On May 5 of this year, now forever to be remembered as Seger de Mayo, a band sporting Oakleys and jean vests played to a crowd swilling beers and cocktails in the parking lot of the Iron Horse Brew Pub. It was the debut show for Close, But No Seger, a tribute act to Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, but given the pumped-up reaction from showgoers, it felt like the band was somehow already at its peak. Some people came to the show because the musicians are well known in Missoula's rock, punk and Americana scenes (including past and current members of the David Bowie tribute band Glass Spiders). Others came because they love Bob Seger and Bob Seger will never play Missoula. (OK, anything's possible, but Bob Seger will definitely never play the Iron Horse parking lot.) Close, But No Seger delivered all the hits, "Against the Wind," "We've Got Tonight," and "Hollywood Nights," plus some more obscure tracks and even "Shakedown," Seger's contribution to the Beverly Hills Cop II soundtrack. The band nailed the strutting but tender sweet spot as frontman Travis Yost channeled Seger's gravelled vocals. Lighters were raised. Bad dancing was done. And as the sun set, band and audience seemed united in purpose as we all sang to "Night Moves" without shame, and not a hint of irony.
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