Funtastic Alberni is kicking it back to the 1980s on Canada Day weekend with some of North America’s elite tribute bands, as well as a few local favourites. While the days will be filled with slo-pitch action on many of Port Alberni’s ball fields, the nights are reserved for mullets, big hair and denim vests festooned with patches from your fave ’80s rock bands.
Port Alberni’s own ‘Stranger than Fiction’ kicks off the musical entertainment part of Funtastic on Sunday, June 29 at Bob Dailey Stadium, which will be ground zero for the music portion of the annual event.
The airwaves will then turn British, as Funtastic welcomes Hysteria, the ultimate tribute to English rockers Def Leppard. Hysteria provides an explosive 90-minute show featuring all of Def Leppard’s hits complete with powerful, melodic performances, signature guitar riffs and an authentic Def Leppard look.
As the sun sets, organizers hope the Valley is ready to rock and roll all night, because Ikons will be in the house to bring Kiss to Bob Dailey Stadium. Ikons is Alberta’s own Kiss tribute band and they have been going strong for 10 years. Expect authentic Kiss makeup and smokin’ guitars from these rockers when they hit the stage around 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 30 the Funtastic concert will kick off with 2018’s Zatzoo Battle of the Bands winner ‘Sean Lyons’ and the Good Boys. They are a favourite of Jason Samson, who books all the entertainment for Funtastic.
Lyons introduced The Good Boys in the summer of 2018 as a backup band for his set at the annual Five Acre Shaker music festival—where he earned a performance after winning the Zatzoo Battle of the Bands. The Good Boys feature Lucas Bosma (guitar), Erik Erickson (bass and guitar), Nick Harper (guitar and bass), Avian Marinakis (keyboards) and Russ Hiltz (drums).
Over several months of performing Lyons’ original tracks in various venues between Vancouver Island and the Mainland, the group is now moving towards a focused blend of alternative rock originals written by the group as a whole, in addition to Lyons’ solo originals.
Just in case people aren’t feeling the musical vibe, Samson made sure to have a “Dr.” on hand to make you “feel good”, so you can get your Motley Crüe fix with ‘Live Wire’. Based in Alberta, Live Wire has the costumes, instruments and staging that hearkens back to the band’s Shout at the Devil era. Together for the past five years, Live Wire plays all the Motley Crue hits as well as a few surprises.
What ’80s theme would be complete without bringing back Funtastic alumni and the undisputed kings of rock? Get ready Sunday night for some high voltage rock n’ roll with Who Made Who.
This AC/DC tribute band tours Canada full time and has a rock solid record of delivering hard rock and roll to sold out venues across the country.
Their lead singer emulates both Brian Johnson and Bon Scott with accuracy, and each band member performs detailed impersonations with trademark outfits “and Marshalls loud enough to make your ears bleed.” Who Made Who performers have more than 30 years of experience in the music industry.
“Only AC/DC does it better,” they say.
The 2019 Funtastic event marks the sixth year Funtastic has been in Port Alberni. This year they hope to have a record 87 teams entered. In 2018 there were 80 teams competing in slo-pitch and a costume contest for best dressed-up team. All in all, a fun weekend for Canada Day.
Wristbands for both nights are available exclusively at Trends Design, 4663 Margaret St., for $30 (cash only). For more information, go online to funtasticalberni.com.