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Best Cover Band 

Zoo Station: The U2 Experience

Armed with the hardware, software, and menswear essential to mimicking the biggest band that jams, Zoo Station: The U2 Experience takes its act far beyond a simple repertoire of cover hits. This quartet, which rehearses in Berkeley and regularly rocks at Dan's in Walnut Creek, dresses like U2, talks like U2, poses for photos like U2, and trims its hair like U2, except for guitarist the Sledge, who wears a skullcap. Bonalmost is arguably a sharper singer than his aging rock-star counterpart, with a range that nails the highest notes that Bono ever reached in the 1980s. But it's the band's entire collaborative effort that brings performances to life — the ethereal clouds of guitar, the swaggering bass of Adamesque, the rock-hard drums of Barely Larry, and the computerized loops and preprogrammed samples from an underappreciated laptop computer that furtively works the rear of the stage. With a live repertoire of 150 hit singles and obscure B-sides, Zoo Station walks a fine line, recreating the biggest sounds of modern U2 while evoking the days when a teenaged U2 rocked the basements of Dublin.

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