Wedding Banned redefines cover band by ‘shredding’

By Sabreena Saleem

The excitement of the Blackhawks’ winning game Saturday night didn’t stop Wedding Banned from performing at Rosy’s Roadhouse, 930 Pappas Drive.

Although the show was scheduled to start at 10 p.m., it didn’t begin until 11:30 p.m. after the Blackhawks game ended.

With covers of classic American songs like Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” and Blink-182’s “All the Small Things,” Wedding Banned turned a crowd of less than 50 people into a bar-wide sing-a-long.

The start of the night wasn’t promising, as the band performed two songs in regular attire while a small group of Blackhawks fans surrounded the TV screens around the bar.

When I think “cover band,” I usually imagine a karaoke set with instruments; however, I was thoroughly impressed by both vocalists and the “shredding” guitarist to the right of the stage. They were receptive to requests without straying too far away from their set list and I enjoyed their quick snippets of Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down” and the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” at the audience’s request.

After an hour-long break and a band wardrobe change, their real set began with a dramatic entrance and recorded announcement introducing the five-man band as “not suitable for minors” and “banned in three countries.”

The group was dressed in wigs, fake mustaches and sunglasses. The lead vocalist was dressed in a suit and top hat while one member sported extremely short shorts and a sweatband on his head.

Wedding Banned played a diverse selection of music, including “La Bamba” for Cinco de Mayo, Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake it for Me)” and 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” where the band allowed girls from the crowd to dance on stage.

The eventually much larger crowd was as diverse as Wedding Banned’s song selection, and people were dressed in everything from Blackhawks jerseys and jeans to mini-dresses and heels.

As one of the few sober people in the room, I couldn’t totally get into the line dancing or air guitaring, but it was definitely entertaining to watch.

The set was also clearly suited for an older audience, as I found myself Googling certain throwbacks. Overall, I was impressed and couldn’t help but laugh at the band’s vulgar jokes and dance moves.