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What makes a successful cover band? If the imitators stray from the host material, they risk sounding like wankers. Yet if they manage to dutifully replicate every nuance of the music they’re covering, they’ve made a life’s work of copying something they couldn’t create on their own. 1964: A Tribute has managed to turn covering the Beatles into an act of musical theater. The band walks a fine line in the cover-band business: True fans who missed seeing John Lennon in concert aren’t likely to find solace in a really good imitator. On the other hand, how many bands go so far as to re-create Lennon’s Liverpool lilt? 1964: A Tribute might not be as good as the real deal, but it rivals grainy concert footage, or even a good wax museum.

1964: A TRIBUTE PERFORMS AT 7:30 P.M. AT THE BIRCHMERE, 3701 MT. VERNON AVE., ALEXANDRIA. $35. (703) 549-7500.