Local Iowa cover band to play on Vue Rooftop

Birdchild, a native Iowa cover band, will make their own twists of top hits of various decades.



Madison Lotenschtein, Arts Reporter

After graduating from high school together in 2002, Andrew Birdsall and Justin Goodchild decided to combine their musical abilities and their last names to create their cover band, BIRDCHILD. 

Both Iowa natives, the duo has grown into a five-person band that tours Iowa and surrounding Midwestern states, pumping up audiences with top-40 hits from the 1980s to present day. The original team of Birdsall and Goodchild will perform three sets at the Vue Rooftop Aug. 30. 

When they first started their music career, Birdsall and Goodchild wrote a few original songs, but realized that song writing was a path that was simply not theirs to follow. 

“It’s like all the creativity went in the name,” Birdsall said as a joke. “Our principal strength as BIRDCHILD just isn’t writing original tunes. In order for us personally to get more bookings and play music to a larger audience, we needed to play to our strength, which is playing our interpretations of great songs others have written.” 

 While the band has nothing but respect for songwriters, the musical crew tends to put its own twist on original songs. 

“Sometimes, if we’re driving and listening to the radio, we’ll think, ‘Wow, this song would sound great if we put a funk twist on it,’” Goodchild said. “We just take the song in the direction that sounds good to us.” 

As the bass player of Birdchild, Ian Draves has to take control of the beat to create a “funkier atmosphere.” 

“The bass is in charge of controlling that funk twist,” Draves said. “You have to feel the sub divisions and feel the beat more.” 

If the whole band were present at Vue Rooftop, the sound would bring more of a funk vibe, as Birdchild’s keyboard player and drummer both possess a funk and soul background. But with the two members providing vocals and guitars on stage, Goodchild said the sound may be subject to change. 

“As a duo, we like taking songs that you would expect to sound the same but make it more acoustic,” Goodchild said. 

Having recently played at the Iowa State Fair, the two Hawkeye fans expressed their interest in playing in Iowa City after Coralville’s annual Fry Fest and the night of the first home football game. 

“I used to leave Fry Fest wanting to go do something else,” Goodchild said. “Iowa crowds love to have a good time, and they show us a lot of support for us as a cover band.” 

Depending on the show, the musicians said they feel what is similar to a runner’s high during and after performances. 

“There’s more of a rush if you’re playing on a big forum,” Birdsall said. “After the show, you’re feeling all amped up, but even with a small crowd you feel that general sense of pride when the show is over.” 

Having played live shows since 2004, and being “nine-to-five guys,” the band doesn’t expect to stop jamming anytime soon.  

“We’ll keep playing until we start forgetting the words to the songs,” Goodchild said with a laugh.