By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Before starting up his band in 2001, Chris LeGrand had never been the center of attention. So why did he step into the shoes of one of the greatest frontmen of all time?
Well, if the lips fit...
"You could say I'm blessed or cursed with these looks. They've been following me around since I was 15 years old, ever since I got into music and grew my hair out," said LeGrand, founder of Satisfaction, an internationally touring Rolling Stones tribute band.
Satisfaction will perform at 9 p.m. Friday at Midnight Rodeo, 4400 S. Georgia St. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 ages 21 and older and $20 ages 18 to 20 on the day of the show.
"I was a bass player, a guitar player, a drummer — I played a lot of different instruments in my earlier bands, but I was never a frontman or the lead singer," LeGrand said.
And Mick Jagger is, perhaps, the ultimate frontman in rock history, not only possessing a recognizable look but also commanding the stage with legendary swagger and attitude.
"It took a lot of study, like anything else," LeGrand said. "When you cast yourself into being the role of someone you're not, it's no different than being an actor in one of those popular biopics. ... They pretty much have to cast themselves into these molds, and that's what I have to do.
"It's always a work in progress," he continued. "It's a very unnatural thing to not be yourself."
But what was natural was LeGrand's love of the Stones' music. Though he was born after the Stones became part of the vanguard of the British Invasion in the early 1960s, LeGrand grew up listening to their music.
"I love the band along with all the other great classic rock groups and British Invasion bands," he said. "I just saw that I had the look, the musical talent — maybe I had a shot doing this. I certainly didn't know how well it would turn out."
Since its formation, Satisfaction has gone from playing nightclubs "in every little nook and cranny of the country" to performing on the Las Vegas strip and being touted by Rolling Stone magazine as "one of the best tribute shows in the world."
"Entertaining people that are fans of this great group is probably the greatest reward," LeGrand said. "I have a job portraying a character who is the greatest frontman of all time, so I have the fun of, every night, watching the audience enjoy the show."
And it doesn't get old, he said.
"The songs remain the same," LeGrand said. "The music stays the same, the characters stay the same, but the audience is different every night. That's what keeps it fresh for us."
Tribute bands like his, or the countless ones honoring other heavyweights like the Beatles and Elvis Presley, allow fans young and old to see at least an approximation of what these classic bands were like in their prime, LeGrand said.
"Bless their hears, they're all about 75 years old now," LeGrand said. "You don't see them out there too often any more, but they are still relevant. We try to capture the early years of the band; we're not out there trying to look 75 by any means.
"A lot of young people never got a chance to see them perform, and people who have been fans of the band for years ... still want to come out and see a show live," he continued. "It's one thing to watch a Blu-ray or listen to a record, but if you see a band performing them well, that's a whole other thing."