FARGO – Steve Reckinger had been singing in rock bands for about 25 years, but in 2010 things changed.
“That’s when I got my first wig,” he says.
The singer had just formed his tribute band Journey, Recapture, and while he had the voice to sing the part of Steve Perry, he didn’t have the hair.
Reckinger still wears the wig and still sings Journey, along with other artists like Def Leppard and REO Speedwagon in classic rock tribute band Arch Allies. He will bring his voice and his wigs when the group performs at the Fargo Theater on Saturday night.
Each of these bands require a different look and sound and while Reckinger is a fan of all of them, when it comes to wigs, he plays favorites.
“Steve Perry,” he said without stopping. “This is the one I’m taking care of. You have to style it and make sure it looks good. The rest are supposed to look messed up.
Getting into Perry’s character is even easier than others, like Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot, who makes the costume change more difficult.
“It’s the pants. The pants have so many holes that it takes a while to get your foot in them, ”he says. “It’s like finding yourself in a puzzle. “
Depending on the show, there are a couple of singers in Arch Allies – two for Saturday night – leaving time for costume changes.
Reckinger sang the same parts in Hairball, the popular hard rock tribute act. Still, he says there is a notable difference between the two shows.
“Hairball is designed for exhilaration. The music is great, but there’s the flash and the spectacle,” he says. “Arch Allies is all about recreating the music you grew up loving. There isn’t explosions.
Arch Allies is more classic rock than hard rock, including Queen, Styx and Boston in their mix.
“I grew up in the 80s, when the music was the loudest,” he says. “It’s very lively compared to what is happening now, which is very technical. This music is alive, whatever comes out of your instrument is what it is. The music is now pale in comparison. It has been a slow decline since the 1980s.
While the music remains strong, at 57, he no longer parties like a rock star, neither drinks nor smokes and makes a point of eating healthy.
When he looks in the crowd he sees people who weren’t even born in the 1980s liking music like those who grew up with it. He asked younger audience members about the appeal of music and they often say that is what their parents listened to.
“I’d be surprised if someone didn’t like it,” he said.
He also sees a difference in the fans during an Arch Allies show as opposed to a Hairball set.
“They are not crazy about this group. Excited, but not frantic, ”he says.
“We invite the crowd to be our friends. It is a welcoming and warm spectacle. It’s like a family. I don’t want to hit any of my old bands, but this is my favorite.
WHAT: Allies of the Ark
WHEN: 8 p.m., Saturday
OR: Fargo Theater
INFO: Tickets cost $ 27.50 plus fees, www.jadepresents.com