Crank up the volume for the Retro Concert Weekend

Vegas Gilmer rocks the crowd as frontman Axl Rose of Gunz n’fn’ Rozes.

Sun Peaks’ centre stage is getting ready to rock again with the third annual Retro Concert Weekend, formerly known as the “Retro Rock Weekend,” from August 17 to 19.

Six tribute bands representing The Beatles, Neil Young, Guns n’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and ABBA are on the roster to entertain crowds in this weekend of free outdoor music on the mountain.

“Live music is always a draw and tribute bands are a great (option),” says Brandi Schier, media and marketing coordinator for Tourism Sun Peaks. “It’s fun and different and a bit casual as well, so it really fits with the Sun Peaks atmosphere.”

Al “Vegas” Gilmer, the lead singer, aka Axl Rose, of Gunz n’ fn’ Rosez is enthusiastic about playing Sun Peaks for the first time.

“We played shows in Dubai, and I was on the Howard Stern show a few years ago,” says Gilmer, of the band’s exposure. “The band’s been doing a lot of shows in (the northern U.S.) but this is our first time in B.C.”

Gunz n’ fn’ Rosez is also comprised of Dave “Slash” Shannon and Rich “Izzy Stradlin” Green on guitars, Lee “Duff McKagan” Nichols on bass, and Dan “Steve Adler” La Pierre on drums. With over 10 years of experience performing GnR classics like “Sweet Child o’Mine” and “Paradise City,” Gilmer and his band have their GnR look and sound mastered.

“The music is all of the old classics that everyone knows and can sing to,” he says, “with that studio recording sound that people loved.”

Returning to Sun Peaks for its second time is The Led Zeppelin Show, a group of four 20-something musicians from Vancouver who aim to be the most authentic Led Zeppelin tribute band out there.

“It starts with the fact that we’re all in our early 20s which was the real ages of Zeppelin when they were at their peak and so we carry the look and the energy they had. We also study the music like crazy and we grew up listening to it so it’s a part of us,” explains Tyler Lindgrin, the band’s bassist. “People can expect a really authentic show, I believe we take it a step farther than they’ve seen in the past.”

The concert weekend is establishing itself in the resort community, and organizers are hoping to see 1,000 visitors turn out for the shows this year.

“Attendance doubled last year, that shows that it’s just exponentially growing,” says Schier. “All the bands that are coming had heard about this event, so it’s even gaining a bit of notoriety in their circle. (They’re) really excited about coming to play here.”

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Retro Concert Weekend collecting donations for the Kamloops Food Bank