Best Of Dallas

The 10 Best Cover Bands in Dallas-Fort Worth

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and music is no exception. Sometimes when you're on the prowl for live music, you just want to have a good time — maybe even hear your favorite band's songs, even if they're not the ones playing them. Enter the cover band, those blessed minstrels whose purpose above all else is to throw a party. Dallas is chock full of top-notch cover acts, and these 10 are guaranteed to deliver every time.
10. Petty Theft

Mike Rhyner of The Ticket played in bands almost nonstop till he hit 29, and decided to change gigs. You don't leave the music game easily, so these days Rhyner gets his musical rocks off by performing in one of the most popular cover acts in the area, an expert take on Tom Petty's prodigious catalog. The immutable Petty Theft is a staple of the Dallas and suburban bar scene, bringing out loyal fans  to various locals on what feels like a weekly basis. Jaime-Paul Falcon
9. The Clinton Years

This '90s cover band looks may have to change their name in January, or start planning on learning whatever hits Taylor Swift is going to unleash on the world in 2017. Not that they seem to mind; they've taken to this election with gusto, recently adding campaign buttons to their merch table and doubling down on their Spin Doctors covers.  JPF
8. Raised Right Men

They proudly proclaim themselves to be “a Honky Tonk Band from Denton, Texas” and, considering the amount of change occurring in the northern college town, it's nice to see that some things stay the same. These “Men” worship at the alter of country's Mount Rushmore, constantly covering Waylon and Willie and the boys. Never are they better than when they decide to tackle one artist for a tribute night, as many can attest to their much talked about Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard performances. Just thinking of this band makes you reach for a Lone Star.  JPF
7. A Hard Night's Day

OK, every single major city has a Beatles cover band; it's how you know you have a music scene. But A Hard Day's Night became a DFW staple by going above and beyond what most groups are willing to do. This is a Beatles cover group that does everything they can to be period appropriate. They're staples at just about every single suburban arts festival in the area, which shouldn't come as much as a surprise; doesn't everybody still love the Beatles? JPF
6. Different Strokes

It's hard to believe that Is This It came out 15 years ago, even though it may be hard to remember much of what the Strokes did after that. Thankfully, Different Strokes — the newest comer on this list, having only started playing earlier this year — remembers it all for you, and sprinkles in the deeper cuts with the "Someday's" and "Last Night's." Like many of their peers, it's a group of musicians who hold down other gigs, for example, Party Static's Brett Michael handles Julian Casablancas duty. The result is the perfect band to posture along to. Jeff Gage

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Dallas Observer Music Staff