Shark Attack: Smash Mouth devours The Great Cover Up

Annie Bartholomew/Sun Star Reporter
March 27, 2012

"Young Fangs" Joshua LaBuda, 22-year-old bass guitarist and singer, and drummer Joel Fagree, 22, perform Kings of Leon songs at The Great Cover-Up on March 25, 2012. Fernanda Chamorro/Sun Star

The Great Cover up is the only event at UAF where folkies play rap songs and local musicians strip to their underwear for the crowd.

“The Great Cover Up is one big secret, and a lot of rumor spreading,” UAF Concert Board advisor Cody Rogers said. On Saturday, March 24, the decade-long tradition continued in the Wood Center Ballroom with eight bands, twenty-minute sets, and a screaming audience of UAF students.

The concert board does not hold auditions to determine their lineup, instead accepting bands on a first come, first serve basis. The roster has been filled for the last month.

The line-up is unknown even to the organizers. On Saturday, three bands were no-shows, and at the last minute band members from Not Enough Flannel came through with a seven-minute Ludacris set with vocalist Meghan Packee rapping over Eli Barry-Garland’s acoustic guitar. The folk duo dedicated the song “What’s Your Fantasy” to Great Coverup student organizer Rosemarie Paz, while the crowed clapped and sang along.

The big name on everyone’s lips Saturday night was Shark Week, made up of Eli Barry-Garland, Jack Bennet, Chandra File, Matt Harris, Luke Nielsen, Meghan Packee and Jacob Teague.

“We’re known as cool kids. There’s a reason I’m wearing shorts in the winter,” Shark Week frontwoman Meghan Packee  said backstage as her band mates talked about other bands they wished they could have covered. Somehow a chorus of “S.O.S.” by ABBA broke out and Shark Week sang the Swedish pop sensation in full falsetto.  “One of these days we’ll just get drunk and learn an entire ABBA set,” Packee said.

Shark Week opened with “Beer Goggles” by nineties pop-rock band Smash Mouth and continued to play favorites, including “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby” and “Walking on the Sun.” When the band played “All Star” the audience erupted in cheers and the entire audience sang along. After the band finished the song, audience members shouted, “Play it again!” and “How will you top that?” Shark Week played on with  the Monkees hit and Smash Mouth cover ‘I’m a Believer.”

In addition to Shark Week’s Smash Mouth covers, The Big Bang Attack did a shirtless Red Hot Chilli Peppers set. Vocalist Sam McKeirnan stripped down to his boxers during the song “Tell Me Baby.”  Great Cover Up favorite the Young Fangs brought back last year’s Kings of Leon set.

The Great Cover Up started in 2000 at the Wood Center Pub as a fundraiser for the Fairbanks Literacy Council, giving local bands an opportunity to emulate their favorite musical acts. Since 2007, the Concert Board has been able to accommodate all audiences by hosting a 21-and-over event at the Pub and an all-ages show at the Wood Center Ballroom. This year’s proceeds from the Wood Center event will go to the local non-profit Circle K International to fund the March of Dimes walk. The Great Cover Up will continue at the Pub on Saturday, March 31, at 8p.m. with thirteen bands and even more new covers. And rumor has it the Strokes will be there.


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1 Response

  1. Eli Barry-Garland says:

    How do we go about getting copies of the photos? I’m in the band Shark Week and we would love some hi-res copies of these. Thanks for the great article Annie!

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