By: Rachel Rocks
The last article of 2018! This year has definitely been one heck of an adventure! So many emotions and roller coasters of feelings.. Thank you all for putting up with all my screaming and crying and hanging on for the ride! Josh is doing an amazing job as “THE BOSS”. Mom is also doing an amazing job at letting Josh run the show. Thank you all so much for continuing to support the PA Musician Magazine and most importantly my family. It’s crazy thinking about all of the things in life this magazine has seen me through. I’ve been writing my article now for 13 years! That’s 156 deadlines. It’s time like these I wish I kept a better ledger of how many bands I’ve seen, one thing I know.. it’s been A LOT, and I’ve made so many amazing friends along the way! I have to admit I was looking forward to retirement, but as Josh is finishing up his 6 month anniversary, and I look back on just the past 6 months, I can’t believe everything I would’ve missed if he didn’t step up and take over. So thanks big bro! I love you oh so much!!! Oh, and a little sidenote it’s Josh’s birthday month!! If you can take a minute and send some birthday love to Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know how much you appreciate his efforts to continue to bring you the PA Musician Magazine month after month, I’m sure he’d appreciate it. Now on to the music…
This month starts with an adventure down to the Union House for the Jess Zimmerman Band. I’ve heard from several people that I should check out the Jess Zimmerman Band and I’d have to say they definitely lived up to the hype. They played some kick a** country that definitely got the boots and the booties on the dance floor. They just released a CD called “Red” back in August and it is definitely a big hit amongst their fans. Sometimes it seemed like they got more people on the dance floor for their originals than their covers which is a very odd but marvelous thing! To see so many people up dancing and singing along must be so energizing for the band! On a side note, I’m very sad to say that I accidently deleted all of the pictures I took of the Jess Zimmerman Band and the packed Union House, but I will definitely be back and shoot you guys again soon!!
The next night out was a long one at the 717 Entertainment’s Morning Star Festival at HMAC. I’m not sure how many years Nick Myers has been hosting this festival, but one thing is for sure, Nick knows what he’s doing! Super Bob was the big headliner, but there was plenty of amazing talent supporting them. With the two different stages at HMAC there was always someone to listen to all night long.
The first band I got there in time to hear was our new advertiser, Defiant. Defiant is a hard rock/metal band from Mechanicsburg. For only being the 2nd band of the night I was impressed with how many people were already there moshing and singing along. Defiant is breaking into the local scene with a vengeance and they are definitely a force to be reckoned with. They have a big show coming up on December 10th at The Chameleon opening for Otep and Illusions of Grandeur! Check out their ad in this issue for even more details and to find out how you can snag these guys for your venue or private event!
The next band I’ve crossed paths with a few times, VoidHidden. These guys are also from right here in central PA and had a home court advantage with plenty of fans out to support their original hard rock music. They are a blast to watch on stage! All of them have an amazing stage presence and Austin’s voice is clear and distinctive which allows you to really connect with their lyrics. It was a great show and definitely kept the good vibes going on a great night for local music.
The rest of the night I was too lazy to go up and down the steps and too busy talking to my friends, I only saw the bands playing up in the Capital Room. It was awesome chatting with the one and only “Fantastic Joe,” a local vlogger who is out supporting music and vlogging about local music every chance he gets!
City of the Weak from Minnesota took the stage next. Nick does an amazing job at finding these crazy talented touring bands and building them a show. City of the Weak had a cute little lady as their lead singer, but don’t let Stef fool you, she has one heck of a set of pipes! They definitely made some new fans after their show, including me! I will be keeping an eye on them to see when they will be coming back to the area.
Next up was another advertiser, Suicide Puppets. As if they alone aren’t creepy enough they just had to have some masked creepier dude crawling around on the stage freaking anyone out that was brave enough to come close to the stage! They have been rocking area stages as long as I’ve been writing this article so I’ve had the privilege of seeing them a few times throughout the years and every time I see them I can’t believe how they suck you in with their music and melt your face off! Their music is very addicting and once you see them they will have you crawling back for more! They have a big show coming up December 22nd at the Tourist Inn. You can check out their full schedule and find out all the gory details in their ad in this issue.
The final band for me of the night Super Bob hit the stage on time and was definitely ready to rock! Super Bob is a National touring band, they’ve been touring the US for over 7 years, playing on average 200 shows a year! Nick is always great at hooking them up with a show when they are passing through the area. Matt and Adam are still killing it out front, talk about a show! Their stage presence is intense! They get their long hair flying and it’s like it shoots adrenaline out to the crowd. Since I saw them last, they have a new drummer, Michelle. I couldn’t believe how this girl takes over a drum kit! Her hair is also flying in all directions and she bangs the crap out of those drums! As usual Super Bob was very entertaining and a great band to see again. Kudos again to 717 Entertainment for putting on one heck of a show. Give them a “Like” on Facebook and keep an eye on all of the amazing shows that 717 Entertainment brings to town.
The following weekend started one of the busiest and craziest weeks I’ve had in a long time. It all started with Calling Off Doug at the Mechanicsburg GMan. Calling Off Doug is a dance party band from right here in central PA. With Stephanie holding down the lead vocals, I swear that girl can cover anything. The whole band does a great job backing her up with their vocals and instruments. Craig even steps up sometimes and takes over the lead vocals so Stephanie can dance along and enjoy the music! They cover multiple genres and generations of music! You never know what to expect out of them next, but one thing for sure is, you’re going to love it! So get your dancing shoes on and get out there and have a great time! They’ll be partying it up at Ted’s on the 15th this month, plus they have a few other shows lined up too. Check out their schedule in this issue for all of the details, and do yourselves and your regulars a favor, and get Calling Off Doug booked at your venue today!
The next day it was finally time for Observe the 93rd’s CD Release Party for their latest album, “Alive” at Club XL. After they released their video for “Cartoons” which is only one of their amazing new songs, I was very excited to hear more. Before OT93 took the stage, they had Hot and Dangerous and Gas Station Disco kick off the show. Hot and Dangerous is exactly that, they are a new band on the scene and they are ready to get this party started! Erica’s vocals are killer and they all did an amazing job at getting this night started. I’m sure we will be seeing much more of Hot and Dangerous very soon.
Gas Station Disco stepped on the stage next and the party got even crazier! It’s been years since I’ve seen Gas Station Disco playing things other than their rockin’ originals, so I was shocked to hear some of the music they covered, and even more shocked checking out their dance moves. These guys have definitely been out rockin’ around the USA up and down the East Coast and have gained lots of experience along the way. OT93 made great choices of bands to kick off their CD Release Party! People were already up front dancing and singing along. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier, it was time for Observe the 93rd to take the stage.
OT93 took the stage and everyone packed to the front. They were a little nervous for setting up their show at such a large venue, but I think they even shocked themselves with the great turn out. It was so refreshing to see so many people out supporting a local original band! OT93 took full advantage of the big screen behind them and played their video for Cartoons while they played the song. It was a cool idea and you could really see how the music tied in with the video. (Their video already has over 7,000 views in just over 1 month!) They played through their entire new album. I was impressed to see how each song was filled with such emotion and meaning. I know I’ve already said it, but the growth that OT93 has had as musicians is amazing. Their release was very well promoted and played! I’m glad I could be there to check it out. Do yourselves a favor, check out their video and listen to their music, and when you hear how much you love it, order their CD and stream their music and help a local band fulfill their dreams!
Since shows are usually over around 12:30 at Club XL I decided to zoom over and catch the tail end of Steel at Double K. I haven’t seen these guys the last few times they were in the area, so I wanted to stop by and say Hi. With the bike swap happening at the farm show the Double K was packed with out of town bikers that were of course loving Steel’s music. It’s always a blast partying with Steel’s regular crowd, but when I see people rockin’ out with Steel for the first time, it always makes me happy! These guys deserve all the love they can possibly get. Mark from Ebenezer Screw was there to enjoy the show and of course they had him up to play a couple songs. Steel is never afraid to invite musicians up to join in the fun. It was a great way to end the night just dancing, laughing, and head banging with some of my closest friends. Steel has a few shows lined up this month, the 7th they will be at Racehorse Tavern and the 8th they will be playing as part of Space’s Benefit at River City. You can check out their full ad in this issue for all their shows and all of the details! You can also check out their website, www.steelrocks.com.
The following night was Thanksgiving Eve! The biggest party night of the year! I started out early at River City for Nate Myers and the Aces. I was there so early I was able to catch their opening act, Acoustic Stew. They don’t play out very often, but when they do play their fans show up! The room was packed and was standing room only. Acoustic Stew was way more laid back than Nate Myers and the Aces, but it was a nice calm way to start the night.
When Nate Myers and the Aces took the stage the dance floor quickly got busy and people were ready to get their back porches swinging! Trent was a guest piano man tonight, he’s always a great addition to any show. I love having keys in any band, it just adds so much to the sound. Nate and his vast array of harmonicas rocked the house as usual. Nate Myers and the Aces play the type of music you can easily just sit and enjoy or get up and dance to the beat. It was great to finally see these guys rockin’ the stage again. River City is a great place to see a band with plenty of free parking and just a cool venue with a unique vibe. If you want to get your back porch swinging with Nate Myers and the Aces check out their website, www.natemyers.com to check out their full schedule.
I heard that Club XL across the street was absolutely packed for The Struts so I decided to literally run across the street and check it out. It was PACKED. One of the best crowds I’ve ever seen in Club XL. I was surprised at how many songs I recognized and knew because I didn’t think I knew The Struts, but obviously there are plenty of people that are very familiar with their music and were having a great time. Club XL had a VERY crazy schedule for the entire Thanksgiving Holiday. It started with The Struts Wednesday, then Kix on Friday, and The Sharks with a Metron Reunion on Saturday. All three nights were INSANE! I’m really hoping that all of these people that came out will now know how awesome Club XL is and they will continue to come out for shows on a more regular basis. Seeing the large crowds of people out enjoying live music helps me realize that there are still people that will come out and support live music!
Friday I was lucky I got a nice nap and then I was ready to head back to Club XL for the Kix show. I got to the show in time for Ever Rise. I missed most of Medusa’s Disco, but Ever Rise did a great job getting the party started. I think everyone loved when they covered some AC/DC towards the end of their set. It got the crowd ready to get our faces rocked off by Kix!
Shortly after Kix took the stage Steve let us know that “Blow My Fuse” is celebrating it’s 30th Birthday, so in honor of that, they decided to re-release the “Blow My Fuse” album from the bottom to the top and they are calling the Re-Release “Fuse 30 Reblown”. When he asked what everyone thought of the idea the crowd erupted in cheers so I guess they thought it was a good idea. Some people were bummed they weren’t playing their newer music, but the die hard fans thought it was the best thing ever! I personally thought it was pretty cool, because the “old Kix” is what I grew up with and what I love. I didn’t stick around all night because I was personally over a huge crazy crowd, but when I left there were still plenty of people rockin’ the night away and having a great time.
Since the night was still early I decided to stop at one more place, Chick’s for Element 22. Jeff and Darrell were actually playing with a full band, so they had Chick’s rockin and the dance floor was hopping! Their last set is always the ‘All Request Hour’.. they do their best to play any songs that the crowd requests. It’s always a big hit and when people hear what they want to hear, they have no choice but to get up and dance! It was hard to believe so many people were staying out so late on Black Friday. I thought the clubs would be calmer because everyone would be exhausted, but maybe I was the only exhausted one. Jeff and Darrell and E22 acoustic are looking for more venues to play, so if you want some great entertainers that really know how to read a crowd and have a wild time, give these guys a call!
Before I go I can’t NOT mention, Small Town Titans. They released their own unique version of The Grinch and it is spreading across the world! Small Town Titans were celebrating 8,000 Facebook likes on Nov. 17th and today, Nov. 26th they have 75,000 likes!! They also celebrated when their video was viewed 10 MILLION times and when I saw the post 13 HOURS later it was already at 11.5 MILLION views! All of their videos on their Facebook page are now over 50K views and climbing rapidly! Great job guys!! I got my eye on you and I can’t wait to see your music and your band SOAR!!
Well that’s all the bands for this month! I think that was enough… There are so many super amazing shows this month! Please check out the magazine from front to back and top to bottom and make sure you don’t miss a show. I will be super busy celebrating birthdays and holidays this month, but I’m hoping to get out there whenever I can. There are benefits galore for Toys for Tots and for Space, the drummer from Penntera and Maiden America has been kickin’ cancers a**, but in the process he’s piled up quite a few bills, this is a great time to get out there and support music and our very own local musician! Check out another great show I’m going to do my best to see, a 3 Band Mayhem on December 22nd at Club XL: 9pm, Outta the Cellar a brand new Ratt tribute band is making their debut, Leadfoot at 10pm and finally Back in Black at 11pm! It looks like it’s going to be another rockin’ month at Club XL.
Happy Birthday to my son Mason who turns the BIG 13! I finally have two teenagers in the house, oh joy… Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mommy on the 18th, and my Big Bro, aka Jammin Josh, THE BOSSMAN, on the 19th! So many birthdays and only so many days to celebrate. I hope everyone had a marvelous Thanksgiving and has a super fabulous Christmas as well. If you see me Out and About, please stop me and say Hi, or hit me up at RachelRocks@pamusician.net. Don’t forget to continue to tag us @PAMusician or #pamusician. Thanks to all of our 500+ followers on Instagram. Right now it seems they are still letting me see band info on there so if you haven’t “Followed” us yet, please do so, so I can follow you back! Have a rockin’ month and don’t forget to SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!!