LEVITT PAVILION DENVER FREE CONCERT SERIES
Who's Bad | The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience with Float Like A Buffalo
Presented by FirstBank
VIP Upgrades Available
Your $30 donation gets you:
Access to our seated VIP Patio
2 complimentary drinks
Early entry at 5:30pm
Premium stage viewing
All Ages | General Admission Lawn
Doors at 6:00 PM | Show at 7:00 PM
This event is Rain or Shine
Who’s Bad’s live performance is an unrivaled celebration of pop music’s one true King. Their power-
packed performance of Michael Jackson’s expansive catalog has ignited crowds on every continent and
can only be described as a jaw-dropping, musical must-see. As the longest-running Michael Jackson
tribute band, and the only one to predate his untimely passing, Who’s Bad has awed even the skeptics,
selling out nearly 50 venues in the United Kingdom including London’s O2 in December of 2010, the
venue where the King of Pop was slated to end his career with a 50-show “This Is It” concert series.
Beyond this unparalleled achievement, Who’s Bad has checked some of the world’s most famous
pavilions off their ‘to-do’ list, selling out their first tour of China with stops at Ningbo’s Grand Theatre
and Hunan Grand Theatre in Chengsha. Never neglecting Michael’s U.S. fans, Who’s Bad has packed The House of Blues in Houston, Dallas, and New Orleans; rocked DC’s 930 Club and returned to their native Chapel Hill, NC boasting larger, more eagerly-awaited performances with every romp around the globe. Sold-out shows from Colorado’s Bluebird Theatre and LA’s Gibson Amphitheatre and Romania’s Sala Palatalui to Teatro do Bourbon Country (Porto Alegre, Brazil) tell the story: no corner of the earth is safe from this infectious party production.
Who’s Bad has earned its name by paying studious attention to Michael Jackson’s every original groove
and gravity-defying dance move, boasting over 100 years of professional experience and a team of
dancers with resumes that include Broadway productions such as Phantom of the Opera. Vamsi
Tadepalli (Who’s Bad founder, composer, and saxophonist) assembled a cast of North Carolina’s
premiere musicians and, from Who’s Bad’s inception, believed in the band’s boundless possibilities. The
velvety vocals and pinpoint choreography of frontmen Joseph Bell and Taalib York’s combined with the
six-piece band’s synchronized dance routines, blaring horns and down-deep rhythms, results in a
performance delivered with soul and precision superseded by no one but the King himself. They’ve
shared stages with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, The Backstreet Boys, The Four Tops, Boys II Men,
and hip hop superstar, Pitbull. Captivated fans include LIVENATION’s Anthony Nicolaidis who calls Who’s Bad, “the real deal,” and Michael Jackson’s longtime friend and manager Frank DiLeo who proclaimed after Who’s Bad show in Nashville, TN, “the show was great….Michael would have been proud!” Whether you idolized the Jackson 5, fell in love to Human Nature, or learned to moonwalk to Billie Jean, Who’s Bad is THE ULTIMATE music-and-dance driven Michael Jackson homage. This band of
professionals relentlessly elevate the legacy of pop music’s King, always pushing themselves to be more precise, to raise the level of excitement and awe, while embodying Michael Jackson’s mission to bring people together of all races, genders, and cultures through music. As the curtain opens on a Who’s Bad performance, every MJ fan feels the adrenaline, screams at the sight of that unmistakable silhouette, and succumbs to a surefire Michael Jackson sing-along. The energy is purely magnetic, the musicianship is first-rate, the dance moves deftly inspired. Who’s Bad is a tribute befitting a King and their high-octane execution of MJ’s music and dance has catapulted them to the exclusive rank of Ultimate!
Who’s Bad’s power-packed tribute to Michael Jackson has ignited crowds on every continent and can
only be described as a jaw-dropping, musical must-see. As the longest-running Michael Jackson tribute
band, and the only one to predate his untimely passing, Who’s Bad has sold out nearly 50 venues in the
United Kingdom including London’s O2 where the King of Pop was slated to end his career. Over 100
years of collective professional experience and sold-out shows at every major House of Blues, Colorado’s Bluebird Theatre, LA’s Gibson Amphitheatre as well as international pavilions such as Ningbo Grand Theatre (China), Romania’s Sala Palatalui to Teatro do Bourbon Country (Porto Alegre, Brazil) tell the story: no corner of the earth is safe from this infectious party production.
Float Like A Buffalo
Examining existence, love, and even the mountains of Colorado. ‘Back From Nowhere,’ Alt-Funk-Ska-Rock septet Float Like A Buffalo’s first full length album reaches far into the places that have so wildly shaped it’s members and brings back a fun loving and raw sound that the band refuses to apologize for.
The groups roots stem from the state of Colorado. This theme is repeatedly called to throughout the album as the mythical ‘nowhere,’ ‘the place where I became a man’ and many more. Frontman, Cory Pearman and Percussionist, Garrett Achten formed the original incarnation of the band in Littleton, CO early in 2014. Later bringing aboard Bassist, Jason Clukies and Lead Guitarist, Evan Crabdree. After several rotating members, nearly two years later, the addition of Drummer, Phil Pleckham solidified the lineup for the time being. After enjoying local success for nearly a year and a half, the group then added Cory ‘Beef’ Meier (Trombone) and Luke Story (Saxophone, Trumpet) in early 2017, finalizing their lineup just as the recording process started for their rookie album.
Over a year in the making, ‘Back From Nowhere’ lays bare its songwriting and musicality in front of all else. Boasting a clean sound where nothing is hidden, each track guiding the listener through the concept of nowhere. “I think we all wanted to create something that could be listened to casually, but would encourage you to listen to the different layers.” Says Phil Pleckham, Drummer. “There’s a ton more going on the more you listen to it.” True to the test, the seven-piece band prompts solos from nearly every performer over the ten tracks and showcases the full sound the group’s live sets are known for.
An abrupt start and the words “I’m on the road to nowhere” immediately hammer home the ride you’re about to embark on through track, ‘Lil Ol’ You.’ The uptempo but surprisingly groove oriented tune “is about feeling lost on a journey and outside yourself.” Says lead singer Cory Pearman. “And realizing you don’t know yourself anymore.” The songs lyrics “You messed up” and “You brought up everything you ever thought up” make you question if the subject of the song is calling out someone specific, or their self.
‘Finding Somewhere’ (the albums first single) carries this notion while throwing you through the depths of existence and dropping the tempo. Asking to remember the times back when, losing your mind and constantly emphasizing that you are “Doing just fine.” This emotional call to find one’s self drives the horns and screaming guitar behind to totally immerse the listener; As if living someone else’s storyline.
“Recording guitar will point out all of your flaws in a millisecond.” Remarked Lead Guitarist, Evan Crabdree on the recording process of the album. The Spot Studios served as a home base for the group for nearly a year and a half while tracking and mixing. Run by Denver recording giants Rich Veltrop and Glenn Sawyer, the duo not only served as engineers but producers and even backup vocalists when needed. “I always had butterflies and nerves,” remembered Jason Clukies, Bassist. “Playing in front of a thousand people is one thing, but being under the microscope in front of them is totally different.”
The second single ’She Don’t Care’ is a powerhouse of intensity. Funk-driven bass and guitar give way to a story of lust that is met with a slap in the face. Inviting the talents of Lizzy Gogolowski (We Are Madeleine and Diamond Empire Band) and Gabriel Mervine (The Motet and Gabriel Mervine Quartet), the seven-piece band ups the count to nine for this dance driven groove.
The music video, shot by Connor Tieulie, tells this story perfectly; set in a bar, as most stories of funk and lust are. “My favorite moment was filming the group dance sequence in the alley,” Says Trombone player Cory Meier while joking about being better than the Backstreet Boys. “The reaction shots [in the video] are all genuine responses to our over the top antics.”
Since finishing the band has taken on several high visibility appearances. Most noticeably at the historic Bluebird Theatre of Denver and winning a nomination for “Best Funk Band” in Denver through local culture, in-the-know publication ‘Westword.’ But progress doesn’t stop here. With plans to drop ‘Back From Nowhere’ in January 2019, a national tour and their sophomore album already in the back of their minds, this unstoppable seven-piece unit leaves you with an assurance that they will be looking to the road ahead, and enjoying this ride.