, as well as his chest hair.
"I always shave the chest hair anyway," he says. "If I didn't, I'd look like Manimal."
Brown, 29, spends much of her time as a registered nurse. This night, she is spending it as Gwen Stefani, lead singer of No Doubt.
She spent about $20 on bright red lipstick from Sephora and maybe $50 more on accessories.
Brown has a bare midriff to match Stefani's, a blond wig and sparkles around her eyes. Oh, and she spent $40 for the banana costumes worn by Terry Boyer and Mike Ingram in the big finale.
Several musicians Thursday bought vintage clothing at Dandelion in downtown Champaign.
Guitarist Mark Wyman, 32, who works as an audio engineer, is relatively tame with his '90s outfit, featuring the ubiquitous necktie.
"I didn't spend anything. I pulled this stuff out of my closet," he said.
Bass player Mikael Brackett runs an organic farm by day. He's the biggest fan of No Doubt among the foursome. To honor the era, he wears a tracksuit.
"I got this at Wal-Mart," he says, adding, "I don't usually shop there."
We The Animals are joined by a four-piece brass section and two back-up singers, Megan Johns and Joanna Troutman.
Bass trombone player and arranger Reggie Chapman bought a cardigan to wear in the show, which he likes, will continue to wear and doesn't consider an expense.
Not far away in the reddish Green Room, Andrew Kling of Dirty Feathers is getting six-pack abs painted on his torso by Emily Gorski, who uses concealer and bronzer for the effect. The band is doing Iggy Pop and the Stooges, so shirtless and dangerous is the order of the day.
Finally, We The Animals takes stage. Though they're a pretty new band, having only performed a half-dozen times, they do a perfect No Doubt.
Brown sings five songs, including the big hits "Don't Speak" and "Just a Girl," both from the "Tragic Kingdom" album.
She and her back-up singers do a ska jumpy dance. Bananas dance.
Under the tin ceiling of the former movie theater, there's not enough room for the audience to dance, but there's a sort of group sway — in time to the music — as crowd members jockey for a good view. Some people slosh their beers as they bump each other. A guy with Christmas lights around his head wanders toward the bar.
But it's all over in about 20 minutes, and No Doubt goes back to being We The Animals, and after a few hours' sleep, to their day jobs.
Some of the bands covered at the 2014 Great Cover Up:
Coheed and Cambria
Iggy Pop and the Stooges
The Jackson 5
Pedro the Lion
Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre