Dan Nunn’s 50th – A Birthday To Remember

On Saturday, June 9th, local musician Dan Nunn celebrated his 50th birthday in a very special way – by putting together four of the area’s finest tribute bands for a show at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard.  With hundreds of people attending, a top-notch collection of musicians sang and played with power and skill – bringing honor to the music we Seattleites remember so very well.


Nevermind opened the show with their first performance as a band, bringing their Nirvana tribute to the stage.  Nick Knight handled guitar and vocals. Travis Wolfe played bass, and Kevin Hammond was on drums. Their sound channeled Nirvana’s gritty tuned-down fuzz and feedback perfectly, and the crowd responded with enthusiasm to their songs.


Wicked Garden – Seattle’s tribute to Stone Temple Pilots – came out next.  This band continues to be a crowd favorite. Troy Aylesworth was animated and wild on vocals. Dave Bevan took the stoic stand behind his bass and signature sunglasses. Jeff Hardwick was on guitar, and Todd Aylesworth – the original drummer for the group – came back to play in place of Jessie Van Dyke for the night as he was getting married.

Wicked Garden

I asked Troy how he felt about the show, and playing with his brother again.

“It was EPIC!” he said.  “A full house at the historic Tractor is one for the record!  We were grateful to be a part of it. There were times I could hear the crowd at the same volume as the stage.  It was amazing to lead a sea of voices and feel the energy from so much enthusiasm. Performance-wise, it was one of our best shows.  Nothing is perfect and we are our toughest critics, but overall, I think we pulled off a pretty solid set.

Having my little brother, Todd Aylesworth, here to play with us brought our journey as a band full-circle.  He was here as we evolved from a cover band into a tribute band. We’d always had a few stages in the area on our bucket list, so when we heard Jesse couldn’t make the Tractor show, Todd was our first choice. For him, to play that venue with high-caliber bands and a packed room was one of the best days of his life. I’m stoked I got to share it with him.

We really have a great community here.”

Wicked Garden

Stargazer came on after Wicked Garden, and wowed the crowd with their authentic grunge presence and spot-on renditions of Mother Love Bone songs. Jacques LeJeune is on Vocals as Andrew Wood. Dan Nunn – the night’s birthday boy – played bass.  Kevin Hammond did his second round of the night on Drums. Garrett Heffernan was on duty for Lead Guitar, while John Trytek also picked up Rhythm & Lead Guitar.  The signature “Love Rock” groove got the crowd moving. Jacques vocal range is perfect for the songs. Dan jumped around the stage with his bass like a mad man. Classic songs like This Is Shangri-La and Lady Godiva Blues came alive.  It was a fantastic way to celebrate the music of Grunge pioneers.


As the night’s headliner, Washed In Black launched into a long set after that, filled with classic Pearl Jam music. Of course the crowd was thrilled and engaged as the band ramped up.  Steve McKeever is on Vocals, Dan Nunn – once again – picked up the Bass, Kevin Hammond put in his THIRD round for the night on Drums, Garrett Heffernan occupied the dark corner of the stage to play Lead Guitar, and John Trytek brought his signature animation and precision to Rhythm & Lead Guitar.  The best thing about hearing Washed In Black play is that they can bring this music alive for those who have never seen Pearl Jam in concert. The band loves doing this music and, in line with Pearl Jam’s dedication to the community, contribute generously to local charity from the proceeds of their shows.  These men truly have a heart for the sound and soul of Seattle.

Washed In Black

The tribute band scene has really turned up the heat recently.  All the classic music many of us remember from the past – 60s, 70s and newer – is now performed by fans of that same music.  Dan Nunn’s birthday party was a clear indication of the quality local music fans can expect when they hear this classic music played by excellent musicians.  In the end, the whole venue has a fantastic time! And everyone leaves happy.

Look for all of these bands in upcoming shows around The Sound!


Edited by GrungeGal50