The ’90s tribute concert you don’t want to miss

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Get out your flannel shirt, because Neighborhood Theatre is traveling back in time 20 years, for one night anyway. At 90’s Tribute to Benefit Levine Children’s Hospital on July 7, Charlotte bands will be playing songs from the 1990s for a good cause (not that Nirvana isn’t reason enough). The suggested donation amount is $10.

Justin Fedor of the bands Ancient Cities and The New Familiars started the benefit concert series in 2013 with a tribute to The Doors. Since then, Fedor has staged seven more tribute concerts, paying homage to The Everly Brothers, The Traveling Wilburys and Lou Reed, as well as the music of New York City, the ’80s, the ’70s and outlaw country.

So far, the series has raised almost $40,000 for Levine Children’s Hospital.

Tintype photo of Justin Fedor by Jeff Howlett

Some of the bands and artists performing at the show are Ancient Cities, Jason Scavone, Modern Primitives with Astrea Corp, Sam the Lion, The Business People, The Wormholes, RevelWood Mission, Maya Beth Atkins, Good Bones, members of Faye & Late Bloomer and Evergone.

They’ll be playing songs by Soundgarden, Nirvana, Green Day, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, TLC and more.

“I tried to reach as many different genres as I possibly could. I want to get a diverse crowd there,” Fedor said. “I don’t think this is a concert series that’s tailored to any one specific demographic. I’d like to see a diverse group of people that represents more of Charlotte.”

Also, don’t expect note-for-note renditions of the originals. One of the entertaining aspects of these shows is seeing each band’s interpretation.

“Sam the Lion always does interesting takes,” Fedor said. “They did the Traveling Wilburys tribute. They were Roy Orbison. Instead of just covering the songs, they put their artistic spin on them. They’re sort of a down-tempo psychedelic band, so really ‘trance-y.’ And this time around they’re doing TLC. I really look forward to seeing how they can take a song like ‘Waterfalls’ and make it psychedelic and moody.”

Whenever Fedor announces the lineup, he receives requests from more people who’d like to perform, so this year he’s giving everyone a chance through karaoke. Between bands, Bryan Pierce, who runs the Bone Snugs-N-Harmony weekly karaoke party at Snug Harbor, will be opening the stage to any and all singers, who can choose any ’90s song to perform.

Jeff Howlett of Howlermano Photography will be offering tintype photography sessions to audience members. These photographs are even more of a throwback than the music, looking more 1890 than 1990. He’ll be donating profits to Levine Children’s Hospital.

Cheers CLT, Maxx Music, Neighborhood Theatre, Birdsong Brewing, Free Range Brewing and DrumStrong are sponsoring the show. The musicians are all donating their time as well.

Fedor points out that the concert series is a true community effort because, even though we community members may disagree on many things, this charitable cause is not one of them.

“I think we can all agree that kids don’t deserve to have cancer and leukemia and that children do deserve to be taken care of,” he said.

Photos: Justin Fedor, Jeff Howlett

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