Tribute Bands vs. Cover Bands: What’s The Difference?

Live Killer Q in the spotlightsTribute bands versus Cover bands and differences between them is a common question we’re asked. People often use the term “cover band” to refer to tribute acts. However, it’s important to remember that tribute bands are distinct from cover bands in a number of ways. Here we look at a couple of important differences between the two genres. This is useful information if considering booking a band for your event.

Tribute Bands Are Focused On The Work Of A Single Band Or Performer

A Cover band will usually play a wide range of popular songs from a broad range of artists, not focussing on any one particular performer. A Tribute band, however, will exclusively focus on the work of one band or musical artist. For example, a tribute act might exclusively play the music of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones.

When you see a cover band perform, you’ll be able to hear a variety of well-known songs. However, when you watch a tribute band, the band will be focusing on the discography of one artist. You might feel like you’re seeing the act they’re commemorating in concert!

A Tribute Act Doesn’t Just Play Covers

Many tribute bands are essentially historians. They focus on learning the songs of the band that they’re representing, but they also try to emulate musical artists in other ways. For example, if you watch a KISS tribute band perform, you can expect that everyone in the band would have the same kind of costumes that KISS is known for and behave the same way on stage.

Tribute bands study the artists that they are commemorating inside and out. They learn everything they can about a performer’s songs and live shows before they take to the stage. Cover bands pay less attention to looking or sounding like an artist because they cover many different ones.

Many Tribute Bands Have A Devoted Following

Because tribute acts are so dedicated to their craft, a lot of these bands have plenty of fans of their own. As an example, Terrapin, a tribute band that plays the songs of The Grateful Dead, has a significant following. Dread Zeppelin, a Led Zeppelin tribute act, is also very well-known.

Currently, there are no tribute acts that have managed to eclipse the artists they are mimicking in popularity. However, a lot of these bands have plenty of active fans. There are popular cover bands as well, but these acts often lack the broad appeal that a tribute ensemble has.

If you’re looking to book a band for an upcoming event, you should think carefully about whether you’d prefer a tribute or a cover band for the event. While both types of acts can be appealing, tribute bands offer something that most cover bands can’t. They’re a perfect choice if you want the audience to have the experience of seeing and hearing a well-known artist in concert.