Music Scene: Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band, New Orleans Suspects

Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band

It takes courage to be a tribute band. With an open invitation for comparison to one’s musical idol, the stakes are high and the chances for failure to deliver a reasonable resemblance of perceived perfection are even higher.

Chapel Hill, N.C.’s longtime Michael Jackson tribute band, Who’s Bad, has navigated through those odds with such practiced accuracy that the octet has earned countless mentions of being the closest experience next to seeing the King of Pop himself.

The group’s impressive theatrical performances and spot-on instrumental and vocal recreations have carried it around the world, selling out more than 50 venues in the United Kingdom during its 2010 tour, including London’s O2 Arena.

The eight-piece also sells out regularly throughout the U.S., thanks in large part to receiving high-profile gigs alongside artists like Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men and Pitbull.

Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band will perform Saturday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St. Tickets are $15-$17 and are available at the Music Farm box office or online at Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show starting at 9 p.m.

Go to or call 577-6989 for more information.

Like most New Orleans-based bands, the New Orleans Suspects is actually a ragdoll made up of respected veteran musicians, each with a long career within the legendary New Orleans music culture.

Sax player Jeff Watkins led James Brown’s band for 12 years, while bassist Reggie Scanlan spent 33 years playing bass for “New Orleans’ longest-running ... band,” The Radiators. Willie Green served as the Neville Brothers’ drummer for more than 30 years while Jake Eckert was the longtime lead guitarist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, as well as performing with Dave Matthews, Dr. John, Warren Haynes and others. Pianist C.R. Grover has served stints with The Meters Experience, Outformation, Angie Aparo and many others.

Together, the roster makes up more than a century of dedicated musicianship from which only greatness can follow.

The New Orleans Suspects will perform Friday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 the day of the show, and are available at the door or online at Doors open at 8:30 p.m. with the show starting at 9:30 p.m.

Call 571-4343 or go to for more information.