The Best Cover Bands in Dallas

If you google "cover bands" you'll see five different think pieces published in 2014, because well, people can't ignore how many of them there are. Bars across the nation are packed with groups of musicians not doing original music, but paying tribute to some of their favorite acts, and getting paid at the same time. Dallas is flooded with acts like this, and it can be difficult to separate the good from the meh. Good thing for you we're out and about every night, and have caught the best groups the area has to offer. With this list, the 10 best cover bands in Dallas, you can go and enjoy yourselves without having to say "I don't know any of their songs" ever again.

See also: The 2014 Dallas Observer Music Awards Winners The 10 Best Dive Bars in Dallas-Fort Worth

A Hard Night's Day

Seriously though, who isn't on board with a Beatles tribute act? Are there people who don't like the Beatles? If there are, why are they lacking in souls? Did Xenu curse them? Anyway, a Beatles cover group that does everything they can to be period appropriate, and entertain. You're hip uncle loves them, and you catch them at every single suburban arts festival in the area -- because, like I said, everyone loves the Beatles, even if it's a bunch of dudes pretending to be them. Yes, 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.

The Gorehounds

This Cramps cover act declares "WE'RE HERE TO ROCK" whenever they take the stage. They're loud as hell, and you're gonna take it, because every Gorehounds performance is a shot to the stomach and an uppercut to your soul. Embrace your inner teenage punk and let loose when these guys play; yeah, you're 40, but under the paunch, the 401k and the worries about the kids' future, you're still a teen bad ass who wants to mosh and dance like hell. It's a good thing the Gorehounds are here to make you do just so.


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Who would have thought that a Smiths tribute group featuring the long-time host of The Edge's Adventure Club and members of Chomsky and Baboon would be a rousing success (and a multiple-time DOMA nominee)? Everyone. Because people love the Smiths, they love the '80s, and having real functional musicians make for a genuine experience. Josh Venable and crew go all-out to give you an experience as close to seeing the Moz, Marr and friends themselves, just minus the self-loathing and irreconcilable differences. Go see PANIC -- they're talented musicians, and they need to be loved, just like every other band does.

The Rich Girls

Cover groups, they're playing tunes (clap-clap) that you always knew. Cover groups, they're playing tunes (clap-clap), tunes you sing along to.

Sorry about that. A Hall & Oates cover group sort of has that affect on people. I once had a conversation with a local musician about how I disliked the duo, and he shamed me so much over it that I went on a year long binge on their music. The binge included catching this Dallas tribute band as much as I could, and honestly it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. How could you go wrong with infectious '80s jams played by talented Dallas musicians? You can't. So go see the Rich Girls.

The Dick Beldings

Fort Worth is home to this band, who play an amalgamation of the play lists of KXT, The Edge, Jack FM and the Eagle. In short, it's everything your friend who never grew up "doesn't really listen to music" has ever wanted. Lucky for you, the Dick Beldings (that will never not be fun to type) are a perfectly cromulent group of musicians who can handle all the genre hopping that they do, and they're a lot of fun as well. You should check them out and cross your fingers that they're playing the next wedding you go to.

Naked Lunch

Every musician you know worships at the feet of Steely Dan mastermind Donald Fagen, so it makes perfect sense that a group of locals put together a tribute to the group. For cool dads and hip uncles over 50, Naked Lunch is like manna from heaven. They get to see Steely Dan about once a year, but every week they're able to get their Aja methadone via Naked Lunch's dedicated take on the group's critically lauded material. You may not find a bunch of Cat Daddies at a Naked Lunch show, but you'll find a ton of dudes who want to buy drinks, and discuss the finer points of recording.

A Taste of Herb

Only in Denton would you come across a Herb Alpert tribute. The college town home to one of the best music schools on the planet attracts the type of artist who would hold the jazz trumpet legend in "high" regard. So, with an excess of talent and a glut of venues to play in, a group of Denton mainstays put together a fittingly jazzy tribute to one of the most recognizable musicians of all time. Bonus points go to the group for their almost-flawless recreation of Alpert's style, and for really thinking outside the box when it came to picking someone to emulate.

Le Cure

Mark Hernandez, the dude who fronts this Cure cover group, looks and sounds so much like the Cure front man Robert Smith there have been actual debates over if that's secretly actually Robert Smith on the stage. Like, that's gotta be Robert Smith up there; the voice is too close, the hair is too perfect. Is it really so out of the realm of possibility that during a stop on The Curiosa Fest Robert Smith fell in love with Mambo Taxis and made the decision to relocate from England to Lakewood, and now fronts a cover group of his own band? I think not.

Straight Tequila Night

The first time I saw Straight Tequila Night they killed it at Adair's Saloon. I was looking for something to do after catching a show when a friend asked, "How much do you like 80s/90s country music?" Being Texan I responded with the only thing a Texan could say: "A ton." He smiled and said, "You'll love this." When the band took the stage and busted out a rollicking, two-step-inducing set of the best hits in country music from that time period I did immediately fall in love with the group. You wanna get down, go to town, bootin-scootin boogie? Well, find out where these dudes are playing next, and get to it. It's your duty as a Texan to dance down nostalgia road, and these are the dudes who can make that happen.

Buick 6 & Petty Theft

Mike Rhyner of the Ticket played in bands almost non-stop till he hit 29, and decided to change his gig. You don't leave the music game easily, so these days Rhyner gets his musical rocks off by performing in two of the most popular cover acts in the area. The immutable Petty Theft is a staple of the Dallas and suburban bar scene, bringing out loyal P1s to various locals on what feels like a weekly basis. The loyal fans are treated to Rhyner, and crew's expert take on Petty's prodigious catalog. His other group, the Bob Dylan tribute Buick 6, might just be the best of the Dallas cover band bunch, playing an assortment of the legendary artist's best work. If you're a Petty fan catch Theft; if you're a music fan, catch Buick 6.


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