Michael Firestone

Acclaimed Michael Jackson Tribute ‘I am King’ Wows Windsor Audience

I am King: The Michael Jackson Experience is a “MUST SEE” Event. The touring show that has rocked Vegas for years visited the Chrysler Theatre last week for a stunning show that included all the songs, moves and charisma one would expect from the world’s leading Michael Jackson impersonator.

Having never seen Michael Jackson live in concert, this was as close as I’ll ever get. I am King’s Michael Firestone is not a typical impersonator; he’s the TRUE Embodiment of The King of Pop. A real entertainer with real skill and star power.

The audience was captivated by his performance – from his voice to his moves, you would think it was MJ himself. Every so often he would break character and interact with the crowd with a quick one liner joke that would have the audience rolling in the isles.

Fans couldn’t help but sing along to every song that was performed and he truly made it an audience participation event. At one-point Michael Firestone encouraged the entire audience to sing “We Are The World” to the point where only the audience was singing it at the end.

I am King’s setlist was one for the record books – iconic songs from the days of the Jackson 5 like “I’ll Be There” and “Who’s Loving You” to MJ essentials like “Rock With You”, “Beat It”, ”Billie Jean” and “Thriller”, just to name a few.

Michael Firestone and the I am King experience was a musical thrill ride that no one wanted to get off.

Thank you YQG, Windsor, Ontario

Tribute Show - Bee Gees Gold Tribute

Bee Gees stay alive through tribute band

Brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb sold more than 220 million records and won five Grammy Awards as the Bee Gees. Their music lives on with John Acosta, who portrays Barry Gibb in Bee Gees Gold: The Tribute, which comes to Genesee Theatre Sept. 28.

Acosta promised the audience will “feel the fever.

“I want everybody to close their eyes and when they’re hearing their favorites songs, exclaim out loud, ‘I just heard the Bee Gees,’” said Acosta, whose falsetto voice closely mirrors that of Barry Gibb’s.

“We do dress in the 1970s fashions. And we bring back these arrangements, these songs from the Bee Gees catalog that are one-of-a kind,” he said.

Then came the disco era in the 1970s when Barry Gibb reinvented the group using his famous falsetto. “No one sounded like him,” Acosta said.

Acosta said he was 10 years old during the disco era, which brought the Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” to the top of the pop charts.

“Whatever you’re listening to when you’re 10 years old, you start to imitate,” he said. “I was imitating Barry Gibb at parties.”

Read on…

I AM KING - The Michael Jackson Experience

‘I Am King’ salutes Michael Jackson’s career

Michael Firestone admitted when he learned Michael Jackson died in 2009, he no longer wanted to continue doing his tribute performances of the King of Pop.

But within months, Firestone was back on the road again, acting like, singing like and dancing like one of the most popular entertainers of all time, something he’d done for years before Jackson died.

Firestone will perform in “I Am King: The Michael Jackson Experience” Sept. 20 at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet and Sept. 21 at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan.

“It is way better than anything I’ve ever done,” Firestone said of the production. “Everybody on stage is a piece of the puzzle, the band, the dancers. It isn’t just me. It’s the whole package. The crowd really gets into a super crazy state, like a trance almost.”

Firestone, who has been portraying Michael Jackson on stage since he was 12 years old, recalled the day Jackson died — as well as conversations he’s had via the Internet with Jackson over the years.

When Jackson died, Firestone said he was in bed and awakened by many phone calls from news channels, friends and family.

“I hate to sound dramatic, but I knew,” Firestone said. “There was this feeling in the air. I knew he had passed. I didn’t cry for two days, but when I did, it just didn’t stop. And I said, ‘I’m done. I’m not going to do this anymore.’ I quit for about a month, and then all these wannabe really terrible impersonators came out overnight, and I said ‘I want input into this.’ I went full throttle. I put all my other music on the back burner. I just loved Michael Jackson and I wanted to do it right.”

Read on…

Michael Firestone

I AM KING: The Michael Jackson Experience @ Miramar

Michael Firestone’s “I AM King,” The Michael Jackson Experience at Miramar Cultural Center on May 10, 2018, at 8pm, was an astronomical performance. Many in the audience felt that this was as close to the King of Pop as they would get.

“I get to see Michael Jackson,” said one woman.

The journey Firestone took the audience through Michael Jackson’s performances was a deeply moving, exciting, and exhilarating experience. The Michael Jackson Experience was enhanced by a cast of talented musicians: two keyboard players, a female guitarist, drummer, and four dancers. They did an awesome job!  Continue reading…

Marshall Charloff & Purple Xperience

Purple Xperience Pays Tribute To Prince At Red Rocks

Trying to fill someone’s shoes can be tricky. Regardless of who it is.
But when those shoes belong to a beloved musical icon, whose fairly recent passing is still felt throughout the world, the stakes mostly certainly go up a notch. Or ten.

Enter Marshall Charloff and the Purple Xperience. Hailing out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the five-piece Prince tribute band have been on the scene since 2011. The group was founded by Matt “Doctor” Fink, keyboardist for The Revolution. And thanks to a steady presence on the touring circuit, their following has been building. Thursday evening was just the first of the two Colorado performances they’ll make this year.

The resemblance between Charloff and Prince is striking. Both in looks and musical prowess. The high notes. The guitar chops. The moves. It’s all there in full supply. And the band, made up of accomplished musicians as well, rounded out the experience seamlessly.

I’ve been to more Red Rocks shows than I can count. But the level of crowd involvement – and purple attire – at this one seemed particularly poignant. From the first notes of opener “Uptown,” and through a set list that included the likes of “Little Red Corvette,” “I Would Die 4 U,” and “Purple Rain,” the crowd was engaged in a steady sing-along. The momentum never waned. Even after the last notes of the encore had faded and the masses began shuffling out of the
venue, Prince songs could still be heard floating in the air. The tribute band out of Minneapolis had clearly done their job Thursday night. ‘The Purple One’ would have been pleased.

The evening’s set list:

U Got the Look
Wanna Be Your Lover
Nothing Compares to You
Let’s Go Crazy
Little Red Corvette
Raspberry Beret
Pop Life
When Doves Cry
G-D (instrumental)
I Would Die 4 U
Baby, I’m a Star
Purple Rain

Review and Photos by Tina Hagerling – Click to view original article @Alternative Revolt


Wednesday afternoon, I received a phone call from David Brighton. A very pleasant man, he had agreed without hesitation to do a brief interview with me in preparation for his weekend arrival to Toledo.  Performing with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra for the April 14 installation of the KeyBank Pops Series“The Music of David Bowie”, Brighton shared with me what it is like to, for all intents and purposes, “be” David Bowie.

Brighton and his band, typically performing a show called Space Oddity: The Quintessential David Bowie Concert Experience”, are totally on point. Even under pressure. He is the new ‘Jean Genie’.

How often do you tour, and is this your first time in Toledo?

“Yes, this is our first time at the Stranahan. We started this show in 2001, and we’ve had the same line-up now for ten (10) years. My band is so talented. [He spoke so highly of his musicians throughout the entire interview.] They’ve played with a number of very famous musicians and are just so talented.”

What is is like to “be” David Bowie? How do you transform?

Brighton spoke of the hours of preparation for each show, studying the music of Bowie’s musicians, studying the music videos, and taking all of those things that have been absorbed and settled into a place where they can freely come out. “Tapping into the intuitive side of my brain is so key”, he says.

“It is interesting and very strange trying to be someone else. It was not my plan. But we’re in this insane world of celebrity impersonation fun. We present the show as if you are actually watching the band…we are presenting an illusion.”

He also mentions that the toughest thing to do while performing is THINK. When he speaks of the cultivation and activation of the intuitive side of the brain, it is to avoid the thinking process and bypass it to a place where the action just becomes something else entirely. Because “thinking is what causes mistakes. Bowie’s greatness came from his creative flow.”

Do you and the band have any rituals before the show?

“I think my musicians could all be stand-up comedians. There are so many jokes…so many. And this helps us get into a new frame of mind.”

What is your favorite Bowie song to play… or do you have one?

“‘Under Pressure’, ‘Life on Mars’”… those are greats Brighton mentioned off the top of his head, but who can honestly imagine having an all-time favorite Bowie song. One of the most diverse artists of all time, choose a mood and there will be a Bowie favorite for it.

David Bowie retired Ziggy Stardust in 1973. Have you left Ziggy behind in the same way, or do you ever appear in this character?

“Generally, I have multiple costume changes during a given show. This may be a [SPOILER], but I’ll appear with the Toledo Symphony in 3 or 4 different looks. In this particular show, not Stardust, but some I do. There will be extended instrumental and two (2) sets of intermission in the Toledo show, as well.”

Word on the street is that Bowie had a poor tea experience when he was five (5) years old. He reportedly never drank tea after that. Do you have any idea if this is true?

“Well, I met David Bowie to do commercials with him, but tea is never something that came up in conversation! So, I really have no idea about that one.”

Finally, I asked Mr. Brighton if there was anything else he’d like to share with me, anything that was important for me to know as I reported the David Bowie experience.

He did have a few things to say, and they’re all ravings about Bowie as not only a great performer, but also as a great human.

Brighton spoke of being on set with David Bowie, watching how he interacted with others, watching how directors loved him, and what an opportunity it was to see up close what made Bowie a superstar. Once, when being asked if he remembered a line, Bowie quipped, “Yes, of course. I have a photographic memory.” [Fun fact.] Bowie had accents, he had jokes, and just an all around “enormous repertoire of performance skills. And he was a perfect, perfect English gentleman.”

“There is a reason,” asserts Brighton, “that David Bowie was a superstar.” From the incredible musicians in his show to the plethora of genres Bowie delved into, some of which he created, i.e. Glam-rock, Euro-funk dance, etc., “he didn’t let anything hem him in.He bravely explored those places, whether or not they were commercially acceptable. He made them acceptable.

Originally published in the Toledo City Paper

Lez Zeppelin Slays Sexism

Lez Zeppelin was hardly the first all-women outfit paying tribute to all-men rock bands. But when the group formed back in 2004, the trend was in its infancy. AC/DShe and Cheap Chick were around, but the Iron Maidens, Misstallica, Ramonas and many others had yet to form.

What all of these bands have in common is the unfortunate necessity of proving themselves. Even in 2018, many still view all-female bands as a novelty. Sure, kitschy names and gender puns don’t help establish credibility. Still, male tribute bands often have silly names, and they don’t have to work nearly as hard to prove they’ve honed their musical chops. Lez Zeppelin guitarist Steph Paynes views this perception as a challenge to overcome – and overcome it she does. Read on…

Tribute Show - Bee Gees Gold Tribute

Brothers Gibb, a legend brought back to life…

A sold-out audience at Woodlands Auditorium experienced the ultimate salute to the Bee Gees. Backed by a live band, the unique styling and exact harmony of John Acosta (Barry), Michael Welsch (Robin) and Jeff Celentano (Maurice) created a vocal sensation.
If you walked in during their opening number, “Night Fever,” you would have shouted “I’m seeing and hearing the Bee Gees!“
The ensemble, backed by Aaron Tully on bass guitar and “Shadow Dan” Sia on drums, recreated the look and sound of the Bee Gees from the ’60s’ to the late ’70s. Celentano was skilled at the keyboard and Acosta proficient on lead guitar.
Acosta said, “I’ve been singing Barry ever since I can remember. He had the most precise falsetto and defined vocal range and I’ve studied his technique for years.” Acosta sang with several groups until about four years ago when he formed the tribute band, bringing in Celentano and Welsch.
Barry Gibb’s lead vocals were expertly performed by Acosta and Celentano and Welsch added their skilled voices on solos made famous by Robin and Maurice.
The audience applauded as each song was launched and cheered as each ended. The ensemble encouraged attendees to join in as they recreated many Bee Gees hits, including “I Started a Joke,” “Massachusetts,” “Stayin’ Alive” and closing the show with “You Should Be Dancing.” It was certainly a celebratory night at Woodlands with singing and dancing in the aisles.  Continue reading…

Beatles vs Stones head to Atlantic Canada…

Beatles vs. Stones will be heading to Atlantic Canada in April 2018.

“Totally electrifying—you’ll think they’re the real thing!” — O.C. Weekly


“A musical celebration like no other…” — Showtime Magazine

The longest running rivalry in rock & roll; The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, who was the greatest band of all time?

National touring acts Jumping Jack Flash and Four Lads From Liverpool face-off to settle this controversy, once and for all.

Join these two celebrated acts as they present the greatest show that never was.

Jumping Jack Flash and Four Lads From Liverpool trade off mini-sets of the biggest hits of all-time, with you in the front row.

Beatles vs. Stones: if you didn’t see these two legendary bands in their 60’s glory, here’s your second chance—and now they’re together!

Don’t miss Beatles vs. Stones, The Greatest Rivalry in Rock & Roll—coming to your town soon!

Nirvanish @ Mauch Chunk Opera House

Click here to buy tickets!

Featuring reality TV Star Joey Gnoffo on drums!

Replicating the audio integrity of Nirvana’s recorded work while capturing the electric fury the group was known for is what makes Nirvanish the quintessential Nirvana tribute show.

You can expect to hear the well known singles for the passing fan, along with deep cuts for the die-hard grunge rocker and everything in between.  Nirvanish is sure to bring the raw live experience for the many fans that didn’t have the opportunity to see the legend in person.

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@ The Gas Lamp, Long Beach, CA

@ House of Blues, Anaheim, CA


[toggle title=”RIP Kurt Cobain”]
“Punk is musical freedom. It’s saying, doing and playing what you want. In Webster’s terms, ‘nirvana’ means freedom from pain, suffering and the external world, and that’s pretty close to my definition of Punk Rock”.—Kurt Cobain

Kurt on Wikipedia

20 Songs that Influenced Kurt[/toggle]