Perhaps one of the most recognizable names on this list, AC/DShe formed in San Francisco in 1997. The quintet perform pre-1980 songs almost exclusively (when Bon Scott was alive), and like many female tribute acts, adopt the personas of their namesake. Say hello to Bonnie Scott, Agnes Young, Mallory Young, Riff Williams and Philomena Rudd!
This all-female Philadelphia band started out as “Queen Diamond,” a King Diamond tribute, before shifting gears to Metallica in 2008. Misstallica only perform material from the first four Metallica records, making them incredibly popular with Metal purists. Oh, and did I mention they’ve toured extensively, including Europe? Seriously, this tribute band is more popular than most regular bands.
Bitchfits are a Misfits cover band from Southern California, dedicated to preserving the legacy of what they see as the greatest horror punk band. Much like AC/DShe, Bitchfits go by Misfit-related monikers: Gwenn Standzbig, Cherry Blowme, Goyle Von Wolfbang, and Robosie. They’ve even co-opted the band’s classic skull logo to look more feminine, all of which have earned the band a sizable cult following.
4. Lez Zeppelin
This New York City-based Led Zeppelin cover band got their start in 2004. Staying true to their favorite band, the ladies even use the same ’60s equipment as the the original Zeppelin. Not only that, Lez Zep’s self-titled “first album was produced by Eddie Karmer, best known for his work with the real Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. It was also mastered by George Marino, the man who digitally remastered Led Zep’s recordings with Jimmy Page.
In a 2005 article in Spin, famed music journalist Chuck Klosterman called Lez Zeppelin “the most powerful all-female band in rock history,” because of what he saw as a new phenomenon of tribute bands re-appropriating culture in really interesting ways. How insane is that?
5. The Iron Maidens
Further proof that tribute bands aren’t just for dive bars: The Iron Maidens formed in 2001 in Los Angeles and have recorded and released a full-length, titled World’s Only Female Tribute to Iron Maiden. They’ve opened for KISS in the past and have even released a tour documentary of their time in Japan. There’s no where to go but up for these ladies.
Slaywhore might have the most questionable name on this list, but it’s all part of their unique personality. Though they are largely a Slayer tribute band, they play as a four piece instead of a trio, with the very noticeable addition of a keyboardist.
7. Malice Cooper
The Canadian Alice Cooper impersonator holds a day job as a metal dj, so her hobby doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary. Also: how great is it that Alice Cooper is her bud? That’s definitely a friendly choke.
8. Mistress of Reality
This Black Sabbath cover band met while teaching at a music school. They claim to have picked Sabbath because “they’re the godfathers of heavy metal.” Like many of the acts on this list, Mistress of Reality opt for a femininized version of metal attire, valuing the power of their sexuality.
Not to be confused with the town in British Columbia of the same name, Ladysmith are an Aerosmith tribute band from California. The best part about this is that they consider Aerosmith to be a metal band. I’m sold!
10. Cheap Chick
Covering mainly ’70s-era Cheap Trick, Cheap Chick claim to be the only all-female tribute to the band. That isn’t the only awesome thing about them, though: they also do a kickass job looking like Cheap Trick. (Note the Rick Nielsen checker board guitar!)
11. Vag Halen
Vag Halen is the queer cock-rock Toronto-based tribute to Van Halen, but they don’t stop there: a regular show consists of covers of all hard rock hits. These ladies revolt against misogyny and homophobia in a really blatant (and brilliant!) way. Plus, they get my vote for best parody name. Puns!