Transperformance returns to Look Park

  • F. Alex Johnson imperson- ates Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters at Transper-formance 26, “Labor Day!” Gazette file photo

  • Jon Carroll and BraveSoul perform as Robert Palmer during Transperformance 27, “Rock N Roll Heaven Revisited.”  Gazette file photo

For the Gazette
Published: 8/15/2018 4:01:54 PM

In the Valley, late August is traditionally marked by a number of milestones: the best of the corn crop, longer nights and (somewhat) cooler days, and a good-time concert full of musical impersonators.

This year is no exception, as the 28th annual Transperformance show, the end-of-summer festival that raises money for Northampton public schools, is set to take place on Tuesday at Look Park in Northampton.

The family-friendly event showcases local bands taking on the personas and playing the music of famous performers, each year with a different theme. For 2018, what’s being billed as “AmperBands!” will celebrate groups with an “&” in their title to honor the idea of connection and collaboration.

From the rock trio Colorway playing the tunes of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, to the acoustic string band Appalachian Still channeling Steve Earle & The Dukes, 17 bands are set to play from 4 to 9:30 P.M. at the Pines Theater at Look Park.

Also part of the lineup are Fancy Trash as Paul McCartney & Wings; Wishbone Zoe as Siouxsie & The Banshees; Steve Westfield and The Lonesome Brothers as Neil Young & Crazy Horse; Soul Magnets as Sly & The Family Stone; and The Volstead Act as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.

Past Transperformance themes have included “Beyond Bob” (Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bob Seger), “Food Groups” (Cream, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cranberries), and last year’s “Rock N Roll Heaven Revisited” (late artists like George Harrison, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Amy Whitehouse).

The event, organized by the Northampton Arts Council and Parent Teacher Organizations of Northampton’s public school system, raises money for arts enrichment in the schools and for the ArtsEZ grant program. Last year’s Transperformance raised about $25,000 and drew a crowd estimated at 1,000, according to the Arts Council.

If Tuesday’s weather doesn’t cooperate, the show will be staged Wednesday at the Pines Theater; if the forecast is bad for both days, Transpeformance will be held Tuesday at John M. Greene Hall at Smith College. 

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (65 years or over), veterans and students (high school or college ID required), and $5 for children 12 years and under. Tickets can be purchased the day of the show at the Pines Theater, at a slightly higher price, or in advance at State Street Fruit Store in Northampton, Cooper’s Corner in Florence and A.J. Hastings in Amherst.

Tickets are also available online at

Steve Pfarrer can be reached at



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