Red Rebel County brings Ireland to Otto’s

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Sarah Contreras

Need a way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo as well as blow off some steam before finals?

Red Rebel County will take the stage 9 p.m. Saturday at Otto’s Nightclub, 118 E. Lincoln Highway.

Since the band formed in 2009, Red Rebel County has made a name for itself as the “premier” Dropkick Murphys/Flogging Molly cover band. Their aim is to turn every venue they visit into nothing short of an alcohol-and-delight fueled sing along.

Touting an impressive set list of over 30 songs by bands like Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly and Mumford & Sons, the band has carved out a name for itself in the Midwest as well as across the country.

Hailing from Chicago’s South Side, Red Rebel County prides itself on its decidedly blue-collar roots. The music they play is a blend of traditional Irish drinking songs, Irish rock and foot-stomping folk rock — their music is that of the traditional South Side working man. In fact, Red Rebel County has played multiple shows for the Chicago Police Department, the very epitome of the blue-collar soul of Chicago.

Making a name for one’s self by covering the music of beloved bands sounds like a tricky feat to accomplish. But a quick glance at the cover bands that often visit DeKalb shows a high demand for a pseudo-rock star concert experience. Beatles cover band American English draws a huge crowd every time it comes through, while Modern Day Romeos entertains fans with more current songs. The key seems to be finding a way to maintain the integrity of the music fans love while also giving it a fresh spin.

“I would gladly go to see a band cover some of my favorite songs as long as admission isn’t too much,” said senior English major Monica Geick. “I’m not willing to fork over more that $10 to see a cover band pretend to be another band. Cover bands shouldn’t play for money, but rather to honor the band’s music they’re playing and to have a good time with an audience that loves the same music they do.”

A sampling of Red Rebel County’s music confirms the fact that the band is more than dedicated to honoring their musical heroes. Covering the music of bands like the Pogues and Flatfoot 56 is no easy feat, but the ten-piece band wields their fiddles and banjos with energy and aplomb. Red Rebel County treats each show as their “own special version of a drunken Irish ho-down” — it’d be a shame to miss out on such a high-spirited spectacle.