Blue Robot

Guide to State College Cover Bands

Posted by Stephen Smith on 06/03 at 10:27 AM

Seeing as how State College is a cover-oriented music town, I figured I might as well point folks in the right direction. I’ve compiled a list of the more reputable and enduring cover bands in the area. It contains the usual time and place of their performances, as well as what genre of music they play. I cannot give you my personal opinion of all of them, since I have only seen a handful. But I have separated the list into bands I have seen (top half), and bands that I have not (bottom half). I’ve also added links to other Blue Robot reviews where ones exist. Of course, I encourage you to go out, hear them all, and form your own opinion of them. As this list becomes outdated, I would recommend you check out ( to get updated dates and times

Bands I’ve seen:

Lowjack (Classic Rock/Americana)

Venues: Thursdays, 10:00pm, Café 210 West; Fridays, 10:30pm, Bar Bleu; Sundays, 10:30pm, The Phyrst

Grade: 9

Review: The band knows how to work a room. They have a laid-back energy that plays to the audience rather than at them. Unique instrumentation and music choices, as well as excellent execution. Highly recommended.  (Longer Blue Robot Review 1; Longer Blue Robot Review 2)

Ted McCloskey and the Hi-Fis (Indie Rock/ Alt Rock)

Venues: Fridays, 10:30pm, The Phyrst; Saturdays, 10:30pm, Bar Bleu

Grade: 8

Review: One of the better indie bands in the area. Plays a good mix of accessible originals and popular covers. State College’s Swiss Army knife musicians.

Dave Joyce and the Slow Pitch Band (Rock/ Alt Rock)

Venues: Saturdays, 10:30pm, Café 210 West

Grade: 5

Review: Average band that plays contemporary rock. Horn section gives the band personality, but otherwise so-so.

Go Go Gadjet (Pop/Rock/Hip Hop)

Venues: Wednesdays, 9:00pm, Indigo

Grade: 7

Review: Highest-energy cover band in SC. If stylish pop is your thing, this is your band. If you’re looking for a relaxing band to quietly drink too, then this is your antithesis.  (Longer Blue Robot Review)

5 Cherry Lewis (Pop/Rock/Hip Hop)

Venues: Wednesday, 10:30pm, Café 210 West

Grade: 6

Review: Average band similar to Dave Joyce. Stronger vocals and a tight sound, but little in the way of variety.

Velveeta (80s Pop/Rock)

Venues: Fridays, 10:30, The Saloon

Grade: 7

Review: 80’s music galore. Cult favorite among the bar crowds. They get old after a while, but have become as permanent to the scene as the JoePa statue outside of Beaver Stadium.

Bands I haven’t seen, but are still noteworthy:

Mr. Hand (Rock)

Venues: Fridays, 10:30, The Rathskeller; Saturdays, 10:00pm, The Saloon

Blue Robot Review

Royal Benson (Jam/Groove/Rock)

Venues: Thursdays, 10:30pm, Bar Bleu

Loudmouth (Rock)

Venues: Wednesdays, 10:30pm, G-Man

Atlas Soundtrack (Hip Hop/Reggae/Rock)

Venues: Thursdays, 8:00pm, The Phyrst

Blue Robot Review

Maxwell Strait (Classic Rock/Americana)

Venues: Thursdays, 10:30pm, The Phyrst

My Hero Zero (Rock)

Venues: Thursdays, 10:30pm, The Saloon; Fridays, 10:30pm, Café 210 West

Blue Robot Review 1, Blue Robot Review 2

Table Ten (Alternative/ Folk Rock/ Reggae)

Venues: Tuesdays, 10:30pm, The Phyrst

Blue Robot Review

Pure Cane Sugar (Americana/ Classic Rock/ Folk Rock)

Venues: Saturdays, Zeno’s Pub

Atomic Supersonic (Alternative Rock)

Venues: Sundays, The Saloon

{name} Author: Stephen Smith
Bio: Stephen Smith is currently a senior English major at Penn State. In his free time, he enjoys playing Xbox, drumming, playing his guitar, and writing fiction. His favorite genres include alternative rock, emo, indie, metal, and most anything played acoustically. His favorite bands include Say Anything, Counting Crows, City and Colour, and Daphne Loves Derby.


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