October 7th, 2011
01:58 PM ET
Ants will rock this weekend's Michael Jackson tribute concert... in a manner of speaking.
Alien Ant Farm, the alt rock band that can claim a surprisingly long history with the late King of Pop, is on the bill. The group famously recorded a cover of Jackson's "Smooth Criminal", which hit No. 1 on the modern rock charts in 2001.
The band will be performing that song along with a version of MJ's "PYT" at the Michael Forever concert in Cardiff, Wales, on Saturday.
We talked by phone with AAF frontman Dryden Mitchell, who says he's stoked about the concert.
"This show is going to be gi-normous, so it's good for us," Mitchell told us. He says he never got to meet Jackson personally, but heard from his reps that Michael liked their "Smooth Criminal" cover. "We've all been fans [of Michael] since we were little shavers."
Joining Alien Ant Farm are Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Smokey Robinson, Beyonce (by satellite) and Gladys Knight, among other artists.
Jackson brothers Tito, Marlon and Jackie are performing together, and sister LaToya will make what's being called her "first full concert performance" in nearly 20 years. The Black Eyed Peas, however, dropped out of the tribute for undisclosed reasons.
Mitchell told us he wasn't sure why the Peas bailed, but he's focusing on AAF's performance. He promises a lively set.
"We're a pretty energetic band," he said dryly.
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