Two bands take the stage for Eagles Tribute concert at the Fair

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News

On Friday, the Fabulous Armadillos & Collective Unconscious take the stage at the Chippewa County Fair to collectively perform their Eagles Tribute show beginning at 8:30 p.m. Greg Armstrong, of Fabulous Armadillos says this show has been a couple of years in the making as they’ve been communicating with the Fair Board to make a date work with the band’s busy schedule.

The two bands came together in 2009. “There was a theater owner who suggested we try it, so we did and it was such a good reaction, we’ve been playing that show ever since. We’ve done hundreds of shows together now,” says Armstrong. Fabulous Armadillos started officially in 2006, after three members of the band who have been playing together for over 30 years, formed the band with others from the St. Cloud and Twin Cities areas. The Collective Unconscious consists of three band members from around the St. Cloud area. “They’re known for doing vocal kinds of shows with songs by the Beach Boys and Crosby, Stills, and Nash…things with big vocal harmonies in them,” says Armstrong. “Fabulous Armadillos were also known for doing things like that but adding a little rock edge on it.”

With the two bands coming together on one stage for this show, there are nine band members total. “We’re much bigger than the Eagles, really, but when the Eagles go out and play they also have at least nine people on stage to cover all their parts. They sometimes have two or three keyboard players and other singers just to make their show sound like their recordings,” Armstrong says. A typical show lasts a little over two hours. “If you listen to the Eagles Greatest Hits album, we will play, I’m sure, every song on that album. We generally do the same set almost every night, but we add a little humor and a little fun to it, too,” says Armstrong. “We’re a little more fun than the real Eagles are. They don’t talk much to the crowd or involve the crowd. We try to involve the crowd as much as we can.

Armstrong says they try to make their performance solely about the sound, not focusing on dressing up to look like the Eagles as other tribute bands do. “Our thing is to replicate the records to make it sound as close to what you remember listening to as much as possible,” he says. “We change things up a little bit for ourselves just like the Eagles do, but we really pay attention to the details or their harmonies or their three or four guitars on stage.”

The band stays busy, playing around 150 shows a year pre-COVID. Last week alone, they opened for the Zac Brown band, played two additional shows after that, and then performed at Moondance Jam.  “Since the mandate has been lifted, things all of a sudden perked up really fast,” says Armstrong. “We weren’t sure anything was going to happen in 2021 and now we are full-on busy.” Armstrong says he, personally, is excited to come to Montevideo for the show at the Fair. “I used to go to Monte all the time as a kid. My grandparents lived there, my mom grew up there, my uncle Doug Pederson and Marie Pederson still live in the area,” he says. “The band is excited too. We just don’t get over to the west side of the state as much as we would like to.”

For more information about Fabulous Armadillos, check out their website at: https://fabulousarmadillos.com/.