There all sorts of rock and roll dreams. Some people head out to karaoke nights and croon and strut like their favorite singers, while others toil in a garage and hope to have a night of glory on a local stage. Chris Verdon, a Peachtree City resident, had a dream about putting on a concert and decided to do something about it this year.
“I started thinking about this last year and talked to (amphitheater director) Nancy Price in March of this year about what it would take,” Verdon said. “Finally, in June, i decided to make the commitment. It didn’t leave me with a lot of time to advertise or get sponsorships, but it does give me a taste of what it takes.”
Verdon is presenting Slippery When Wet, a Bon Jovi tribute band that is officially authorized by Bon Jovi, on Saturday, Aug. 28 at The Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater. He did a lot of research into tribute bands, finding that a lot of them out there featured talented musicians that sounded an awful lot like the bands they were covering. Tribute bands, unlike cover bands, often try to imitate the look and sound of an artist or band and their concerts and Verdon was blown away by Slippery When Wet.
“Their video is impressive, but they are even better live,” Verdon exclaimed. “I figured this was a show I was interested in going to, maybe others would be as well.”
It’s not a far out theory. There are tribute acts and artists for nearly every singer or band you can think of. Some of the sounds are so similar that the real bands often come calling on the vocalist to join the group. This has been the case for both Journey and Judas Priest. “The Fred” has also seen acts like “Get Back” – a tribute to The Beatles and World Classic Rockers, which feature some original members of classic rock bands, do very well with local audiences. Verdon hopes that his show does as well and believes there are enough Bon Jovi fans in the area willing to pay $15 to see a great impersonation.
Verdon, a graduate of McIntosh High School in 1989 and owner of several area convenience stores, is trying to get everything together for next weekend’s show but promises it will operate the same as any other concert at “The Fred.” The concession stands will be open, patrons can bring food and drinks into the venue and there are tables available near the stage for purchase.
Bon Jovi has recorded 14 Billboard top 10 hits and Slippery When Wet will give fans a Bon Jovi like experience. Guests can expect to hear hits like “Livin’ On a Prayer,” “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “It’s My life” among others.
“My hope is that I can put together a series of concerts like this next year,” Verdon said. “The tickets are inexpensive, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of driving into Atlanta and you should have a really good time at a great venue.”
Verdon expressed his gratitude to Price and box office supervisor Sarah Davenport for making sure he knew all the potential pitfalls and costs.
“I’m not expecting to make a ton of cash,” Verdon admitted. “I’m just hoping to get it started and help it grow.”
The Dirty Roots Band will open the show at 8 p.m. and Slippery When Wet takes the stage at 9 p.m. Tickets, which are $15, can be purchased by calling the box office at 770-631-0630 on line at www.ticketalternative.com or www.amphitheater.org. Become a friend on Facebook go to The Tribute Series. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Box office opens at 4 p.m. on concert day.