Deb Britton owns six wigs.
"I never thought I'd own a wig in my life," she said.
But she became a member of a tribute act that performs the music of The B-52s, and the wigs come in handy when channeling the band's campy style of party music. It's all part of taking the "tribute" part seriously, and such attention to detail is a central reason Britton's band, Hey Lady!, has become popular with audiences.
Last year, Hey Lady! won the inaugural Mile High Tribute Band Competition, which takes place as part of Leftapalooza, the music festival and leukemia benefit produced by Left Hand Brewing Co. The band will return to the competition as its reigning champ during this year's third annual Leftapalooza, scheduled from noon-10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, at Left Hand.
Winning the competition last year earned Hey Lady! a show at the Boulder Theater and was a highlight of its 2012 schedule, Britton said.
"It was an absolute blast," she said. "It was the thrill of a lifetime."
She had never heard of a tribute band competition and thought it was a great idea when Left Hand Brewing approached Hey Lady! She was impressed with the other tribute acts on the lineup.
"All the bands we played with last year were just top notch," she said.
Besides Hey Lady! the 2013 lineup includes:
When: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3
Where: Left Hand Brewing Co., 1270 Boston Ave., Longmont
My Old School (Steely Dan)
Tookus (Allman Brothers Band)
The Flying W's (Weezer)
Dreamboats Annie (Heart)
Dirty Femmes (Violent Femmes)
Rush Archives (Rush)
Shakedown Street (Grateful Dead)
The competition was received well by music fans last year, said Left Hand's Josh Goldberg, who's organizing the competition. Only the occasional music professional expressed any complaints about the notion of devoting a whole day to tribute acts, deemed by some to be an inferior form of musical expression.
"The fans love it," Goldberg said. "The fans want to hear music they know. They want to sing every lyric."
Sometimes a tribute act provides the only opportunity for fans to experience the music they love in a live setting, he added.
"They don't get to see a Rush show," Goldberg said, "so this is their Rush show."
Leftapalooza features attractions besides the tribute-act competition. Food and beverages will be available, and the event includes a kids area with a bounce house, dunk tank and face painting. The event will also feature the inaugural Sumo World Cup, a sumo wrestling competition for which Goldberg is recruiting local celebrities, city officials and other area notables.
The event is a benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Light the Night Walk. Last year, Leftapalooza raised $28,000.
Quentin Young can be reached at 303-684-5319 or firstname.lastname@example.org.