Northern Tributaries Channel Rock Gods And Fool Me At The Icehouse


There are tribute bands and there are super groups. But  super group tribute band covering not one but 4 different bands made up of local musicians? This I had to see. So I found myself pulling into my favorite Icehouse parking spot (you know the one right outside the door that I seem to catch more often than not) curious what the night would bring.

A bit of an introduction first. Northern Tributaries (a brilliant band name if I may say so) is made up of members from several Twin Cities bands, The 4onthefloor, General B and the Wiz, Communist Daughter, and Silverback Colony. Looking at the band’s Facebook profile, it says “We play songs. The songs that you decide upon (ideally before the show.) “. Thursday night’s show was “Juggernauts Of Rock” so songs from Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, AC/DC and The Doors were on deck.

I was curious how Northern Tributes would handle the vastly different vocals that are so well known to everyone. Would they change singers? Or go with their interpretation of the singers’ voices? Turns out the band had 2 secret weapons: Gabriel Douglas and wigs……

When the first Led Zeppelin tunes started coming from the stage and the singer stepped up to the mic I was impressed but did not recognize him. My mind was searching through Twin Cities bands we had covered trying to find a match to the blond head of hair and the beard but came up empty. This set sounded great and the double headed guitar wielded on stage made it even more authentic.

After a few songs the singer left the stage and the rest of the band continued with Foo Fighter covers. I saw Gabriel standing at the bar while the Foo Fighters set was going on. Then he took the stage for the AC/DC set. As I took photos I noticed the same watch on him as the singer for the first set. The same shoes, pants….DUH!!!! Not my brightest moment :). 

After a couple more Foo Fighter songs, he returned for the Doors with yet another wig (and a different color shirt) but I was not fooled that time. I loved the cover of all 4 bands and was impressed by the range of vocals shown by Douglas. Northern Tributaries are a fairly new band but hold a lot of promise. Tribute bands are about fun and that was had aplenty by both fans and performers. So I have a challenge for your next show that stays with the classics: Give me a Donna Summer set!