Any best 80s bands list would be dominated by the many 80s rock bands that overshadowed the other music genres of the times. Rock groups of the 80s included both solo artists and rock bands. The 80s also saw the rise of metal bands, hair bands, glam rock, and new wave bands as well. The adoption of technology such as electronic keyboards, synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers also influenced the sounds of 80s rock bands.
80s rockers were such a force in music that they created a new music genre in later times: Classic Rock.
80s Tributes Bands Mimic Original 80s Bands
Many of the 80s bands stopped playing and touring over the years. While others continue to tour and wow old fans while making new ones. Practically all the best 80s bands have tribute bands or cover bands that play their music.
A tribute band pays homage to a specific musical artist or group. The members of these bands are typically impersonators (or at least inspired by) the original artists and play their 80s music as closely to the original performance as possible.
Tribute bands got their start in the late 1960s when Elvis Presley died, and many fans were unable to see him perform live anymore. Imitators formed that could recreate the energy of his shows, right down to his clothing and stage mannerisms. Since then, fans can enjoy these beloved performances from another era without having to worry about time travel.
Planning a themed event, like an 80s dance party or a George Michael themed birthday party for your Wham! obsessed friend? Consider booking an 80s tribute band instead of hiring musicians who simply play 80s cover music (which are generally renditions that don’t try to sound like the original). Besides being a whole lot less expensive than having the real group fly in for your event, tribute bands can be just as much fun as they bring all of their fanaticism into your venue through their performances. Many of them to dress and act in character, wigs and all.
The most popular tribute bands are those that pay homage to artists from before 1990: Elvis is still alive at hundreds of bars across America; you can hear Nirvana concerts nearly any night at dozens of venues. There are Beatles tributes everywhere—the list goes on! If you’re planning an event centered around one specific artist or group and want entertainment that both captures and outshines their original performances, contact a tribute band booking agency. TSE has one of the largest tribute rosters in North America and can find the right 70s, 80s, or 90s tribute band for your occasion.
Popular 80s Rock Bands and Their Best Tribute Bands
The 80’s are back, baby!
And we’re not just talking about the return of shoulder pads and a second wave of skinny jeans. We’re here to talk about the bands.
It’s time to revisit the decade that gave us everything from Whitney Houston to the Cure. These are the best 80s bands and their tribute bands you need to see today.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an 80s artist more iconic than Prince. And while many people knew who he was, and that his music is certainly unforgettable, it’s worth noting the guy was also a wildly talented performer. With every song that he produced and sang came moves to match. He made every performance look effortless as if he’d been born on stage with a microphone in his hand and nothing else in the world to do but sing for us.
Prince’s addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 secured his status as one of the most influential artists of all time—and with good reason! From Michael Jackson to Beyonce Knowles, many other artists count Prince as one of their biggest musical influences.
Prince Tribute Band: Purple Rain
The Award-winning Prince tribute band “Purple Rain” has risen to international acclaim and recognition as the world’s #1 Prince Tribute cover band. This Prince tribute band captivates the imagination and flawlessly recreates Prince’s explosive performances and raw energy, transporting you back to the era when “The Artist” was an international superstar. This event, which includes a homage to Morris Day and The Time, is a must-see for “Purple Rain” movie enthusiasts as well as all live music fans!
TSE has a number of Prince Tribute Bands on our roster so we have other options to fit your occasion as well.
Jon Bon Jovi’s first band was called Atlantic City Expressway. The band’s name was shortened to the more memorable Bon Jovi, and the rest is history. Jon Bon Jovi has released thirteen studio albums with his band, selling over 130 million albums worldwide. In 2011, Jon was named the second richest lead singer in the world by Forbes Magazine with a fortune of $125 million dollars.
Jon Bon Jovi Tribute: Slippery When Wet was formed in 2003 by Jason Morey. This Tribute band is officially authorized by Bon Jovi to perform their show. It is also the most searched Bon Jovi tribute band on Google and has the most views of any Bon Jovi tribute band on YouTube! Slippery When Wet believes Bon Jovi has the right kind of song catalog that really lends itself to be performed live; as well as fitting into a broad age range that makes for the ideal club demographic.
Journey is a classic 80s rock band. The band formed in San Francisco in 1973, but its success was largely between 1978 and 1987 when Steve Perry was its lead vocalist. Journey has sold over 48 million albums in the U.S. and over 80 million world-wide. A 2005 USA Today Opinion Poll put Journey as the fifth-best U.S. rock band in history, let alone one of the best 80s rock bands.
Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. It’s songs are staples in stadiums, radio, films, television shows, video games and have event been part of Broadway Shows.
One of the best tribute bands to this popular 80s rock band is Resurrection. This dynamic and compelling Journey cover band features some of Nashville’s hottest musicians, many of whom have performed, written, or recorded with the biggest names in the music industry – including Journey and Steve Perry. Every show is a brilliant reproduction of sights and sounds that captivate and transport audiences to the glorious age of arena rock.
If you are looking for a Journey cover band you can’t do any better than Resurrection. They are one of the top Journey Tribute Bands in the world.
Originally founded in 1967 as a blues band, it wasn’t until 1979 when the band released “Tusk” that Fleetwood Mac became famous. Their unique combination of rock and pop made them stand out among other bands of the time. They are recognized as one of the best bands from this era and their songs still resonate today. Their most popular song was “Dreams” off their album Rumours (1977). Fleetwood Mac has been covered by many artists like Taylor Swift and Adele!
Gypsy Dreams is the most authentic visual and musical tribute to Fleetwood Mac you will ever experience. Not only does this band perfectly replicate a memorable, high-energy set, but they also capture the feel of an authentic Fleetwood Mac show with their impressive costumes and onstage backdrops. You can expect to be transported back with incredible accuracy to the days when Stevie, Lindsey, Christine, Mick and John were together on stage singing and playing all your favorite hits. Gypsy Dreams is the ultimate Fleetwood Mac tribute.
Queen had a unique style of music with Freddie Mercury as their lead singer. Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal. The band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock. The British rock band made a big splash in the 80s with its release of “The Game” in 1980. The album was the first to feature synthesizers—a groundbreaking moves for rock music at that time. They had many chart-topping singles in the 80’s that you may have heard like “Another One Bites The Dust” or “We Will Rock You.”
Q: The Music of Queen recreates the excitement and spectacle of one of rock’s most legendary bands by using the music and images of a live Queen concert as a template. The set list for this tribute is full of stunning vocal and guitar harmonies. From their early days to their victorious performance at Live Aid in 1985, Q will take you on a journey through Queen’s 21-year existence. It’s your moment to belt out all of Queen’s greatest hits! Of course, no Queen tribute would be complete without a faithful rendition of the classic mega-hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” performed live. Every nuance of the song has been meticulously replicated, ensuring that a Q event is nothing short of fantastic! Whether it is a large venue or private party, Q: The Music of Queen will deliver a Mercury-esque performance. Bottom line: they will rock you!
Many more popular 80s bands and artists could be added to this list. This is just a sampling of some of the best 80s rock bands. Chances are any popular 80s bands will have tributes on TSE’s roster.
Booking an 80s Tribute Band Is One Way You Can Have the Best 80’s Bands Back in Your Life.
It’s becoming more and more common for 80s tribute bands to be booked for weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, and more. Hiring a tribute band is a great way to make your special event unforgettable. Your guests will love the nostalgia that comes with hearing old favorites played live. They’ll also enjoy singing along and showing off their best moves on the dance floor.
TSE Entertainment has a robust roster of 70, 80s, and 90s tribute bands, decades of booking experience and 5-star testimonials from our clients. You’ll be able to relax in the knowledge that your entertainment is being handled by professionals—and you’re sure to enjoy yourself in the process!