A successful tribute band needs great musicians and a real love for the music they play. Beginnings, a band that celebrates the music of the legendary band Chicago, came together over the love the musicians had for the band that has 22 gold records, 18 platinum disks and eight multi-platinum records. Chicago also racked up five No. 1 albums and 21 Top 10 singles in a career that spanned four decades. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
In 2002, eight New York musicians who loved and admired one of the greatest American rock bands came together as a labor of love, based on musicianship and professionalism.
“Many of us were working in other bands and knew each other,” front man Mason Swearingen said in an online interview with axs.com. “Many were horn players and always looking for other ways to play music. Growing up, I was a huge Chicago fan because my parents were big fans of Chicago.”
Swearingen, a North Carolina native, moved to New York to pursue a career in rock. “I learned about the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, had a lot of fun and made some great friends. I just wished we had made more money,” he said with a laugh.
Swearingen connected with a bunch of musicians many of whom were working in other bands. For Swearingen, it was not about the individual musicians, it was about the music. Still, the talented group includes five lead vocalists and musty instrumentalists who bring the music of Chicago to life and recreate every decade of the band’s hits without the use of pre-recorded tracks. The show is family-friendly and meant to appeal to music lovers of all ages.
In an interview with Mike Friedman for Psychology Today, Swearingen spoke about being a tribute musician. “It all begins and ends with the music,” he said “Chicago’s music is just brilliant. To me, they are the ultimate band incorporating virtually every genre of music. Listen to their catalogue and you hear rock, jazz, funk, soul and pop. There’s just so much depth. The orchestration of the songs is phenomenal between the horns, strings and rhythm section.”
Swearingen has absolutely no regrets about dedicating his career to the music of a great band. “Professionally, Beginnings is the thing in my life I’m most proud of,” he said. “The band has made me a better musician and singer. We’ve grown from a bar band into a legitimate rock ‘n roll show with over 60 performances a year in major venues, performance arts center, festivals and casinos all over the Unite States and we’re still growing.”
They certainly are. The band has performed at Epcot Center, The M Resort Spa Casino, Bally’s Atlantic City Resort Casino, The Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, The Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino, Caesar’s Pocono Resorts and theaters around the country. In 2018, they made their Broadway debut with a show Chicago Meets Motown, a one-night event for charity. You have the opportunity to come hear the music you love, performed by professionals who love it as much as you do.
It will be hard to say you’re sorry if you do.
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