FAIRMONT - The '80s rock cover group Hairball is making a return appearance to the Fairmont Opera House on Friday.
Known for elaborate costume changes and authenticity, the group covers the span of hard rock from the late '70s to the '80s that they describe as, "A bombastic celebration of arena rock."
"We cut it off at about 1988, because that's when a lot of a bands got generic," explained bassist Dan Dryden, who goes by the stage name "Sports." "It's strictly the hugest of the huge hits."
The group Hairball will be rockin’ the Fairmont Opera House starting 7:30 p.m. Friday. A meet-and-greet with the band will begin when the doors open at 6 p.m.
Two lead singers - Kris Vox and "Rockstar" Bob - each have their own impersonations while Dryden, guitarist "Happy" and drummer Colt Python keep the music going non-stop.
"Only the singers change costume," Dryden explained. "We're constant, rapid fire. Bob can start out with Kiss, in full Gene Simmons makeup and axe guitar, and then Kris comes out as Dee Snider of Twisted Sister. We do 'We're Not Gonna Take It' and 'I Wanna Rock,' and then Bob is back out dressed as Vince Neil (of Motley Crue) or David Lee Roth (of Van Halen). It only takes that seven minutes for a full costume change. They are the consummate professionals."
Based out of Isanti, the group has toured heavily in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but recently branched out into other parts of the country.
"It was never meant to be this big," Dryden said. "We now require three giant trucks. And the road cases. We can actually build a room from nothing out of all the wardrobe cases."
The band now prides itself on what has been called a "Las Vegas revue celebration," type of performance. But the band originally started off as a parody band.
"I've been with them for six years, but the band started 11 or 12 years ago," Dryden said. "At that time the arena rock was not nearly as popular as it is now. So it was poking fun at the music, kind of schlocky ... We don't want to totally bury it; there are some real obvious cracks at the original artists, but it's now more of a Las Vegas revue celebration performance."
There have been rumors of a Hairball show stint in Las Vegas, but it's not anything that seems to be in the works at this time.
"Sometimes news travels very slowly ... And we can't just explain our show, you got to show them what it is, and a three-minute clip doesn't quite capture it," Dryden said. "But if we did, we wouldn't be gone forever."
In the meantime, Hairball is happy playing for its regional fans, and has taken a liking to the Opera House.
"We gotta service all our areas, and that's a really neat old building they have," Dryden said. "We're looking forward to coming back."
Tickets for the show are $20 with no assigned seating. Doors open at 6 p.m. and a meet-and-greet will be in the downstairs portion of the Opera House. The performance is for all ages.