Hooray for February! One of the craziest, music filled months of the year. Winter finally arrived in PA in January and messed up quite a few shows. Hopefully it only snows on Mondays in February. Kudos to the bands, venues, etc. that don’t give up on providing entertainment throughout PA even in the unpredictable Winter months. Some of the biggest events in Central PA are the Millennium Music Conference, Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival, and Gettysburg Rocks. All 3 are amazing events that bring tons of talent to Central PA. Before I get too excited talking about what’s coming up, let me tell you about all the fun I did have in January.
The chaos started early this month with a trip to “the rebellion” happening at Johnny Joe’s. When I arrived Mutiny at Midnight was attacking the stage. I could immediately tell why they are calling this show “the rebellion”. Their songs are filled with aggression and from what I could understand of the vocals, they were fairly anti-political. Their energy is intense and they did a great job at getting the rebellion started.
The next band of the month was Defiant, who were also on our cover last month. After interviewing these guys I was looking forward to checking out another show. Again, Defiant definitely didn’t disappoint and continued the rebellion in true Defiant fashion. I appreciated how Al took the time between songs to give us a brief explanation behind the meaning of each song. When you are at shows like this with so many bands on the bill it always seems like everything is so rushed and chaotic, so it was nice to take that brief moment between the chaos. Defiant is building up quite the following and it was great to see so many people out supporting them.
Bullet shredded the stage next with an intense set right off the top! They are definitely a mix of rock/punk/craziness, straight out of York. I unfortunately only stayed for their first few songs and then it was time to zoom on to my next venue, so I missed the headliner Goat Skull Rebellion too. Hopefully I’ll catch you guys next time you are in the area.
To finish off the night we zoomed down and around to Blarney’s for Adrian Blitzer. Adrian Blitzer always puts on a great show. They are filled with just enough craziness they know how to make the same old songs seem new and exciting by adding in their own twists and turns to each song. This month Blarney’s and the Park Inn are the hosts of the Millennium Music Conference for the 2nd year in a row! Last year was a blast and went off without a hitch, hopefully this year will be a lot of the same!
The following weekend I headed to Club XL for Go Go Gadjet!! It’s been 12 years since they played in our area, and I was thrilled they were back in our area, and by the attendance to their show, I’d say I’m not the only one! Go Go Gadjet has still been playing in the 12 years, just not in our area. Over the Summer months you see their name all over the biggest beach venues, and from the pictures I’ve seen it’s always quite the party. It’s hard to explain to bands about “stage presence” and how much of an impact that makes on your show… but do yourself a favor, check out Go Go Gadjet, they are the definition of stage presence! It was awesome to see them still have their passion and drive behind their performance. I’m sure you will see Go Go Gadjet back on the schedule at Club XL soon! I know I’ll be watching and waiting…
The last event of the month I decided to head down to Champions in Highspire for the Central PA Blues Society’s Thursday night jam session. This is crazy cool event held EVERY Thursday at Champions. Every week they have a host, people come in and sign up by instrument, then depending on which “instruments” show up, the host creates “groups” of musicians to play together. Each group plays 4 or 5 songs together, and then it’s on to the next group. Every week is completely different, and they mix things up as much as possible, but one thing is for sure, you always here some killer blues! The night I went they had 6-8 musicians on the stage for each of the 5 sets. That’s a lot of musicians! I never knew we had so many talented blues musicians in our area. During the 5th set Rocky let us know that they just rapped up recording a 10 song CD they will be releasing at the annual picnic Memorial Day weekend. It’s a collaboration CD with quite a few musicians and bands in the area. It sounds like it’s going to be pretty amazing and hopefully a great fundraiser for the Central PA Blues Society. If you’re ever looking for something entertaining on a Thursday night, or if you’re a blues musician, do yourself a favor and head to Champions, you’ll be glad you did.
Speaking of blues, this month Rich Ruoff is once again hosting the Lancaster Roots and Blues Festival in Lancaster. You can check out all of the info in his ad or on their website, lancasterrootsandblues.com. Check out their full schedule of their amazing music and do yourself a favor and get down there for some jaw dropping music. This year the MMC and Lancaster Roots & Blues are on the same weekend, but the MMC is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and luckily LRB is also on Sunday. We’ll see what kind of stamina I can muster up to power through the weekend. It will be intense to say the least, but in the end it will all be worth it!
One advertiser we’ve had the past couple of months is Lurch’s Lair. Every week he puts on two shows, Friday night is the Sunday ‘Free-For-All’ and Monday is for Independent and Up-N-Coming Artists. He graciously invited me to come sit in on show on Monday, February 11th. We will be talking about the upcoming MMC, and other great artists that have come through our area. You can check out Lurch’s Lair and find out how you can get him to play your music. Check it out for yourself at www.lurchslairradio.com.
Well thanks to all of our amazing new and old advertisers this month I was asked to keep my article short and sweet, so that’s all for this month. Please make sure and check out all of the schedules through this issue and get out there and support local music! I know I don’t talk much about “what’s coming up”, but that’s what the ads are for! We’ll let them speak for themselves. If you see me Out and About, please stop me and say Hi! If you have any questions or comments, hit me up, at RachelRocks@pamusician.net. Support LOCAL music!!!