Nightlife
Mock ’n’ Roll: 10 top Hungarian tribute bands
Photo : The BlackBirds
Mock ’n’ Roll: 10 top Hungarian tribute bands

Somewhat surprisingly, Hungary features a wide variety of Magyar musicians who team up to recreate hit songs of diverse world-famous groups – like the Beatles, Metallica, the Foo Fighters, and many more – with quite a few of them performing live in Budapest during the upcoming weeks. Here are some of the country’s most entertaining tribute bands, along with places where you can catch their gigs.

AB/CD The BlackBirds Creedence Clearwater Reborn Doors Emlékzenekar FooLighters Good Time Boys Iron Maidnem Magnetica Piknik Park Room Service

AB/CD

Photo: AB/CD
Hungary’s own hard-rocking version of Australia’s AC/DC stars László Kristó donning Brian Johnson’s signature tweed cap while belting out heavy-metal anthems such as “Highway to Hell” and “Back in Black”, as lead guitarist Erik faithfully duckwalks in schoolboy uniforms just like Angus Young. See AB/CD play all night long at downtown Pest’s Rocktogon club on May 8th starting at 9pm.

The BlackBirds

For over a decade now, the nation’s premier Beatles tribute band comes together to perform pieces spanning the Fab Four’s entire repertoire, from early breakthroughs like “Love Me Do” to complex psychedelic songs like “I Am the Walrus”, complete with period-appropriate outfits. On May 9th at 8pm, the BlackBirds play every song from “Abbey Road” and “Let It Be” aboard the A38 Ship.

Creedence Clearwater Reborn

Photo: Creedence Clearwater Reborn
Despite a near-total lack of resemblance with John Fogerty’s shaggy-haired California swamp-rock ensemble, this new Magyar group pays admirable homage to CCR with genuinely rousing renditions of songs like “Up Around the Bend”, “Run Through the Jungle”, and “Susie Q”. Let Creedence Clearwater Reborn put a spell on you when they perform at Old Man’s Music Pub on May 27th at 8:30pm.

Doors Emlékzenekar

Photo: Doors Emlékzenekar
Sounding a little bit like how Jim Morrison may have sang had he managed to live for a decade or so longer, the raspy vocals of noted Hungarian actor Attila Menszátor Héresz aren’t exactly evocative of the Lizard King’s poetic sonorousness, but his onstage flailing is true to form. Break on through to the other side when Doors Emlékzenekar plays live at KVLT BP on May 16th at 9pm.

FooLighters

Photo: FooLighters
The real Foo Fighters are coming to Central Europe while touring the continent this November, but for those who can’t wait that long to hear a live performance of the biggest hits by Nirvana alum Dave Grohl and his alternative rockers, FooLighters provides decent versions of “Times Like These”, “Best of You”, and “Learn to Fly”; catch them at Barba Negra Track on May 28th at 6:30pm.

Good Time Boys

Photo: Good Time Boys
The soulful singing of Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis is difficult to imitate, even for native-English speakers – but Magyar vocalist Dávid Gubis captures his essence along with the funky players of Budapest’s Good Time Boys, performing lively renditions of “Give It Away”, “Otherside”, and more. The band opens for FooLighters at Barba Negra Track on May 28th at 6:30pm.

Iron Maidnem

Photo: Iron Maidnem
Generations of headbanger Hungarians are devoted fans of Iron Maiden for decades now, and since 1996 Iron Maidnem is the country’s best ensemble celebrating the English heavy-metal pioneers; their act is so accomplished that this tribute band is frequently booked at venues across Europe. Nonetheless, the group remains most popular here – see them live at Rocktogon on May 16th at 9pm.

Magnetica

Photo: Magnetica
The Magyar thrash-metal enthusiasts of Magnetica are consummate copiers of the hard-driving rock blasted by Metallica, including the hugely popular American band’s masterful guitar solos and fast-paced drumming; even the way they flap their long heads of hair evokes fist-pumping memories of the original group. They’ll show fans why nothing else matters at Rocktogon on May 2nd at 9pm.

Piknik Park

Photo: Piknik Park
The ever-experimental alternative-metal maestros of Linkin Park seamlessly meld disparate audio genres, so the members of Piknik Park exhibit impressive musicianship while performing full-throated facsimiles of songs from the California band’s distinctive oeuvre. Let your eardrums become numb when they play Dürer Kert as part of the Happy Hours Festival on May 30th starting at 5:30pm.

Room Service

Photo: Room Service
The concept of a cover band doesn’t exactly apply to acts that emulate works of solo musicians, but there’s no denying that László Csákvári – the leader of Room Service, Hungary’s best Bryan Adams tribute group – bears a striking resemblance to Canada’s eternally energetic singer-songwriter; hear him and his backing musicians live for free at Városligeti Sörsátor on May 8th at 7pm.