A cover-band concert is like a drag queen: The show is familiar, predictable and includes the performer's personal flair. But a tribute-band gig is more like a tranny, in that it's trying to "pass" and mimic the features that would identify it as the band it's honoring. In all cases, the illusion usually works best when seen across a smoky bar. Lithium: A Tribute to Nirvana
plays convincing covers that span the length of Nirvana's career from the sludge of Bleach
to the glorious chaos of In Utero
. The band members themselves don't much look like Nirvana, but their clothing, stage setup and attempts to stay in character more than make up for it. Lithium's bassist bounds around barefoot, and the singer sports Cobain's shoulder-length blond bob and iconic green grandpa sweater.