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Roy Orbison tribute to appear at Glasgow Square Theater

The Lonely – Celebrating the Music of Roy Orbison.
The Lonely – Celebrating the Music of Roy Orbison. - Contributed

When you stand on a stage and attempt to emulate one of the greatest singers in rock and roll history, you better have the chops to back it up. 
“People say I sound like Roy Orbison,” says Mike Demers, who fronts The Lonely – Celebrating the Music of Roy Orbison, a tribute band that will appear May 17 at Glasgow Square Theater.
“What I always hope for is that the energy and passion is similar.”
Several years ago, he was playing a solo show in B.C. “I was outside, and I had sunglasses on, and people started asking for Orbison songs,” he says.
A plan started to formulate.
Once he started to seriously consider the idea of The Lonely, he said he “had to really get my singing act together.” He took singing lessons and improved his practice regimen in order to attempt to match the golden pipes Orbison was blessed with.
“Many of his songs are about troubles, but they’re wonderful to sing because he wrote songs to showcase his voice.”
In the five years since they formed, The Lonely has played 130 shows, mostly in western Canada. This Maritime tour will mark their first appearance on the east coast. 
From 1960 to ’64 Roy Orbison had 22 songs on the Billboard Top 40, including classics such as ‘Only The Lonely’, ‘Crying’, and ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’.  
“Orbison wrote about timeless, universal subjects,” says Demers. 
“It’s a blessing to be able to delve into his considerable collection of tunes and have to decide what not to play – that’s the biggest issue.”
Demers relies on his four bandmates not just for harmony vocals, but to sing the parts sung by Orbison’s partners on hits by the Traveling Wilburys: George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne. 
“I’m always struck by what his music means to people. There are people who have lived with Roy Orbison for 50, 60 years, but I’ll also get people in their 30s and 40s come up to me and say, “I’m a Wilburys fan, I’m here for the Wilburys, but I’m glad to hear those other songs, too’.”
Tickets for the show are $45, plus facility fee and service charges.

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