(Image by: Waytao Shing/ ATX Television Festival)

Following up a reunion gig this past October, fake band Hep Alien has once more slipped the bonds of fiction, playing a surprise gig at the ATX Television Fest. Blurring the made-up geography separating Stars Hollow, Connecticut and Dillon, Texas, the Gilmore Girls trio of Keiko Agena, Todd Lowe, and John Cabrera ran through a brief set of covers at a screening of the Friday Night Lights episode “Mud Bowl.” Appearing in-character, the group opened with songs by Blondie and The White Stripes (with a wink to the disastrous TV house party that kicked off its TV career), before throwing curveballs that included a countrified “Single Ladies” and a roughed-up version of Gilmore Girls’ theme song, “Where You Lead” by Carole King.

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Band members Sebastian Bach and Adam Brody were sadly absent, though they were saluted from the stage. (Brody came the closest to being there in-person: The real-world namesake for his Gilmore character, Dave Rygalski, played bass while Cabrera mimed along.) If The A.V. Club may speculate on the whereabouts of people that don’t exist, Hep Alien guitarist Gill probably couldn’t shut down the sub shop for the night, while Dave Rygalski was on the road to California. California, California: Here he comes.

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