FARGO — Steve Reckinger had been singing in rock bands for about 25 years, but in 2010 things changed.
“That’s where I got my first wig,” he says.
The singer had just formed his Journey tribute band, 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 act Arch Allies. He will bring his voice and his wigs when the band performs at the Fargo Theater on Saturday night.
Each of these groups requires a different look and sound and although Reckinger is a fan of them all, when it comes to wigs, he plays favorites.
“Steve Perry,” he said without pause. “He’s the one I take care of. You have to style it and make sure it looks good. The others are supposed to look messed up.
Getting into Perry’s character is even easier than some others, like Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot, who does the most difficult costume change.
“It’s the pants. The pants have so many holes that it takes time to get your foot in them,” he says. “It’s like being in a puzzle.”
Depending on the show, there are two or three singers in Arch Allies – two for Saturday night – allowing time for costume changes.
Reckinger sang the same parts in Hairball, the famous hard rock tribute act. Still, he says there is a noticeable difference between the two shows.
“Hairball is designed to bomb. The music is great, but there’s the flash and the spectacle,” he says. “Arch Allies is about recreating the music you grew up with. explosions.
Arch Allies is more classic rock than hard rock, including Queen, Styx and Boston in its mix.
“I grew up in the 80s, when the music was loudest,” he says. “It’s very lively compared to what is happening now, which is very technical. This music is alive, everything that comes out of your instrument is what it is. The music now pales in comparison. It’s been a slow decline since the 80s.”
While the music remains loud, at 57 he no longer parties like a rock star, neither drinks nor smokes and makes it a point to eat healthy.
When he looks at the crowd, he sees people who weren’t even born in the 1980s loving music like those who grew up with it. He asked young viewers what the appeal of music is and often they say it’s what their parents listened to.
“I’d be surprised if someone didn’t like it,” he says.
He also sees a difference between fans at an Arch Allies show versus a Hairball set.
“They are not frantic with this group. Excited, but not frantic,” he says.
“We invite the crowd to become our friends. It is a welcoming and warm spectacle. It’s like a family. I don’t want to knock any of my old bands, but this one is my favorite.
WHAT: arch allies
WHEN: 8 p.m., Saturday
OR: Fargo Theater
INFORMATION: Tickets are $27.50 plus fees, www.jadepresents.com