In 2003, which was not a great time in Michael’s life, Vamsi Tadepalli founded a tribute band to him. In a telephone interview, Vamsi said that at that time, the band wanted to remind people of Michael’s music, and now seven years later, Tadepalli’s band, ‘Who’s Bad,’ may be the finest Michael-impersonating ensemble in the world.
‘Who’s Bad,’ will perform a benefit for the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival at C2G Music Hall tonight.
The band’s profile rose considerably after Michael’s death, and it’s a windfall that Tadepalli says he could have done without. “When I put this band together, it never crossed my mind to think about it in terms of ‘What would happen if Michael died,’ ” Tadepalli said, sounding genuinely gloomy.
These days the band tours with two male Michael impersonators, Taalib York and Joseph Bell, Tadepalli said. They alternate sets so there are no obvious breaks in the one hundred minute show, for the changing of costumes and the getting of second winds, Tadepalli said.
“I think the reason behind having two of them is that they’re filling big shoes,” Tadepalli said. “With the amount of shows we have been doing since Michael passed away, it would be easy for one person who was doing it all himself every night, to get burned out.”
“Our show is non-stop, high-energy, and there are never any lulls,” he said. “’Who’s Bad,’ will last as long as his [Michael’s]music is popular and his music has already proven the test of time.”