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Atomic Punks @ Marquee Theatre

For some, the very concept of a tribute band flies in the face of traditional American values. It could be viewed as the easy way out: Rather than doing the hard work yourself and writing original material, you simply learn how to mimic a successful band's style so well that people will pay to see your imposter act. For others, tribute bands are simply an affordable way to relive a classic concert experience, either because the original band is no longer active or their ticket prices are through the roof. But what happens when a tribute act actually surpasses the original? Such is the case with the Atomic Punks, a David Lee Roth-era Van Halen tribute act that has earned raves from Howard Stern and Metal Edge magazine, not to mention former VH bassist Michael Anthony and even Roth himself. Meanwhile, time has not been kind to the original Van Halen. Founding guitarist Eddie Van Halen has taken to breeding new band members rather than risk collaborating with someone who might challenge his authority. Roth, on the other hand, flopped miserably in an attempt to replace Stern after the latter bolted the terrestrial airwaves for satellite radio. At this point, even if the original VH lineup reunited, I'm not sure that the Atomic Punks couldn't do it better, and for about a quarter of the price.

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Mike R. Meyer

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