Daft Punk tribute band to get lucky in Breckenridge this weekend
September 27, 2013
There's no need for alarm, however, as this invasion is planned and, in fact, welcome. The performance, entitled "One More Time," is a tribute to the French electronic band Daft Punk, which released its fourth album, "Random Access Memories," over the summer.
The duo behind the show, Ben and Ron, have been performing as a Daft Punk tribute for the past three years and said that they have the program down to a T. That means making the experience as authentic as possible, from the pyramid-shaped stage and a vast array of lighting options to wearing giant helmets and light-up suits.
The two even prefer to keep their names out of it, preferring to go only by first names, first initials, or, even better, by no names at all.
"It's just like what the band does," Ron said. "They cover their face, like we cover our names, leave the audience thinking. It's like a costume. We want (the audience) to feel like this is Daft Punk."
Ron and Ben first donned Daft Punk helmets three years ago as a fun Halloween costume.
"We put these things on and as we were walking down the streets in Tuscon (Ariz.) people thought we were legitimately Daft Punk," Ron said with a laugh, "and we thought, 'Are we on to something?'"
It turns out, they were. Contacts at the first party passed them on to another Daft Punk themed party, "and that party led to another party and so on and so forth," said Ron. "It just kind of happened. It happened so fast, faster than we could catch up with. We just ran with it."
Ron and Ben estimate it took them about two years to polish and finalize their act. They added lights, changed up the costumes once or twice and drew up stage specs until they created the show as it is now, a dazzling display of light and sound.
"We have a big pyramid that has an LED screen on it, so it's all video, moving lights that can do anything from laser beams to color washes, spins, and we have light bars, and it kind of adds to the dynamic that all these things work together via our lighting designer," said Ben, "and he orchestrates this visual show while Ron and I do the video curtain and the music behind it; it's all put together at once."
The helmets are heavy and sometimes get hot and difficult to see out of, the two admitted, but by now it's no longer a problem.
"We're so used to getting in and out of those things," Ron said. "It's just like wearing another article of clothing. It's just second nature."
In addition to the large helmets, they wear jackets embellished with lighting cables, recalling the 2010 movie "Tron: Legacy," for which Daft Punk wrote the score.
"We're literally plugged into the wall," said Ben with a laugh.
As it turns out, the past few years have been a great time to be a Daft Punk tribute band, with the "Tron: Legacy" soundtrack and the new "Random Access Memories" album keeping the band in the public eye and mind. Since Daft Punk hasn't announced any touring plans surrounding its new release, groups like Ben and Ron are stepping in to fill the void.
Of the new album, Ron said he's the most excited about the first track, entitled "Give Life Back to Music."
The two are also, of course, big fans of the band's previous work as well.
"Probably one of my favorite tracks is 'Short Circuit,' which we're potentially trying to work on a remix of," Ben said. "I really like all of the new stuff because I feel like it really changed the game, just as Daft Punk did in the beginning with electronic music, making more of an influence on disco, now the new album tying it back together with live bands, live instruments and some pretty famous people. I think if it wasn't for that CD release, many people wouldn't know who Daft Punk was. (They) brought everyone back together."
For Ben and Ron, their main goal is to get the audience excited and drawn in to the Daft Punk experience.
"I hope that after they see our performance they feel like they not only saw the best stylized Daft Punk show, but also they can leave with the feeling that they've actually seen Daft Punk," Ron said. "It's rare to impossible that they'll ever play a show live or (do a) U.S. tour, and if then, how many shows are they going to play? I feel it's our duty to do the best that we can so they don't feel like they missed anything."
Ben agreed, adding that Breckenridge is the last stop of the duo's tour this year and that energy is high.
"We're going to send this one off with a bang," he said.