On March 28, Yuba College welcomed the band Decades. This show was their first and hopefully not their last at Yuba College.
Decades is a cover band from Chico, California. They play covers of songs from the 1940s to present day music and their own original songs, which are stylized like those of the 1950s. The band consists of Billy DiBono, Ben Ruttenburg, Mia Dessenberger, Will Watje, and Tobias Brooks. They started their band in October of 2010.
Being that this show was in a theater, unlike many of their shows, the band had some theatrics. They began the show in the dark with the “Mission Impossible” theme playing. The band lurked onto the stage with flashlights pointing every which way. They then all ran into one another with the theme ending abruptly and the lights coming back on.
The band then introduced themselves and stated that they would be playing music “from Chuck Berry to Katy Perry.”
The beginning of their first set, Decades played Peggy Lee’s “Fever,” a very jazzy and sultry song. For the next four songs they stuck with the jazz genre, playing songs by artists like Nat King Cole and Glenn Miller. When transitioning to rock and roll, a “member” of the audience, Ruttenberg’s father, came up on stage acting as Reverend Jimmie Snow. He pushed Ruttenberg away from the mic and began preaching about the evils of rock music. In turn, the audience booed and laughed as Snow went on and on. Eventually, the band began to play “Rock and Roll is Here to Stay”, drowning out Snow’s cries and then pushed him from the stage.
During this segment, Decades played songs like “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, “Runaround Sue” by Dion, and “Wipe-Out” by The Surfaris. The band gave off lots of energy during these songs and some members of the audience even began to dance on the dance floor placed in front of the stage. Watje, who was playing guitar at the time, even pulled off Chuck Berry’s signature move of jumping around the stage while pointing his guitar at the audience during “Johnny B. Goode”.
Decades began to transition into a variety of music from the late 1960s by playing the theme from “Peter Gunn.” They then began to play songs such as “Magic Carpet Ride,” “Black Magic Woman,” and “Hang on Sloopy.” Although the songs were different in sound, they blended very well together and transitioned almost seamlessly.
After a small break, Decades began their second set. This set had more contemporary music from the mid-1970s until today. The differences in songs were very obvious during this set. The band played songs from all kinds of genres including ska, folk rock, pop, and country.
The second set started with Smash Mouth’s “Walkin’ on the Sun”, bringing a different kind of energy to the band. It felt laid back but still slightly energetic. As the show went on, the songs began to gain tempo. Decades began to play more popish songs like “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green and Billy Idol’s rendition of “Mony Mony.”
In order to keep the songs diverse, the band quickly switched gears and began to play some country and folk rock. This included Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” and “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealers Wheel, a song well known for being in the cult film “Reservoir Dogs.”
Decades played about nine more songs before they “finished” their show, including “This Is How We Do It”, “Uptown Funk”, “Tequila”, and “Don’t Stop Believing.” After their last song, the lights dimmed and it almost seemed like the show was over but Decades began to play Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and much of the audience joined in singing the song. Decades thanked the audience for being amazing and hoped that they would come back and play another show soon.
NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Summer 2015 print edition of The Prospector.