Archive for August, 2010
Now that we have this huge list of bands on The Local Q, it might seem a bit overwhelming, so the plan is to spotlight different bands with an interview from time to time.
The first spotlight is with Josh Brueck of the fairly new Quincy band The Balance. His answers are below.
Mark Kroner, vocals and percussion
Dan Phillips, electric and acoustic guitar
Steve Buckman, keyboards and vocals
Nick Steinkamp, drums and electronic drums
Josh Brueck, bass and vocals
HOMETOWN: Quincy, Ill.
“Mark Kroner, the band’s lead-singer, and I played together 22 years ago in a band called Little Ronnie and the Impersonations. Mark is one of those rare singers that has a voice that can do just about anything. We got together a few years back and talked about how much fun we had playing together and that we should do it again. We both grew up loving 80s music and thought that would be a good niche to fill in this area. After months of trying out various members, we hooked up with Steve Buckman, a monster keyboard player, and an essential requirement for the group to succeed. You can’t really play 80s music without keyboards. I then talked to Nick Steinkamp, who I have had the pleasure of playing with over the years. He’s one solid and tasty drummer. Once we got Nick on board, he brought in Dan Phillips on guitar. Dan brings a level of professionalism to the band that makes us all want to do better. We all click well together and enjoy what we are doing.”
“We play 70s and 80s rock, and our influences are all over the board, from rock to jazz to country. But we all agree that we enjoy playing music that pushes us both technically and stylistically, and we all love what we like to call arena rock!”
“One goals of the band is to try and have new material every time you hear us.”
THE BALANCE LIVE
“We strive to make every show fun and entertaining, and we practice very hard to make every song the best it can be. We want people leaving the show saying, ‘That is one of the best cover bands I have heard.’ With the level of talent with the bands in this area, that’s hard to do.”
“This is the band’s first year out, and so far, it has been great. We have found that we have had wonderful response wherever we go and I believe it is mainly because of the music we play. Our hope for next year is to continue to do more of the same.”
The group’s next shows are Friday at Captain Kirk’s Marina in Fort Madison, Iowa, and Saturday at Adam’s Trading Post in Liberty.. For more show listings, click here.
For more information on the band, go to www.TheBalanceRocks.com.
Jessica M. Martin-Cate
A lot was going on last weekend with live music, so I thought if you didn’t make it out to all of the shows, it would be interesting to see what the artists thought of the events.
I witnessed a ton of motorcycles joining the party at Parrothead Bike Nite on Maine and saw the line outside the State Room for the Not So Fine Arts Society kickoff show Friday. Below are some thoughts from musicians in the trenches:
Quincy University Back-To-School Show with SafetySuit, This Is Energy and Cheeks McGee Friday
“The show was great! I really enjoyed Safetysuit. They are super nice guys and I can say I’m a fan of their music now. This Is Energy put on a pretty solid performance as well and again they were great guys too. I did feel though that there should have been more people there,” Cheeks McGee said. “There was a decent size crowd but with Safetysuit’s music video on VH1 and a major label I thought there would have been quite a few more people. QU staff that put it on were great to work with as well and very organized and did a great job keeping everything on time. Especially with sound check.”
Kentucky Knife Fight show Friday at the State Room
“The show was great. It was a very enthusiastic crowd. The out-of-town bands were impressed by the crowd and the beauty of the State Room,” Jason Holler of Kentucky Knife Fight said. To read the story, click here.
Not So Fine Arts Society Birthday Bash weekend
“It was really gratifying to bring such an action-packed weekend to our members and the public at large,” J.J. Magliocco, co-founder of the Not So Fine Arts Society, said. “When it comes down to it, we would be nothing without our supporters, and this was just one way for us to show how much we appreciate their loyalty and patience over the last year. We certainly hope to continue to bring more guerrilla arts fun to all of Quincy!”
DOUBLE VISION CD release Aug. 24
“Going well so far! Been moving a lot of physical CDs of the album at shows. We’re working on a show in Macomb, Ill., and St. Louis in September. We are still trying to find a good venue for Quincy,” Jonathan Lindsay of Double Vision said. To read the story, click here.
TORQUE’s final show Saturday
“It couldn’t have gone better,” Jay Briscoe, Torque’s lead-singer, said. “560 people was the approximate count from Adam’s Trading Post for putting wrist bands on attendees.”
Jessica M. Martin-Cate
SafetySuit, This Is Energy and Cheeks McGee will perform at a back-to-school concert at 8 p.m. tonight in the Quincy University stadium.
St. Louis band This Is Energy recently answered questions about the group:
Adam Gardner, lead vocals and guitar
Britton Campbell, drums
Charlie Springhart, bass
Dave Beezy, guitar
“Britton, Chaz and I were together in a group in St. Louis before we formed This Is Energy,” Gardner said. “We had a lot of success as an indie/alternative group, and got some national exposure. We were on Warped Tour in both 2004 and 2005, which took us across the country and back. We even sold about 13,000 discs independently as a band, before MySpace and iTunes moved us forward. We reached a wall, though, and decided to break up.”
“Adam continued writing music for the next two years,” Britton recalled. “I’d go over to his studio, and his music always seemed to be so progressive. I knew I wasn’t where I was supposed to be anymore musically, because the only time I’ve ever felt right is when I’m sharing the stage with my best friends, connecting with the audience who enjoys our music. For the first time in our lives, we knew we could accomplish this, and so much more musically.”
“Adam and I became friends soon after I moved here from France,” Beezy, said. “I met him at a tattoo shop in St. Louis, where one of my favorite artists was giving Adam some new art. We just started talking about music and art and food and girls, and then he invited me out to his car to listen to some of the music he’d recorded. I thought I really wanted him to ask me to join whatever band he was in, and soon enough he invited me over to his studio, where we wrote a song together. I’d worked with a lot of bands in my home country, and toured Europe extensively, but he and I just clicked on a purely musical level. He later introduced me to the other band members, we jammed, and then eventually he asked me to join This Is Energy.”
“One of my biggest influences in Sting, who just inspired me,” Gardner said. “We also play power pop, which is a melodic blend that fuses modern lyrics and styling that calls up such other bands as Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional.”
“I think you’ll hear and see This Is Energy at our absolute best,” Beezy said. “Fans tell us that being in the same room with the band playing and singing is a magical experience, and we feel that magic coming from them as much as we try to put it out there.”
“I think of one of our shows as being like a musical jigsaw puzzle,” Gardner said. “The pieces almost feel as if they’re floating in midair before falling into place, as we play on and on and on.”
“It’s as if we’ve plugged ourselves into an electrical socket, and never want to let go because the vibe is so magnetic and strong,” Gardner said.
“The best part,” Beezy said. “Is that nobody ever wants the show to end, least of all us.”
Now that we have our new entertainment site, The Local Q, there are so many live music shows listed that it can be difficult to choose. I would like to give you a guide to the weekend on what I would do if time was not an issue and my only plans were to consume as much music as possible.
Blues in the District featuring Mississippi Heat
• Plan ahead Friday morning and pack a cooler and a lawn chair, then skip lunch if possible, so you can leave work a little early.
• Once you have broken free from the daily grind, get in your car or walk, while pulling said cooler if you are lucky enough to work downtown, at 5 p.m. to Washington Park for Blues in the District featuring Mississippi Heat.
Safety Suit, This Is Energy and Cheeks McGee at Quincy University
• After Blues in the District, continue the good outdoors times by heading over to QU and watching Cheeks McGee perform outside the stadium for an hour or so.
Not So Fine Arts Society birthday bash featuring Kentucky Knife Fight, Texas Funerals, The Timmy’s and Micah Schnabel at the State Room
• Here’s where it gets tricky, leave mid-show, so you won’t miss the kick off for the Not So Fine Arts Society birthday bash weekend at the State Room with Kentucky Knife Fight, The Timmy’s, The Texas Funerals and Micah Schnabel. If you are super awesome, do this entire night via bicycle and don’t worry if you don’t catch all of the show, there are more NSFAS events throughout the weekend.
Luau at the Blind Pig featuring Logan Kammerrer and Antidote
• This starts at 1 p.m. and there will be an actual pig roasting. Logan will start at 3 p.m. and play until 6 p.m., if you want to catch the beginning of Antidote at 7 p.m., there will be time, but do not forget your grass skirt and coconut bra, boys and girls.
Torque’s final show at Adam’s Trading Post in Liberty, Ill.
• After six years of performing in the area, popular rock band Torque is calling it quits, but don’t worry. You can catch the last show Saturday. It is a bit of a trek, but totally worry it to hear a professional sound system and some of your favorite new and classic rock tunes.
Notorious Nightcrawlers at The Flying Inn in Quincy
• I have seen these guys, and they are killer. All blues and classic rock tunes by very talented veteran musicians, plus the harmonica dude has a harmonica-filled fanny pack, so GREAT! This will be kind of on your way back into town from the Torque show too! Click here for my review.
TNT at Ike’s Tavern in Dallas City, Ill.
• Day three of the live music extravaganza doesn’t stop with TNT, a classic rock band that covers everything from Guns N’ Roses to Beastie Boys amazingly. Click here for my review.
For a full list of all the live music available in the area, click here. Have a great weekend and support local music!
Jessica M. Martin-Cate
Ethan Weiman dressed each day of his childhood like a cowboy and died just shy of his fifth birthday in June 2009 after a two-year fight with neuroblastoma cancer. His family is holding the rodeo in his honor and area country act Highway 99 will perform both nights. To read more, click here.
Matt Bordenkircher of Highway 99 answered some questions about the group below:
Matt Bordenkircher, vocals and acoustic guitar
Steve Bordenkircher, vocals and lead guitar
Hannah Wort, vocals and acoustic guitar
“My dad and I, Steve, had been playing off and on at wineries and bars for a year or so when my dad met Hannah at a neighborhood get together. Not long after that my dad invited Hannah and her father over to play guitar and thats when I met her. Hannah and I started dating shortly after that and she soon joined us as a group. We came up with the group name Highway 99 and have all been playing together for about a year.”
“My greatest influence growing up was my dad. He was in a band for about ten years before I was born and got me started playing guitar when I was in high school. Country music was always on the radio growing up. My dad had me listening to classic country, such as, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, which comes through in our live act. Hannah’s greatest influence was her dad. He also plays guitar and got her started playing a few years ago. They have been singing for years at talent shows and local events. Overall we are influenced by classic country that I have mentioned, classic rock such as the Eagles and Southern rock, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd.”
THIS WEEKEND’S SHOWS
“People should expect country music that goes from today’s top 40 all the way back to the 60s. Our show has always been a variety of country songs that would please a rodeo crowd and this weekend at Ethan’s Rodeo won’t be any different.”
Fans are in line waiting for the show!
People are looking through the windows hoping the man in the straw cowboy hat singing is Bret Michaels, but it is his crew sound checking. I heard he is still on his way to town.
I just interviewed Cheeks McGee with a new short haircut, he is stoked to start soon!
Attention is setting up and sound checking to go on after Cheeks!
Security is gearing up for the doors to open, one guard commented that he wouldn’t want to mess with the guy who is able to scale the stage because it is so tall.
Cheeks McGee is performing and Eric Malmberg from the next band Attention says fans should “get ready” for their set!
Attention is rocking out as people listen and mill around thinking “do I want to buy a bandana with Bret Michaels’ face on it? Yes I do!”
Signs for Royal Bliss performing at Backwaters September 24 are everywhere, check back for more info!
Dennis Welty said “I’m enjoying myself, these guys are pretty decent,” about Attention.
Attention is performing a medley of songs imstrumentally from “My Sherona” to Michael Jackson, so fun!
Cowboy boots, faded jeans and straw hats oh my!
The crowd is waiting patiently like the calm before the storm.
Bret just kicked off his song as the crowd screams their heads off. Singing every word
A single red rose just hit the stage, awesome! Bret just thanked everyone for the well wishes and continues to jump and kick at the end of every song, again AWESOME!
Bret brought out the acoustic guitar and said “this ones for the ladies.” He is signing “something to believe in”
Big drum solo just about wore the drummer out and felt like an earthquake but gave Bret time for a quick break and a cowboy hat change.
Bret is singing “What I got” by Sublime, the crowd is screaming every word, killer. ” Love is, what I got…”
Bret just suggested that Donald Trump may have smoked something that made him ask Bret to host the Miss Universe pageant next week.
Crowd became oddly quiet when Bret suddenly left the stage, then the crowd asked for an encore and there he is singing…”Nothing but a Good Time”
Concert ends with Bret Michaels “promising to make Quincy a regular stop on his tours and Poison’s tours!”
Quincy acoustic act Cheeks McGee is gearing up to open for the Bret Michaels shows Wednesday and Thursday at Backwaters. He talks about what he has been up to and how it feels to get the chance to open for a “rockstar.”
GETTING TO OPEN FOR BRET MICHAELS
“It hit me by total surprise that I was even considered to open. Bryan Smith of TNT Harley Davidson in Quincy is the promoter of the show and was the guy to actually get Bret Michaels to play in Quincy. Bryan and his family are wonderful people, and he has hired me many times playing for some of his functions and along the way he became a fan of my music. So he comes to a lot of my shows and is constantly hooking me up with gigs or getting my info to people that are looking for live music. He put in my name and discussed it with his team along with the tour managers and sound and light people. It also helped that my management company (SoZo Productions) is running sound and lights for the show, so they are familiar with my setup, and it doesn’t hurt that I don’t take up too much room either.”
“I am super excited to get the opportunity to play a show with Bret Michaels. This summer has been really good to me. I did a full nationwide tour, played six sets in two days at SummerCamp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Ill., with musicians such as my hero Keller Williams, Moe, Umphree’s McGee, The Avett Brothers and Gov’t Mule to name a few. Now getting to play two nights with Bret Michaels. I am very grateful.”
“My sound can be very versatile, and I usually play to the type of crowd that is before me. I feed off people and the interactions from the crowd to the stage. People have labeled my sound as ‘high energy acoustic rock’ or ‘a one-man band.’ I play acoustic guitar and use a live looping pedal that records what I play in real time. After a loop is set, I hit my guitar for a kick drum and snare sound, use vocal percussion or beatboxing for the hi hat sound, use a pedal to drop my guitar sound one octave for the bass guitar, then solo with my trumpet and flugelhorn, and end it with singing over all that and adding vocal layers. When all that is going, it sounds like a full band in front of you, but it is just me creating layers upon layers of music stacked like a cake.”
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM SHOWS AT BACKWATERS
“I’m the party before the party! It’s going to be a huge two nights. I am actually releasing a live album Wednesday night available via my new website. My management company, SoZo Productions has recorded lots of my live shows, so we compiled about 10 to 13 of my best live moments and songs onto a full-length album. This will be my first official live release and will be available on my website and itunes. So on Wednesday, Aug. 18, go to www.cheeksmcgee.com and check out the new website, download the new live album and check my upcoming dates! There are lots of fun things in the works for this fall.”
“Bret Michaels is the definition of a “rockstar” and it is great that Quincy will get to experience this.”
Crosstown Rivals, the brand new band that was created for the sole purpose of entering a Virtual Battle of the Bands, won third place in the contest.
Band creator, Josh Henze, 17, a junior at Quincy High School, heard the good news today and said “It is a big surprise, we are very excited.”
Members include drummer Nick Scholz, 15, a sophomore at Quincy Notre Dame, vocalist CJ Dean, 17, a senior at QHS, and bassist Brittany Griffin, 16, a junior at QHS. They call themselves “Cross Town Rivals” because members are from both QND and QHS.
After the group submitted a home recording of a cover song, they were called and told they had been chosen as one of five finalists to come to Schaumburg and record an original song in a professional $5 million studio at the Illinois Institute of Art in Schaumburg, Ill.
Winning third place means the group will perform for the first time live at 2 p.m. Thursday at a barbecue held at the school along with the first- and second-place winners.
“We were staying positive and hoping it would happen, so we’ve been getting songs together for the performance,” Henze said.
The group will leave Wednesday with their parents and return late Thursday.
On Friday, the band is competing in another battle of the bands from 5-10 p.m. Friday at Vatterott College.
We launched the regional entertainment website The Local Q Sunday.
It has taken many months, blood, sweat and tears to create (some of that may be a bit of an exaggeration … maybe). It includes entertainment articles, a database of more than 1,000 area restaurants and bars located within a 75-mile radius, a searchable calendar, area band descriptions and entertainment blogs.
A few highlights are the popular K of C Barbecue tonight and going through Sunday. Movin’ On will take the stage this evening and Raised On Radio will perform Saturday.
Also this weekend, Vertigo, 2nd Time Around, The Cheeseburgers and more will perform at area venues.
A heads up for next week is Bret Michaels will finally make it to Quincy after rescheduling the April dates because of health issues. Now more popular than ever, I’m sure the shows will be packed and the second night still has tickets available. To read more about his concerts, click here.
Regional band Days Taken is set to compete Friday for the Battle for Pointfest II Finals at Pop’s Nightclub and Concert Venue in Sauget, Ill.
Pointfest II is a popular rock festival featuring 29 bands Aug. 14 at
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, and a Battle for Pointfest II contest is held each year to showcase unsigned regional talent.
To read more, click here.
Charlie Scarber, lead-singer of Days Taken, answered questions about the experience below:
“Other than writing new material, we’ve been trying to spend every practice making sure that our music is as tight as it could possibly be. Also, we have been deciding what songs to play and what set arrangement will give the best overall show for the crowd.”
“Unlike the preliminaries, both of the stages at Pop’s will be in use for the finals. The first band will start on the side stage and as soon as they finish the second band will already be set and ready to go. That rotation will continue throughout the night making for as much nonstop music as you can stand.
Jason Rottler from Archfront Media explained that the first Pointfest had three rounds, whereas the second one only has two because of a limited time frame. Normally all the winners from the finals would earn a spot at Pointfest on the Pop’s side stage and the band that won the grand finals gets to open the main stage, but for Pointfest II, they are cutting out the grand finals and deciding all in one night who gets side or main stage.”
“The feeling is indescribable. Just like any other band, this is what we’ve wanted to do since we were kids and even the opportunity to try for that level and that stage is an honor and hopefully a turning point.”
“Aside from getting to share a stage with an amazing roster of bands and getting the huge level of exposure, there is talk of the winning band also getting some recording time but I’ve heard nothing concrete.”
“The root of all of this though is the fans. Without a fan getting us connected with Archfront Media, without them loving what we play and learning the words to every song we wouldn’t be where we are today. No matter how great a musician you are, it doesn’t matter if no one cares about what you’re doing. So I definitely have to thank all of our fans past, present and future because they are the heart and soul of Days Taken.”