Billed as the "ultimate Michael Jackson tribute band," Who's Bad plays songs from the King of Pop's entire catalog, complete with high-energy choreography, at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Ghost Ranch Saloon.

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Billed as the "ultimate Michael Jackson tribute band," Who's Bad plays songs from the King of Pop's entire catalog, complete with high-energy choreography, at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Ghost Ranch Saloon.

Who's Bad promises off-the-wall show

Michael Jackson tribute band plays at Ghost Ranch Saloon today

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If you go:

What: Who's Bad, a Michael Jackson tribute band

When: 9 p.m. today

Where: Ghost Ranch Saloon, 56 Seventh St.

Cost: $18 in advance, $20 at the door

Call: 879-9898

Listen: Who's Bad renditions of Michael Jackson hits are streaming at www.myspace.com/w...>

— It didn't take long for Who's Bad - billed as "the ultimate Michael Jackson tribute" - to start thrilling audiences.

"I think the first six months of 2004 we only played six shows, and the second six months we played 82 shows," said Vamsi Tadepalli, Who's Bad saxophonist, manager and founding band member.

The band plays hits from Jackson's four-decade reign of popular culture at 9 p.m. today at Ghost Ranch Saloon. Tickets are $18 in advance at www.ghostranchsaloon.com, and are $20 at the door.

When Who's Bad got its start in Chapel Hill, N.C., about six years ago, it was a band of recent graduates from the music program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"When I was graduating college I just wanted to put a band together with my friends, and I already had a bunch of Michael Jackson songs on our set list," Tadepalli said in a recent phone interview.

A longtime Jackson fan, Tadepalli didn't have much trouble making the leap from playing some of the King of Pop's songs to forming a tribute band. Since then, the band has delivered a costumed, choreographed show 100 to 150 nights a year with the goal of keeping audiences dancing.

"Beyond seeing a full band perform on stage : they can expect to see the dance routines, the choreography, the high energy, and the passion, as best as we can recreate, that Michael did when he was performing live," Tadepalli said.

About 30 musicians have played with Who's Bad since the band performed its first show in January 2004, Tadepalli said. For the Ghost Ranch Saloon show, Who's Bad offers two lead singers, Joseph Bell and Taalib York, along with bassist Darion Alexander, drummer Nyk Baglio, trumpet player Ray McCall and guitarist Patrick Cross.

Who's Bad performs "Thriller"

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