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Tribute Bands Thrive at FM Station Live


The lead singer struts across FM Station Live's stage. He howls and kicks his way toward the crowd, shakes his long blond mane and swivels his tiny, leather-clad hips at the swooning girls. The boys in the house sing along to every lyric and pump their fists in the air in the ultimate sign of headbanging unity.

It's Saturday night in North Hollywood, and the Atomic Punks are in the house. As part of the hard-core metal club's latest fashion wave, this Van Halen cover band is capping a night that's taken guests back to the days when Diamond Dave ruled, Steven Tyler came fully loaded, and Queensryche was, well, Queensryche.

In recent months, the FM Station Live has become the place to see your favorite act from the past--in the form of tribute bands. If you're not looking for authenticity, you can get a taste of everyone from Alice Cooper to the Doors, from the Monkees to the Archies.

The shows are usually a blast because audience participation is at an all-time high here. The dark, spacious club, whose comfortable, attitude-free atmosphere inspires customers to let their hair down, is packed with folks ranging from those who saw the real thing way-back-when to neophytes who think they're seeing the real thing.

And consider the advantages to FM Station Live's approach: Your ticket price is five to eight bucks, you don't need binoculars to get a view of the band, and most of the acts being counterfeited have either disbanded or--aside from Aerosmith--should have by now.

* FM Station Live, 11700 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood. 21 and over, cover varies. (818) 769-2220.


Club Buzz: Starting Sunday, the lovely Upstairs at Cava club teams with L.A.'s ultimate cocktail music deejay, Senor Amor, for "Chase Lounge," which promises "cocktails and cool rhythms," with no cover charge before 9 p.m. . . . Dragonfly, the Hollywood club that helped inspire disco's first Southland resurgence, has a new Wednesday night disco party: Humpnight. It includes a live performance and dancing into the wee hours to deejay B-Nice's blend of disco, funk and groove.

* Chase Lounge/Upstairs at Cava, (213) 658-8898. Dragonfly, (213) 466-6111.

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