The Hippo


Jun 26, 2019








Beautiful Losers. Courtesy photo.

Beautiful Losers: Bob Seger Tribute (Charlie Farren opens)

When: Friday, Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester
Tickets: $25 at 

Play to the song
Seger tribute band hits Palace stage

By Michael Witthaus

 The seven members of Beautiful Losers are more than a Bob Seger tribute band; they are the among the best musicians in New Hampshire. 

Drummer David Stefanelli will be off to Europe for his latest tour with Godsmack frontman Sully Erna after their Sept. 8 stop at Manchester’s Palace Theatre. The rest of the group have decades of experience performing in the region — each is Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours personified.
Leading the spirited rock ’n’ roll crew is Devin Cordeiro, and though he’s surrounded by the cream of the crop, good chops aren’t what sealed the deal for guys like guitarist Nate Comp, keyboard player Steve Baker, bassist Tim Archibald and a horn section of Carl and David Ayotte.
“The main thing is that they’re Seger fans,” Cordeiro said by telephone recently. “I didn’t want to get a heavy metal guy who was a shredder but didn’t care about the music. ... It’s all about playing to the song, and to do that you’ve gotta love it.” 
The band stays in the sweet spot of Seger’s career, from his first big hit, “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,” to his 1982 LP, The Distance.  
Cordeiro said his favorite song is “Against the Wind,” because Seger’s everyman lyrics speak to him. Ditto the more uptempo “Brave Strangers,” rarely played by Seger but a regular part of Beautiful Losers’ set. 
“If you’re asking me  which song rocks the hardest, though, I’d have to say ‘Bo Diddley’ from the Live Bullet album,” he said.
Cordeiro latched onto Michigan’s favorite son at age 6, saving up shoveling and paper money to see Seger and the Silver Bullet Band at Boston Garden four years later. 
“It was October 1980, the night he recorded ‘Nine Tonight,’” he said. “I was hooked from then on.” 
Codeiro is lead singer in popular cover band Last Laugh; when he drops in an occasional Seger reference — “a little free jam verse, that kind of thing”  — his bandmates “don’t get it.” 
When he conceived of a Seger tribute band, he was inspired by Beatlejuice, the all-star Beatles tribute act once led by late Boston singer Brad Delp. 
“They don’t look a thing like them, but does anyone sound better?” he asked. “You can feel the love when they’re on stage.”
He sought top players, never believing they’d all say yes. 
“I hit the jackpot,” he said. “Now, I just look forward to rehearsing with them. ... The music is so good.” 
Stefanelli, with his connections to another great live act of Seger’s era, the J. Geils Band — the drummer has played with Geils lead vocalist Peter Wolf — was a key recruit. 
“I looked around at all the guys I’d known after all my years in the business and thought, who would be a fit for this, who would be a fit for that? I literally went for the top,” he said. “I figured, the worst they could say was no — why not get the best?”
When the group’s first bass player offered his services, Cordeiro quizzed him, asking for the name of the Silver Bullet Band’s bassist. 
“He told me Chris Campbell, and I said, ‘You’re in.’ No one but a real fan knows that,” he said.
The group’s reputation even found its way to the source, Cordeiro reports. A few years back, he Facebook-friended Charlie Martin, the drummer on Live Bullet who was tragically paralyzed in a car accident days after the album’s release. 
Along with telling stories of Seger’s early career, like playing to thousands at Detroit’s Silverdome one night, followed by a Chicago club date the next, Martin sized up Beautiful Losers after watching rehearsal videos. 
“He said, ‘There’s a ton of Seger cover bands in Michigan, way too many,’” Cordeiro said. “Then he told me, ‘You smoked ‘em all.’”
Because of band members’ many regular commitments, Beautiful Losers has played infrequently since forming in 2013, so every show is special. 
Cordeiro promises the band’s hometown show will be “no frills, no confetti bombs, just seven guys up there kicking ass to the songs, recreating the live feel. It will be a trip back in time to 1979.” 

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