Rock Tributes: The Song Remains the Same

The all-female tribute band Lez Zeppelin brings its hero-worship act to State Theatre in Falls Church on Saturday.
The all-female tribute band Lez Zeppelin brings its hero-worship act to State Theatre in Falls Church on Saturday. (By Michael Goldberg)

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

In music, there's copping someone else's style (don't think we didn't notice, Fergie), and there's the good old honest tribute. Today, we're saluting the latter, those bands intended to give you the experience of dancing at an Abba show, of seeing Bruce Springsteen, of tripping to Led Zeppelin. They're not pure cover bands, and they're not shtick. They're earnest musicians paying homage to the bands that, in many cases, no longer exist; to late, great talents; and more simply, to bands we just don't get to see enough.

The State Theatre does a one-two punch with Springsteen worshipers Bruce in the USA tomorrow and the all-girl Lez Zeppelin on Saturday.

It was Canada, not Jersey, that yielded Bruce's would-be doppelganger Matt Ryan, who leads a cast of musicians that includes a faux Patti Scialfa.

And New York's Lez Zeppelin (which, by the way, is not addressing whether there's truth to the "Lez" part of its name) has been touring strong with no record to speak of and with no music available on the Web. So how is the band embarking on its first West Coast and European tours? The group's live shows are trancy, trippy affairs that can run as long as Led Zeppelin's, with an intermission and a short acoustic set thrown in for good measure. Crowd-pleasers include a version of "Dazed and Confused" -- complete with the violin bow, folks -- that can stretch for 20 minutes.

Bruce in the USA, $15, tomorrow at 9 p.m. Lez Zeppelin, $16, Saturday at 9 p.m. State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. 202-397-7328.

Looking way ahead, guitarist Dweezil Zappa, son of Frank, will lead a pack of brainy musician's musicians, plus guitar god Steve Vai, Terry Bozzio and Napoleon Murphy Brock, in Zappa Plays Zappa, a touring elegy to Frank Zappa, the brilliant and prolific rock composer. At the Warner Theatre. $50-$75. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30. 13th and E streets NW. 202-397-7328.

-- Lavanya Ramanathan


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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