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Canadian trio honors  Bee Gees in tribute show

Todd Sharman stars as “RobGibb” bStayin’ Alive: A Bee Gees Tribute Concert.

Todd Sharman stars as “Robin Gibb” in the band Stayin’ Alive: A Bee Gees Tribute Concert.

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◆ 8 p.m. Jan. 5

◆ Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 West Campbell St., Arlington Heights

◆ Tickets, $35-$40

◆ (847) 577-2121;

Updated: March 13, 2013 4:39PM

Todd Sharman doesn’t necessarily resemble former Bee Gees member Robin Gibb. He says his hair isn’t quite long enough and his voice isn’t quite high enough and his body isn’t quite skinny enough. “I’m built more like a hockey player,” he chuckles. “Robin is a tough one to master.”

With three children, three grandchildren and countless white, disco-inspired suits hanging in his closet, the 51-year-old Sharman, alongside bandmates Anthony Mattina (playing the role of Barry Gibb) and Joseph Janisse (playing the role of Maurice Gibb), has mastered the harmonies of the legendary Bee Gees in their own musical tribute band, Stayin’ Alive. Performing at Arlington Heights’ Metropolis Performing Arts Centre on Jan. 5, “Stayin’ Alive: A Bee Gees Tribute” has found quite a niche amongst a growing group of fans, simply by playing the music so many people now miss. Formed just over 10 years ago, the members of “Stayin’ Alive” say they went in determined to make this group far more than just another tribute band playing the bar circuit.

“I guess we could go onstage with wigs and make it some sort of shtick, but we have more respect for the band than that,” explains Sharman. “It’s more about the true performance we can put on for the audiences that come to see us.”

Indeed, with Robin’s passing combined with Maurice Gibb’s passing in 2003, the tour schedule of “Stayin’ Alive” has seen a burst in popularity and sentimentality.

“I’ve seen people in the crowd become very emotional,” says Sharman, who claims “Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)” as one of his Bee Gees favorites. “I think it does because most of the people were never able to see the Bee Gees perform live or will never have a chance to see them again. We were playing with the Charlotte Symphony one night and this young woman came up to us in the meet and greet line. She had grown up listening to the Bee Gees, and admitted that she was pretty much freaking out at the chance to meet us. She was quite literally wrapped up in the performance.”

Even Sherman says that he never had the chance to meet the Bee Gees, or see them play live during their disco heyday.

“I remember back when I was 10 years old and my family and I would take these long trips to Florida,” says the Canadian singer. “The radio would be on and I remember hearing the Bee Gees’ song ‘Run to Me.’ I loved the melody and such, but I wouldn’t say I was a huge fan of their music back then. At my high school, you either liked disco or you liked rock.”

Sharman was a rocker.

Yet, after trying his hand at a handful of tribute bands, Sharman hooked up with a fellow musician to begin mastering the sound of the Bee Gees.

“I’m constantly doing research on YouTube and watching recordings of their live performances,” he says. “You have to be careful because there is always that chance that your own personality will start seeping into your performance, and when that happens, you really have to go back and re-learn their mannerisms and such. We are not trying to be them. I guess we just aren’t ready for their music to go away.”

No one is.

Tricia Despres is a local free-lance writer.

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