Who’s Bad, the world’s top Michael Jackson tribute band, is delighted with the news their musical inspiration won’t be losing his celebrated home. The group has dubbed its upcoming concerts the “Neverland Victory Tour” to celebrate Jackson managing to avoid foreclosure on his longtime Santa Ynez, CA, estate.
The tour began March 22 at the Surrey Tavern in Augusta, GA, and goes through May 30 at the Triangle Town Center in Raleigh, NC.
The band had previously announced that the concerts would be dedicated to “saving Neverland,” and considered donating a portion of the proceeds to help Jackson avoid having the house taken away and auctioned by the court.
“We were ready to take up a collection for him,” says Tadepalli. “We especially wanted to help him keep the giraffes. We really felt sorry for the animals who were being uprooted from their environment.”
Who’s Bad performs 120-150 shows a year to sold-out audiences around the United States, including clubs, summer festivals and corporate shows, giving the crowd its money’s worth with a live show that miraculously duplicates the music and showmanship of one of the world’s greatest musical artists.
“We celebrate the songs and the memorable live performances,” explains Tadepalli, who arranges all the charts for the group, which includes the remarkable Joseph Bell, Jr. on vocals, with some of the area’s finest musicians, including Ray McCall, Kevin Timmons, Stephen Coffman and Hugh Swaso. “We incorporate as much of the original choreography that we can. We want to remind people of those great videos and why he remains the King of Pop.”
“We want them to have that feeling they had hearing ‘Billie Jean,” ‘Thriller,’ “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ and ‘Off the Wall’ for the first time,” explains Tadepalli. “We don’t get involved in the media controversies. We’re all about the music and putting on a great show that gets people up in the aisles and dancing.”
Since the beginning of the year, which marks Jackson’s 50th birthday and the 25th anniversary re-release of Thriller, which has hovered near the top of the chart all over the world, Who’s Bad? has sold out every show they’ve played.
“Once they see us perform, they’re convinced,” says Tadepalli. “We’re big fans of Michael Jackson’s music, and that shows in our performances. We’re all about honoring the music.”
The North Carolina-based Who’s Bad, widely acknowledged as the world’s ultimate Michael Jackson tribute band, was founded by Vamsi Tadepalli in Chapel Hill five years ago to recreate the music, the choreography and the over-the-top showmanship of the self-proclaimed King of Pop, from his days in the Jackson 5 up to Invincible.
Who’s Bad fills the void created in the absence of Michael Jackson himself, who hasn’t toured in the continental U.S. since 1988’s Bad Tour, except for performances at the 1993 Super Bowl, the 1995 MTV Video Awards and a benefit concert at Washington, DC’s RFK Stadium in 2001.
Who’s Bad have dedicated the performances on their “Neverland Victory Tour” to helping him celebrate the fact his beloved home is now safely out of foreclosure.
“We have continued to offer our moral support to Michael through this entire ordeal,” says Tadepalli of the band’s dedication. “Each performance is the ultimate party waiting to happen… Everyone who’s seen us ends up ‘gloving’ it.”
For a taste of what you can expect, visit
Link to website:
March 27: Taboo, Columbia, SC
March 29: The Soapbox, Wilmington, NC
April 4: The Pourhouse, Charleston, SC
April 6: Greene Street Club, Greensboro, NC
April 11: Rhythm and Brews, Chattanooga, TN
April 12: The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
April 18: The Canal Room, New York, NY
April 19: Rhythm House Café, Bridgeville, PA
April 25: Andrews Upstairs, Atlanta, GA
April 26: Cats Cradle, Carrboro, NC
April 28: Rehab Lounge, Greenville, NC
May 1: Duffy’s, Chicago, IL
May 2: John Barleycorn, Schanburg, IL
May 3: The Bluebird, Bloomington, IN
May 8: Duke University, Durham, NC
May 9: The Vogue, Indianapolis, IN
May 10: Santa Fe Café, College Park, MD
May 15: Five Points Pub, Columbia, SC
May 16: Party on the Point, Charleston, SC
May 29: City Center After 5, Charlotte, NC
May 30: Triangle Town Center, Raleigh, NC