Tonight, 6/24/11 at the 9:30 Club!
WHO’S BAD DEFINES WHAT IT MEANS TO HONOR MICHAEL JACKSON
Celebrate Michael Jackson’s life and work through professional production and unrivaled musicianship
“The show was great… Michael would have been proud.” – Frank DiLeo, manager of Michael Jackson
Seven years ago, Who’s Bad founder Vamsi Tadepalli had a simple vision; start a performing act covering Michael Jackson’s works. The impetus behind the idea was seeing the reaction of party goers whenever a Michael Jackson hit was played. “Our original show was basically about the music, getting a crowd excited by playing Michael’s songs. Dancing and choreography weren’t a part of it then,” says Tadepalli looking back to the early performances of Who’s Bad. Even so, the first shows were sold out, creating a huge buzz around their home base of Chapel Hill, NC.
In the years since, Who’s Bad have taken that initial approach and built their live show into an event that transcends a tribute performance and turns it into a study of talented musicianship, choreographed dance and top-level production. And it all started with an improvised knife fight carried out on stage that drew the crowd into frenzy. That simple reenactment from the “Beat It” video spurred Tadepalli and Co. to develop a fully choreographed show. Tadepalli recalls the evolution thusly, “We went from playing (the music) to putting together more of a complete live, choreographed show, and we’ve continued to evolve it.”
The clear difference that makes fans clamor over their live performances, however, is their music. Boasting a lineup of seven life-long musicians, Who’s Bad takes the responsibility of delivering outstanding musical performances night after night very seriously. They continually display the presence, energy and charisma to light up the faces of any size crowd, from the smallest stages to the biggest venues worldwide. “The thing that is most satisfying for us is seeing the skeptics or non-fans (of Michael Jackson) end up singing the loudest along with us. That tells me that our musical abilities are a significant part of our appeal,” states Tadepalli.
Even with the satisfaction and recognition of their amazing musical talent, Tadepalli is mindful of the need to continually up the ante to engage fans of all ages. “We realized early on that we are trying to fill big shoes, so we have worked hard as a band to keep evolving our live shows. We’ve added live dancers to our larger performances, and a multimedia display synched with the music which shows vignettes of Michael’s life and times is now a staple of every show.”
While other Michael Jackson tributes have hit the clubs since the King of Pop’s passing, none have the track record of Who’s Bad, and none quite have the recipe of musicianship, showmanship and style married together perfectly, as Who’s Bad does. Each performer has their own character, and fully locks in to their demanding role of performer and entertainer with panache.
The Who’s Bad live show has grown beyond the tribute label that is so swiftly applied, and has become one of the most sought after performing acts around the world. This is evidenced by the wide demographic of their audience; it is not unusual to see a four year old in a leather coat rocking out next to a seventy year old woman dancing in the aisles. Perhaps Anthony Nicolaidis of Live Nation said it best; “Who’s Bad is the real deal and truly the World’s #1 Tribute to Michael Jackson.” That’s an act worthy of respect.