Rider’s on the Storm – July 2024

Summer’s officially here, and it certainly came in with a bang going from cool Spring temps to highs that made me think maybe I made a mistake a few years ago when I gave up my office job to go work (mostly) outside. Wouldn’t trade it for anything, and this job definitely works better most of the time in giving me time to enjoy live music. June made for a great month of music with a ton of friends, so I’m just going to get right to it.

The month started off with a bang at iRock Radio’s Birthday Bash inside & outside Lovedrafts Brewing in Mechanicsburg. Hosted by 717 Entertainment, we helped Jay and the crew celebrate 10 years of bringing a huge variety of rock & metal to our earholes.  Always a huge supporter of local, regional, national and even international music, iRock is a staple in the Central PA music scene and it was an honor to be there to capture it.  With bands like Nick Tauer Band, Pine Creek Academy, Carbonstone, Lives Lost, Lyndhurst, Sick Century, Dinosaurs in Paris, Defiant, Observe The 93rd, Madame Mayhem, Another Day Dawns, Eva Under Fire and 10 Years playing between the two stages, it made for a great day.  Congrats Jay & iRock Family on an awesome 10 years, and here’s to another 10 years of bringing the rock to all of us.

My next trip out was at the invite of the good folks in Bad Sister, a local cover band that started up relatively recently but has a lot of power and experience behind it.  Covering rock hits from the 60s through now like Superstition, Kiss Me Deadly, Time after Time and more…they displayed great vocals backed by solid musicianship and probably the happiest drummer I’ve ever seen on stage LOL.  I really enjoyed their song selections and they’re style on stage, I would definitely recommend checking them out sometime when you have the chance!

Next up was my annual trip down to the New River Gorge in West Virginia for my favorite festival: Waynestock.  Granted, I didn’t make it the last two years due to High School graduations, so this year was a little extra special for me as I was really looking forward to getting back.  On top of that, I was excited to share this experience with Wendy, being her first year there.  It’s impossible to sum up everything that makes this event so awesome in the limited space that I have here, but consider this: great hiking trails, beautiful white water rafting, horseback rides, zip lining, mountain biking, and probably any other outdoor activity you can imagine combined with evenings of great music on a stage that would honestly rival many bigger festivals.  Local bands Gillian Smith, Cass And The Bailout Crew, Coltt Winter Lepley, Rivers, and The Roof hit the stage with a number of other regional bands to put on three nights of what I can only describe as musical magic. Maybe a lame description, but it’s honest.  While I did do some photography work, I also made sure to step back and just enjoy the experience and soak it all in.  Wendy and I are already looking forward to next year’s festival and I’d love to see even more folks from our area make the trip down for it.  I guarantee you won’t regret it!

A few days after we got back from Waynestock I headed down to The Doyle Hotel in Duncannon for some dinner & tunes provided by Rob Mordan out of Shamokin.  I walked in to find Rob already playing, starting off with a great cover of Fosum Prison.  He followed that up with a wide variety of covers including Fuel’s “Shimmer”, Tom Petty’s “Learning To Fly”, and a song from Bare Naked Ladies that I can’t remember the last time I’d heard it, “The Old Apartment”.  Rob did a great job of taking each of his selected songs and making in his own style which is always something that I really enjoy hearing.  

I headed down to Lovedraft’s Brewing again a few days later after a strong invite from my buddies in Coal for another 717 Entertainment show.  Coal kicked the evening off with a bang cranking out their Alt-Hard Rock originals for a decent sized Sunday crowd.  I’ve worked with Dal and the guys a few times now and each time I am struck by how far I’ve seen them come in the time I’ve known them.  Coal was followed by a group that needs no introduction to these pages: Observe The 93rd.  Cranking out their original tunes to a bunch of fans that sang along with them, the guys put on a great show as always.  Headlining the evening was a new collaboration between Arejay Hale of Halstorm and Taylor Carroll of Lit called KemikalFire.  I felt fortunate to be able to capture one of their first live performances.  Their set was solid with very high energy performing their original tunes like Dead And Gone, The Drop, and more.  I have to imagine we’ll be hearing quite a bit more from this interesting duo.

My last trip out was across the river to the first “Peace Of Mind Music In The Park” located at MYO Park in Millersburg.  This park was a beautiful setting for an evening music event with performances by Axe & Fiddle, Jelli, and Hunter Root.  There were a few food, drink and craft vendors set up and the evening’s music was kicked off by an hour long open mic.  Axe & Fiddle then took the stage.  It’s been a bit since I’ve seen Jason and Caleb play, so it was great to hear them bring their original bluegrass/Americana style tunes like Swim Swim Swim and Black Cat Blues to the park.  Jelli took the stage next with their “Hippie Funk Rock” that was an unusual mix of bluegrass, folk, rock, funk and even some metal undertones to it.  Deep thumping bass guitar surrounded by sweet guitar melodies and percussion just flowed through their all original tunes.  Capping off the evening was Hunter Root and his band.  This was my first time catching Hunter’s newest project, although I’ve been listening to it since it started.  Cranking out tunes like Little Red Riding Hood, Identity, and two absolute Rippers (Hunter’s words, not mine LOL): Town Rat Heathen and Run From The Devil; Hunter and the guys did a great job capping off the first Music In The Park event.  The next Music In The Park events are July 19th and August 16th and definitely worth checking out!

So there it is, my month of music through my eyes and ears. I want to once again thank all the bands, venues, and everyone else involved in our incredible local music scene for everything they do.  Just a reminder:  if you’ve got a show coming up that I should see; make sure to send me an invite, shoot me an email or a message, let me know about it. Venues: please don’t hesitate to reach out to me as well. The majority of the shows that I go and shoot I find out about through invites from all of you or your friends. Hit me up on facebook: @chrisriderphotography or email: chrisriderphotography@gmail.com, stop me if you see me around and say hi. Until next month…go find some live music and give them and the venue your support, they truly need it more now than they ever did.