'Rock Band' Reinvents the Cover Band

Video game may spell end of bad cover acts
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2008 8:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – The hugely popular "Rock Band" is more than just a video game—it's a musical revolution, Brett McCallon writes in More Intelligent Life. The game, which expands "Guitar Hero" to two axes, a drum kit and a singer, finally realizes “the democratizing dreams of the punk movement.” McCallon should know, because his "Rock Band" band plays live—and has amateur musicians grousing.

Because they play to recordings, McCallon's group—known as Lamb Hammer—is better than most cover bands, and adds audience participation to boot. Invited up on stage, gutsy audience members can become “thundering drummers, sultry bassists and preening guitar gods before their very peers.” Not bad for a video game.