Cruel Summer Band Pays Tribute to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour at Red, White & BBQ Event

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Cruel Summer tribute band performs
Alyssa Coco photo courtesy of Cruel Summer

Duncanville event organizers are excited to welcome CRUEL SUMMER with a live band performance that pays tribute to Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” as headliners for the first annual Red, White & BBQ Independence Day weekend event.

The tribute band features the talent and charisma of front woman Alyssa Coco. Her music has been featured on CW TVʼs “Batwoman”, Netflixʼs “Selling Sunset”, ABCʼs “black-ish”, and others. The group, composed of top professional musicians, will perform July 4 and 5 at Armstrong Park.

Q&A with Alyssa Coco

Cruel Summer’s lead singer Alyssa Coco answered a few questions for our Focus Daily News readers.

FDN: Did the Taylor Swift Eras Tour tribute rise from your sounding like her, or from your love and appreciation of her music?

A: A little bit of both! I became a bigger fan when she came out with “Folklore” in 2020. The intricacy of that album completely won me over. At the same time, we do a lot of corporate events and perform covers and I’d often get compliments specifically on the Taylor Swift songs, claiming I sounded a lot like her. Matt (Matthew Merritt) and I were joking about how “maybe we should do a Taylor Swift Tribute” and here we are… eight months later performing in Texas!

Cruel Summer concert
Photo courtesy Cruel Summer

Taylor Swift Songs

FDN: Why the Eras Tour, were those your favorite songs of hers, and do you use similar costumes and choreography for the tribute performances?

A: A lot of the venues we play tend to keep the shows around 2-2.5 hours, so we had to condense her 3.5 hour set. It was actually quite hard to pick and choose the songs, because we love them all, but ultimately we tried to have a good combination of the super well-known songs and a few of the more deep cuts. I do have similar costumes, and on some shows, we have background dancers to do the choreography on select songs!

FDN: Have you met Taylor Swift, and did she give her blessing to the tribute performance?

A: I have never met Taylor Swift! I wish! I’d hope she’d appreciate everyone celebrating and enjoying her music together!

Cruel Summer Tribute Performances

FDN: You’ve gathered a loyal following with these tribute performances. Do the audiences sing along with the songs?

A: We have so much fun with the audience. There are times I have a hard time hearing myself sing over the crowd singing so loudly! The passion and love for Taylor’s music is so genuine and widespread. We’re so grateful to be able to do this with all the Swifties present.

FDN: What songs did you perform on Batwoman, Selling Sunset and black-ish?

A: Matt (Merritt) and I have an original band called Roses & Revolutions. We’ve had a few of our original songs featured on those shows. Batwoman was super cool. We have a song called “Looking Glass” and in the first scene of the Season involved the Mad Hatter’s hat. It was perfect. Selling Sunset had a few of our songs in multiple scenes in 2 different seasons. black-ish was one of our Christmas songs on one of their Christmas episodes!

Cruel Summer concert crowd
Photo courtesy Cruel Summer

FDN: How many band members will be onstage for Duncanville’s July 4th weekend?
A: It will be a five piece band!

FDN: Where are you from, and what age were you when you started performing?
A: We are all from Rochester, New York. I got into music at a very young age (inspired by the Titanic soundtrack, haha) and started writing my own songs by age 11. I started professionally performing at age 14 and knew it was all I ever wanted to do.

FDN: Have you been to North Texas before?
A: I have not! So excited to explore.. and have some BBQ! Haha.

Cruel Summer Concerts

FDN: How many sets will you play here over the weekend?
A: We will be playing 2 full sets. One on Thursday, July 4 and one on Friday July 5.

FDN: Please add anything you’d like to share with our Focus Daily News readers.
A: We highly encourage people to dress up in Eras outfits and bring friendship bracelets! Be prepared to sing and dance like you’re at the Eras Tour!

Duncanville hosts the first annual star-spangled Independence Day celebration July 4-6. The Red, White, and BBQ extravaganza festivities include a parade, live entertainment, family-friendly activities, BBQ cook-offs, and fireworks at Armstrong Park.

Duncanville Red, White & BBQ Schedule of Events

Thursday, July 4: • Duncanville Lion’s Club Independence Day Parade at 9 a.m.
• Music begins at 3 p.m. • Fireworks Show: The night will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.

Friday, July 5: • DJ begins at 6 p.m.; • Welcome at 7:30 p.m. Cruel Summer – Live Band Tribute to Taylor Swift at 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 6: • 4-Meat BBQ Cook-off; • Starting with our welcome at 10 a.m.; Cook-Off Judging begins at 12 p.m.; • Cook-Off Awards begin at 4:30 p.m.; • Music begins at 5:15 p.m.

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