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Australian Bee Gees to play at The Stage at Santa Ana Star

It’s a beautiful, crisp day in Las Vegas, Nev., and Matt Baldoni is enjoying his time at home.

That will change in a few days as Baldoni will head out with the Australian Bee Gees on a tour that makes a stop at The Stage at Santa Ana Star tonight.

In the tribute band, Baldoni performs as Barry Gibb.

“I love Albuquerque, and one of the reasons I do is because I feel like it’s a sister city to Vegas in the Southwest,” he says in a recent phone interview. “Also, when I’m on tour, I know the closer we get to Albuquerque means that I’m that much closer to home.”

Baldoni has been a member of the touring tribute group for six years.

The Bee Gees began their hit-making days as teenagers in Australia in the early 1960s.

The brothers – Barry, Robin and Maurice – returned to their native England in 1967 and had such hits as “New York Mining Disaster 1941,” “To Love Somebody,” “I Started a Joke” and “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You.”

The Bee Gees had nine No. 1 hits in the U.S. in the 1970s, including “You Should Be Dancing,” “Too Much Heaven” and songs from “Saturday Night Fever” such as “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever” and “How Deep Is Your Love.”

Performing as Barry Gibb has challenges, Baldoni says.

“Natural baritones tend to make better singers in the head voice,” he says. “Getting up high where Barry sang does take a lot of exercise and practice. I have to eat a clean diet and drink plenty of water.”

Baldoni is classically trained in guitar and spent time on the road with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Jeffrey Osborne, among others. He’s also had stints on Broadway and with Cirque du Soleil.

Recently, he toured with another band for a few gigs.

“I came straight out of Bee Gees and into Johnny Cash,” he says. “It threw me for a loop. Luckily, I do have time to get into character. I mean I’m pretending to be a British guy who is Australian. I have to get the character right each night.”

Baldoni is hoping to have time on this stop in New Mexico to visit some of the boxing and mixed martial arts gyms.

“I’m a rabid boxing and MMA fan,” he says. “I constantly study the fighters and Albuquerque is home to the best fighters and gyms. It’s an incredible city to train in. I’ve always been a fan of Holly Holm and hope she will come see the show one day.”