Moves Like Jagger

When it comes to stage antics, no one puts on a show like Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones. His iconic moves are just as famous as the band’s catalogue of around 400 songs.

That energetic presence is difficult to emulate, yet another Mick has channeled Jagger for his own rock show in tribute to the original. Mick Adams created and fronts Mick Adams and the Stones, which was named one of the top 10 tributes in the world by Backstage 360 magazine.

Adams grew up in Ohio and began singing at the age of 3. He sang with his church choir as a child, and the school choir in high school, continuing his vocal education beyond that to study under Ben Bollinger, whose other notable students were Karen and Richard Carpenter.

For many years he was lead vocalist for Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, and had the opportunity to tour with The Turtles, The Monkees, The Association, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Herman’s Hermits and more.

“When I was with Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods back in the day and ‘Billy Don’t Be a Hero’ was a hit, I met so many cool people, including Dick Clark and Stevie Wonder,” Adams said. “I was with Bo and we’d do shows with everybody from America, Neil Sedaka and Johnny Rivers. We were on tour with them and we got to hang and meet all these great people and I’m still friends with a lot of them.”

After that, Adams got a call to star in a Rolling Stones tribute, but it wasn’t quite so simple replicating Jagger’s persona.

“Actually a friend of mine called me up and said he was putting this tribute band together and it was going to be a Rolling Stones thing,” Adams said. “So I went and I tried out. At first it was horrible. I mean I knew the songs, but he’s a study as far as moves and how he talks. I was trying to learn the accent and my wife told me, ‘Honey, I hate to tell you this but you sound like Austin Powers on a bad day.’”

Some constructive criticism from his wife, and her love for the Rolling Stones, helped Adams find his way.

“She’s been a Rolling Stones fan since she was 14 years old and she had old video tapes and old TV interviews of him and she said, ‘Sit down and watch some of these.’ So I just started studying and studying and it just kept evolving and morphing,” Adams said. “What’s weird is, I never thought I looked like him that much. Then I changed my hair color and haircut and it’s odd, it’s like an actor in a role and the more you’re in the role, the more even outside of the role you carry some of those characteristics with you.”

After playing with a few different Stones tributes, Adams decided to take the reins and create his own show.

“Well I had been in three other Rolling Stones tributes and I got tired of everyone else telling me how to do what I knew how to do,” he said. “So I decided that I was just going to form my own band.”

Mick Adams and the Stones was born and became a big success. The group was chosen twice to be on Mark Cuban’s TV show, “The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands.”

“In the first season when they were putting that show together, Katie Derrell, who was the host, and Mark Cuban, sat down and handpicked all the first season bands and he picked the Fab Four for the Beatles band and we were No. 2 on the hit parade and he picked us and that was quite a feather in our cap actually because he was looking at bands from all over the country for these spots,” Adams said.

The group has played for several celebrities, including a chance encounter with Brad Pitt in Las Vegas.

“A funny story is we were playing out on Fremont Street and we were there doing a sound check during the day and we were walking along and all of a sudden my wife goes, ‘Oh my god, that’s Brad Pitt!’ So I walk over and I said, ‘Did anyone ever tell you, you look like Brad Pitt?’ And he looks at me with a grin on his face and doesn’t say a word. I said, ‘I get it, you’re incognito.’ He smiles and he goes, ‘Yeah.’ All of a sudden he was eclipsed by a bodyguard that was the size of a Volkswagon and they walked ahead,” Adams said. “So that night we were doing our show and about two songs into the set I look over — there was a secure area for celebrities and local government that wanted to come — and there stands Brad Pitt, and he stayed for the whole set all the way to the encore. And toward the end of the encore I look over and he smiles and he waves at me and gave me a thumbs up. I didn’t know it, but at one time they were going to do a movie about Brian Jones, and Brad Pitt went on the road with the Rolling Stones for almost a year seeing what the experience is like being with the band.”

Adams continues to study Jagger and adapt to his ever-changing performance style.

“I have to constantly watch videos because Mick’s constantly adding new moves, new this, new that, new clothes — I’m always checking up on all of that stuff,” Adams said. “The show has evolved and it’s like larger than life now and taken on a whole personality of its own. I love it, I love that people buy into the fact that they want to be entertained and if you can convince them enough that you’ve stepped into those shoes, it’s like watching an actor in a role on TV. If you can get them to buy into that whole vibe, they have the best time in the world and so do I.”

To create that illusion, Adams assumes the full stage character every time he performs.

“You can’t go out there and be half Jagger and half me. When I’m on that stage I have to be all Jagger. If I can hit the stage like a fireball shot out of a cannon, we’re good for the night,” he said. “I don’t even know how I do it, but I do it night after night.”

Adams, along with his bandmates — Shane Hunter as Keith Richards, Jeff Hands as Charlie Watts, Ron Jessurun as Ronnie Wood, Marvin Sperling as Bill Wyman and Tober Mei on vocals — is bringing his high-energy show to Don’s Celebrity Theatre at the Riverside Resort for the first time, today-Sunday (8 p.m.).

“We pride ourselves on the energy and representing them the best we can,” Adams said. “There will be some different songs here and there because we’ll be there for five nights so we’ll plug different things in and out to keep people guessing and keep it fresh for us. When the Stones go on tour, they rehearse 65 songs and they can change the setup every night if they want, it’s crazy. One thing I do love is not just the collection of hit songs, but the fan favorites, like “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was never a hit song but you start that song and the audience is singing from the get-go because it was such a fan favorite from the concerts. There will be little nuggets here and there we’ll plug in that people aren’t expecting.”

With his passion for performing, each night will be an outstanding show.

“It’s just so much fun to see people having that much fun, especially after COVID and all this craziness we’ve been going through. I could never take it for granted ever because I love what I do,” Adams said. “Every night’s going to be a lot of fun and every night’s going to be a little bit different.”