By: Rachel Rocks
Wow! September definitely did not disappoint, what a whirlwind of a month! I made it to a few multi-band festivals, so I have a lot to write about, so I better get started!
This month kicked off actually back in August for the tail end of Boobie Bash #2. Nikki Coleman and her team do an amazing job at organizing such an awesome fundraiser. I think pretty much anyone you talk to knows someone personally that has been affected by Breast Cancer. It is so important to “Feel Your Boobies” and keep an eye on your tatas! We decided at the last minute to throw our tents in the car and zoom down to check it out. We only got there in time for the last two bands: Stricken and Maiden America. I haven’t seen Stricken since before the pandemic, so I’m glad I got my eyes on them again. They did not disappoint! They recently added on a new bass player, Jason Trageser. Jason fits right in, if ya didn’t know any better you would never guess he just joined the Stricken family. Maiden America ended the night with the dance floor packed as usual. Gordon’s energy is so contagious you can’t help but dance along. It was awesome being able to just set up a tent and sleep for the night right there at the picnic grounds. Next time I’ll have to try and get there early so I can enjoy this fun filled day to save the boobies!
The following weekend it was time for Kipona. Even though we had some major storms roll through before the Kipona, the weekend itself was absolutely beautiful and the river didn’t flood, so overall it was a perfect weekend. There were so many bands playing that I wanted to see, but unfortunately I can’t split myself in 3, so there were some good ones I missed, and some good ones I was able to enjoy. The State Street Stage is absolutely stunning how it overlooks the water and faces the State Capitol Building. My day started there with the 12-String Wonder of the World, Colby Dove. Colby plays all of your favorite rock songs on his 12 string guitar. As I was walking towards the stage I thought, that must be Colby.. The 12-string puts out such an extraordinary sound. It’s awesome to listen to. I can’t hardly handle 4 strings. I don’t know how he can play 12! Next, DMC Duo took the stage. It was awesome seeing DMC Duo get the chance to play Kipona. There were so many familiar bands and faces playing the Kipona. Marisa is so sweet she had a swarm of bees in her face during her performance, but she didn’t let it stop her, she kept singing and luckily she never got stung! Devon Beck took the stage next. Devon is constantly shooting between Harrisburg and Nashville. I’m really not sure how she manages to find time to write! Her next original “Say to You” will be released on 10.01.2021.
After Devon it was time to head down to the Market Street Stage. When I got down there Observe the 93rd’s set had just begun. The Market Street stage was big! It was awesome to see OT93 on such a big stage. Observe the 93rd recently released a new song and video called “TRL” it definitely helps take you back to the 80s! It’s a great song and one of those that gets stuck in your head all day long.. Next up was Nate Myers & the Aces. I haven’t seen the full band in a very long time, it was bitter sweet to see John Tuzza behind the kit, but if anyone knew the show must go on.. that would’ve been Chad! It was also an added special treat to see Tim Myers (Nate’s bro) filling in on bass. It’s awesome to see these guys are back to playing the Grotto Pub in Wormleysburg/Enola every Tuesday. Tuesdays at the Grotto are always a good time! They are also playing all over the midstate and beyond. Check out their schedule at www.natemyers.com. In between bands we took a trip to the Beer Garden where they also had acoustic acts playing all day. When we stopped in, Mitch Gregory was on the stage. I’ve seen him on Facebook lots of times, but glad I finally got the chance to catch a few songs live and in person. Then it was back to the Market Street Stage for Cold Springs Union. It’s awesome to see how much their crowd has grown. So many people have joined “The Union” and I’d have to say, I don’t blame them! They put on a great show even tho the sun was just pounding in to their faces for their set. After their show we headed back to the Beer Garden to hear Derek playing acoustic. It was beautiful sitting there watching the sun set on an amazing day at the Kipona.
The following day we headed over to the Rock Mill Open House. In 2019 I was amazed to actually see all of the crazy things that Rock Mill has going on. They are literally a one stop shop for all of your musical needs. Recording, Merch, Video, AV Solutions, even honey lip balm and tattoos! I’m sure I probably missed a couple of things these guys are capable of.. When we were there Matt and I checked out their rehearsal space, and decided to take advantage. We rented our time slot and practiced singing into a mic for the 1st time! It was so convenient, we just brought our instruments, plugged in and played! It’s an awesome set up, and they have everything you need. Matt and I are going there to practice again this Friday, the night before our big show at the Millerstown Fall Festival on Sat. Oct 2nd at 2pm! It will be awesome to get Dad’s ukulele back on the stage, hopefully things go smoothly.. we have some decent practices, and then some are just total train wrecks! So we have a 50-50 chance that it will be awesome!
During their Open House they also of course had live entertainment. It started with Derek Henry, then Jackie Casset, who is just breaking out and performing on her own! (You go girl!), Kyle Noble, and Dandy. Dandy won the award for the best Acoustic Duo in the 2020 CPMAs, I’m glad I was finally able to catch a show. Their harmonies are beautiful, you can definitely tell they are brothers.
After our practice at Rock Mill, Holly, Matt and I went to Fratelli’s in New Cumberland to hear the end of Derek’s show. When we got there he was on break, so he had us go up and play a couple songs to try to conquer our stage fright! I couldn’t believe how quiet the whole bar got when I told everyone it was my first live performance! They were all so kind… I’m sure they were very excited when Derek got back up on stage. Thanks Derek for letting us crash your show, it was a fun experience!
For the next big event, Mom finally got to go with me to Fogleman’s Wounded Warrior Benefit. It was another absolutely gorgeous day, and I’m thrilled to say the people crowded the grounds at the benefit show for our Wounded Warriors. It was awesome to hear they made over $100,000 just this year alone! That means that since 2014, when they had their first festival, they have donated over $400,000 to the PA Wounded Warriors! It’s awesome to see how much it has grown and how they have it figured out like a well-oiled machine. If you are planning a big festival you should attend one of their events first, and take notes!
When we got to the festival the Bryan Stevenson Band was on stage. I saw Bryan perform solo once, but it was cool to see him performing as a band, and he really has some great original music. The DMC Band was up next. Even tho some parts of their band were a no show, they still put on a great show, even with just an acoustic and electric guitar. The last band we had time to see where Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods. Mom of course loved their 50s and 60s music, the “golden years” of rock n’ roll! Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long because I had to get home for my baby’s 19th Birthday. I’m still in denial that I am the Mom of a 19 year old!
The following Friday I headed down to Deer Run Camping Resort for Fall Jam 2021. I arrived just before Latimore Sky took the stage. I haven’t seen them in forever, and now I’ve seen them twice in just a short amount of time. I guess they are like a bag of chips, once you see them once and get a taste, ya just keep coming back for more! Latimore Sky is constantly releasing new original songs. Their song “Listen” is impossible not to dance to, or at least bop to if you’re stuck in your chair. Just google them and check out their originals for yourself. The next band of the night was Observe the 93rd. I believe this is the 9th Fall Jam, and OT93 has played in all 9. They love playing music festivals that are filled with great bands and fans who are ready to rock! Up next was From Dawn Till Death. It’s nice how they have the two stages up and they literally went from one band to the next in a matter of seconds. It kept the crowd from leaving, and only made the crowd continue to grow all night long. From Dawn Till Death seem to be playing a lot lately. Their name has been popping up all over the midstate. If you like good and modern hard rock, check these guys out! The Rad Hot Chili Peppers hit the stage next. They are definitely a Fall Jam favorite of the night and had the most people up on their feet dancing along. The last band of the night was a surprise, Angry at the Robot, a Rage Against the Machine tribute band. It was awesome to see Trevor Schubert back behind a microphone singing his heart out! Congrats to Bald Rob for putting on another great show! It was an awesome night of music and well worth a drive into the mountains.
If you’re on my Facebook page, you would’ve also seen my run in with a black snake in the ladies restroom! I was terrified while a little girl was screaming for her Daddy, but after he came in to save the day, we found out that it was just a tiny ringneck snake that was about as big as a worm. Of course, when I found that out, I was already standing on my toilet thinking this is how I was going to die! I hate snakes!!! Thanks to that courageous Daddy for coming in and saving the day!
The next Thursday DMC Duo finally got the chance to play at Boneshire. It was awesome to have these two playing so close to home, I just had to stop by. Holly, Matt, and I were enjoying our pre-practice pizza when Holly mentioned I had my uke in the car. Well, after seeing Darrell perform for the past 15 years I know how much he hates having people come up on stage with him.. but lo and behold he offered to play Wagon Wheel with me, (and I know he hates Wagon Wheel). It was a full circle moment to get on stage and play with someone I’ve watched play in various bands for the past 15 years. And for never practicing or anything I’d have to say, we sounded pretty darn good! Thanks Marisa for sharing your microphone and letting me get on stage with you guys. It’s one of those moments I’ll remember. Hopefully Boneshire has DMC Duo back again soon!
The last festival of the month was the big Children’s Miracle Network show hosted by the Space Station, aka Space, aka Eric Dengler. He put on this event last year during even crazier Pandemic times and it was a success so he figured why not do it again! This was an all day event where again so many bands donated their time and talents to this amazing cause, and I only got there for the tail end once again. Steel was just starting to take the stage when I arrived. The crowd was already pumped, primed, and ready to go so I had some catching up to do to be able to keep up with the energy on the dance floor! From the beginning to the end of the night the intensity just kept climbing with Ebenezer Screw, Maiden America, and finally Penntera! I don’t know how Space managed to have enough energy to not only host the event, but he also played drums for the last 3 bands! The guy is a monster! It was so awesome to just bang my head, let loose, and have a great time with great bands and great people! I have to give a shout out to Cindy Potts for helping Space with the silent auction, and she also played games between bands to keep people entertained. It’s hard work organizing an event and I’m sure Space appreciated all of Cindy’s help. At the end of the day, $3,663 was raised for the Children’s Miracle Network. Truly an amazing day.
October is jammed pack with festivals and fun! They don’t call it Rocktober for nothing! I’m sure at some point I will also be getting scared out of my mind somewhere! My friends like to hear me scream! If you see me Out and About, please stop me and say Hi! And way more importantly get out there and Support Live Music! Even if it is some terrified lady playing her ukulele in the middle of the afternoon…