Lists

Ten of Denver's Best Tribute Bands

Denver is rich with talented tribute bands. Looking for ’60s psychedelic rock? Check. How about '70s classic rock? Check. Maybe synth-heavy ’80s jams? Hip-hop? Jazz? Name any genre, artist or era, and it's probably being covered by somebody in the Mile High.

Here's a list of ten Denver tribute bands killing it in 2018:


10 Years Gone

Led Zeppelin tribute bands are not uncommon, but 10 Years Gone is one of the really fun ones. The lights, the quality, the energy, the look: The act's live performances do not disappoint. While John McGah does not boast Robert Plant's level of grunge, the singer and the rest of his band do possess a certain rock-star stage presence that is essential to performing Zeppelin songs.


Legendary Hitchhikers

Tom Petty, the father of “dad rock,” is covered by a bunch of dudes who know exactly what their audience is looking for: chill vibes and some rad Petty tunes. Getting their name from an Elvis Costello line off My Aim Is True, Legendary Hitchhikers have been jamming in front of crowds around town, playing renditions of “Free Fallin'” and “Here Comes My Girl” and occasionally sprinkling in covers of some of their other favorite songs.


Paradise Theatre - The Tribute to Styx Promotional Video from Hi-Def Photography & Films on Vimeo.

Paradise Theatre
Styx is not the first band that comes to mind when naming artists to pay tribute to, but when it’s done right, it's something special. Consider Paradise Theatre, one of the cover bands that does it correctly. Nailing the soaring vocals and synth-heavy ballads, Paradise Theatre is capable of putting on a show that Styx diehards and casual fans alike can enjoy. According to the band's website, the five members of Paradise Theatre are best friends, too.


Lost Dog Ensemble

Lost Dog Ensemble nails the raggedness of Tom Waits’s trademark vocals. It may not be possible to match his showmanship or gravelly growling, but the Denver cover band is masterful at bringing the essence of Waits to the stage through whimsical changes in lead singer David Dinsmore’s cadence and a large band that performs dirty late-night blues and jazz tunes.


The Shaloms

The only Hasidic Ramones cover band in Denver, the Shaloms sport a hat-and-payes combo while playing the music of one of the greatest punk bands of all time. In case there were ever any doubts about the commitment to the bit, refer to the band's Facebook account, which reads: “We left our mohel duties to become the greatest kosher Ramones cover band in the world!” Not a bad life to live.

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Ben Wiese is a writer in Denver. He covers music for Westword.
Contact: Ben Wiese