Michael Jackson tribute plans a thriller at Hollywood Casino ToledoWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Vamsi Tadepalli remembers jumping on his bed when he was 4 years old, listening to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Thirty years after the song was released, Tadepalli’s tribute band, Who’s Bad, will play at Hollywood Casino Toledo.
The free show will be the first time Who’s Bad plays in Toledo. Performances are at 8 and 10 p.m. Dec. 7.The band formed eight years ago while Tadepalli was in college. It was then that he fell back in love with Jackson.
“The whole reason behind starting the group is to remind people how awesome [Jackson’s] music is,” Tadepalli said. “No
w that he’s gone, there’s that desire for people to want to hear [his music].”
The group’s first performance was January 2004. Tadepalli said the show went international after Jackson died in 2009.
“We were doing about 100 shows a year before he passed away,” Tadepalli said. “We definitely booked a lot more shows because everyone kind of wanted to fill that void he left behind. They wanted to hear his music, so we were there ready to go.”
Tadepalli said Jackson never got to see the show, but he thinks Jackson knew of the act.
“I’m pretty sure the Jackson estate was aware of us,” Tadepalli said. “They tend to only contact people if they don’t like what they’re doing. We’ve yet to hear anything.”
Tadepalli said the closest they’ve come was when Jackson’s former manager Frank Dileo attended the show. He said it was, “great; Michael would have been proud.”
Until recently, Tadepalli was the saxophone player. Now, he stays backstage as manager. He said he knew the band would be popular, but wouldn’t have guessed it’d last this long.
“It’s been pretty amazing to see how far his music reaches,” Tadepalli said.
The show is about 60 minutes and showcases 22 songs.
Tadepalli promises dancing numbers during “Beat It,” “Thriller” and “Smooth Criminal.”
“Everyone in the band comes from different backgrounds,” Tadepalli said. “That’s a cool aspect because it kind of symbolizes what Michael did. He brought people together in his music.”
For more information, visit the website www.hollywoodcasinotoledo.com.