Unlikely pairs often create a juxtaposition of awesomeness. Music is no exception. When it comes to one band covering another band’s song, opposites can surely attract. In honor of Music Month and playing off Paste Magazine‘s article 50 Cover Songs Better Than the Originals, we count down the top five local takes on established tunes. These Arizona bands hold their own while reinterpreting nationally known songs. The best part is that we can catch all of these bands playing live shows in Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff.

Top Arizona Bands Include The Sugar ThievesThe Sugar Thieves (above) against a Phoenix skyline sunset.

5. Wooden Indian: Open Up Your Heart by The Rapture

Local indie-rock band, Wooden Indian lends a haunting and harmonious aura to the Rapture’s Open Up Your Heart. Though known for their originals, Wooden Indian expertly throws their own spin on this melodic post-punk acid rock tune.

4. Kongos: Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

Before Kongos toured the world with national hits, they played local clubs around Phoenix with a unique and inventive sound. Their creative mash up of Beatles tunes far surpasses the average cover.

3. Orkesta Mendoza with Calexico: Mambo Lupita by Perez Prado

Mambo Lupita is a sure-fire way to get a crowd dancing. Tucson-based Sergio Mendoza joins forces with another Tucson legend, Calexico, to bring this classic song to life.

2. Alice Cooper: Born This Way by Lady Gaga

Naturally, when one thinks of Lady Gaga, an immediate association is Alice Cooper. Watch our favorite rock legend pay homage to being an individual with his Born This Way cover, fit for the Lady herself.

1. Sugar Thieves: Chocolate Jesus by Tom Waits

Our number one Arizona cover song comes to us from the always charming, meat shaking blues band, The Sugar Thieves. Lead vocalists Meridith Moore and Mikel Lander infuse this Tom Waits standard with mystery and grace.

With so many great Arizona bands to choose from, it is hard to narrow the field. Catch all five of these local bands in action across the state. As a convenience, Bookmans offers ticket sales for concerts, but the real musical fun happens for free in our stores and at events we sponsor. We hope you enjoy picks for best Arizona band cover and we want you to to add your additions. Advocate for your favorite local band’s cover in the comments.