Twenty five (yes, that’s 25) bands are set to descend on the Mad Hatter Saturday night for An Ode to No One, a Smashing Pumpkins tribute show so ridiculously massive that it’s got to be a Guinness Book contender. —-
Organizer Matt Ogden was also the man behind I Might Be Wrong, last year’s Radiohead tribute show, an idea he says started out as a goof on one of his buddy’s band’s drummers—the only non-Radiohead fan in the group—and turned out to be a resounding success. But the causes for which these bands rock out marathon-style are no joke. Like it was with I Might Be Wrong, An Ode to No One’s purpose is threefold: to promote and support local bands, businesses and non-profits. All proceeds will go to benefit Kids Count, Inc., a Northern Kentucky organization that contracts therapists to help children with developmental delays and other special needs. To put together the show, Ogden teamed up again this year with his friend and former co-worker, Ginger Cumbee, Kids Count’s director of development. The two have big plans and high hopes for Saturday.
The Mad Hatter’s stage will turn into an alt-rock assembly line as a wide variety of bands churn out their favorite tunes—one song per band, and all of them penned by those perennial Pumpkins: Corgan, Iha, Chamberlain and D’Arcy. Genres range from Emo to stompin’ Bluegrass Rock to Hip Hop to Indie Pop to Electronica. Expect some interesting interpretations; to give you an idea of how out-there things will get, Ogden (who is also performing with his own band, The Creation Museum) told me he plans to regale the crowd with a super-synthesized version of “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning” under his solo pseudonym, A Tether in Space. He’ll be using only computers. Personally, I’m hoping he gives it the chopped-and-screwed treatment. He’s also looking forward to a band called Larry Gates, which he calls “Rap Rock, but not like Korn—more like The Neptunes.”
For such a huge event with such a massive roster, you might be expecting to pay out the wazoo for admission, but it turns out An Ode to No One is priced generously, which makes it clear that Ogden isn’t just doing this for the kids but also for the people.
“I wanted to provide a big, huge show not for seven or 10 dollars, but for five,” he says. That’s right. Twenty five bands for five bucks. Even if you’re not a Pumpkins fan looking to relive your awkward adolescence, showing up might still be worth your while, because they’ll also be raffling off prizes from local businesses.