Call it the result of a foundering economy, or a desire to return to rock-n-roll roots in an era of electronically manufactured music.

Whatever the reason, the 2000s have seen an explosion of tribute bands: groups that play the music of renowned bands at a drastically reduced ticket price compared to the real deal—and that often sound just as good if not better than the originals do in their late- career, hip-replaced incarnations.

But what differentiates a high-minded tribute act from its semantically lower cousin, the cover band? That old Supreme Court definition of pornography comes to mind: I know a tribute band when I see it. Some focus solely on playing the music of their icons as note-perfectly as possible; others exhibit their tribute-band bona fides by becoming their heroes from headgear to footwear. But the best of them make you remember why you fell in love with the original artists in the first place.

Here’s a look at four of South Florida’s finest tributantes. 

For an inside look at Across The Universe, Kiss Alive Smells Like Grunge and Turnstiles, pick up the September/October 2014 issue of Boca Raton magazine.