Cover bands. They light you up with songs that make you dance hard and sing with sweaty conviction. These nostalgic heart-string pullers have one thing in common: they want to create as much fun with music as humanly possible. Whether it be rock and roll, swing, blues, hair metal, 80’s, or beyond, Austin has you “covered” from head to effects pedal.
Do yourself a favor and catch some of these uber talented local musicians! If there’s one thing you need to remember about cover bands, it’s that they love the songs they’re covering just as much as you do. Now go rock your face off!
1/ The Spazmatics
If you’ve been on West 4th Street in Austin at around 9:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, you’ve probably heard The Spazmatics rocking out to the 80’s. They kill it every single time with infectious songs like “Take on Me” by Aha, “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, “Whip it” by Devo and “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode. Also, their nerd-rock outfits are something special. They play all over Texas, but their weekly home base is at Cedar Street Austin.
2/ More Cowbell
Technically, More Cowbell is a “mash-up” cover band. The creative blending of two crowd favorites has been wildly successful, earning them awards as Austin’s Favorite Cover Band in recent years. They’ll seamlessly combine songs like “Smells like Teen Sprit” by Nirvana with “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg and name it “Smells like Gin and Juice.”
The list of music they cover is impressive, from Taylor Swift to Johnny Cash to Nine Inch Nails. And who doesn’t love that their name is a reference to a legendary Saturday Night Live skit?
3/ The Eggmen
The fine gentlemen of The Eggmen are dedicated to wooing you with 60’s tunes from bands like The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who and The Rolling Stones. Another Austin Music Award winner that’ll get a crowd amped up, no matter what age range. Like a lot of cover bands, they do weddings and other types of events. Imagine hearing a faithful rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles on your big day. Pretty magical, right?
Zoodust is for all 90’s music lovers, like myself. If you get down with tunes from Alanis Morisette, Third Eye Blind and the Spin Doctors, this cover band is for you. Their crowd banter keeps the nostalgic juices flowing as they send you to a simpler time when Mark Wahlberg was an underwear model and Beanie Babies lined your shelf. You can usually find these hunks during specials events at The Highball. Also, look out for a for another Austin 90’s party band called Type A.
Now back to the 1970’s. Skyrocket! has people grooving all over the floor to “Dancing Queen” by ABBA and “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees. They don’t exclusively cover 70’s songs. But man, they’ve got that era in the bag. These friends just so happen to be well-known local songwriters and recording artists. You can find them touring all over Texas, so check for shows near you.
Austin cover bands are energetic, fun and ready to perform a broad range of tunes for your enjoyment. Tribute bands are a whole other kettle of fish, so to speak. Here’s a short list of talented Austin-based bands that are dedicated to paying tribute to a specific musician or group:
- Magnifico – Queen tribute band
- We Are Not Men – All-female Devo tribute band
- Mysterious Ways – U2 tribute band
- POON – All-female Ween tribute band
- Panic Stricken – Widespread Panic tribute band
- Icing – Cake tribute band
- The Damn Torpedoes – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band
- Bidi Bidi Banda – Selena tribute band
- Jamiroqueen – Jamiroquai tribute band
- Strange Dayz – The Doors tribute band
Go forth and dance the night away, you party animals!
@TheAustinot wants to know:
What’s your favorite cover band in Austin?