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This past Saturday night, we saw the band Tributosaurus who, along with many special guests, performed songs from XTC‘s catalog.
I’ve been an XTC fan since my college days, and when I saw this video on the XTC fan site Chalkhills a few weeks ago, only a few seconds passed between my learning of the concert and the tickets’ showing up in my e-mail.
Tributosaurus refers to themselves as “the Jurassic beast of multiple musical faces, and every month, the beast morphs into a different rock group. The finest musicians from Chicagoland join the core group to sit in…to sing and play songs they’ve wanted to cover all their lives.” They pride themselves on their commitment to learn a brand-new set of material, note-for-note, every month.
Their objective is to recreate an artist’s music as it appeared on their records, not to give the impression that we were seeing a live performance by the artist. Tributosaurus’ dedication to XTC’s sound was amazing, and the group very faithfully recreated songs from the band’s catalog.
According to Chalkhills and the band’s keyboard player, Chris (whom I spoke with after the show), the XTC show is now an annual event for Tributosaurus.
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During “Earn Enough For Us,” for example, there were at least 8 or 9 people on stage, half of them with guitars, to ensure that jangly sound. On “Dear God” (shown above) they invited a young girl to sing the opening and closing lines, and on “1000 Umbrellas” the team was joined by the “Tributosaurus Strings” who provided the backdrop that matched the original arrangement on the album Skylarking.
The show was conducted almost in the style of a “staged reading,” in that the musicians and singers all brought their music with them as they came on stage. All the musical and vocal parts were shared by Tributosaurus and their guests, meaning no single performer took all the “Andy” or “Colin” parts during the show. Every single person who appeared on stage performed wonderfully.
I didn’t write down the set list while the show was going on, but someone who saw last year’s show posted this set list on the Sound Opinions forum, and it matches the show we saw very closely:
Making Plans For Nigel
Dear God
Earn Enough For Us
Statue of Liberty
Generals and Majors
Burning With Optimism’s Flames
Love on a Farmboy’s Wages
English Roundabout
Poor Skeleton Steps Out
1000 Umbrellas
Prince of Orange
Science Friction
When You’re Near Me I Have Difficulty
One of the Millions
It’s Nearly Africa
Mayor of Simpleton
No Thugs in Our House
The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead
“Senses Working Overtime” was the closer.
The show was at the Park West, which is still my absolute favorite place to see live music. (Evidently, this is XTC’s Dave Gregory’s favorite venue, too).
Tributosaurus plays regularly at Martyr’s, and I have a feeling we’ll be up there very soon. We suggest you check them out, too!

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