By: Chris Rider
Wow, October got here fast. September was kind of a blur of shows for me, totaling 18 bands for the month ranging from classic rock, to pop-rock, to female fronted metal bands, and little bit of everything in between. The venues I hit up weren’t as wide-spread as most months, but we’ll see about fixing that this upcoming month for sure.
First up was a trip to HMAC for a night of rock and roll. Opening up the evening was 5-7-Zero, a young trio out of Northeastern PA. These folks came out and lit the stage on fire with solid energy and a pounding pulse that got the crowd amped up for the rest of the evening. They were followed by NYC based Kore Rozzic and his 5 piece rock band. This group put on an original rock show that had a dark and theatrical side to it that was awesome. Headlining the evening was family metal band Liliac, consisting of 3 brothers and 2 sisters ranging in age from 13-22. Covering songs from Metallica, DIO, Ozzy and many other Rock and Metal icons, as well as performing some of their own original tunes, these kids definitely came to rock this crowd. I last saw them play in 2019, so it was good to catch up with them again and see how they’ve progressed. They’ve clearly been doing their homework, as it they’ve shown a nice progression in both their musicianship as well as stage presence. Simply put, these kids just put on a hell of a show.
My next outing was up to Sunbury to Spyglass Ridge Winery. Switchfoot opened up the show playing a number of their long-standing hits, as well as some from their new full album release “lost ’cause”, as well covering Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll”. These guys were a blast to watch and I truly enjoyed their show. Headlining the show was Christian Rock group Skillet. Playing songs such as “Feel Invincible”, “Legendary” (my favorite of theirs), and Victorious…these guys put on a show that will not soon be forgotten in Sunbury. This was probably one of the best shows, lighting and pyro wise, that I’ve ever had the pleasure to photograph. The crowd was full of fans that sang with them, the band interacted so well with the crowd and shared a few stories as to what they love about what they do. This was a pure rock show, but it was also very moving and I enjoyed every minute of it.
A few weeks later, I headed back up to Sunbury for a 9-11 Memorial event at Three Beards Brewing and Spyglass Ridge Winery. The afternoon started off with Cold Spring Union playing in the brewery. Cody and the guys kicked it loud & proud with a number of tunes including a favorite of mine, “Whipping Post”. Somehow this was my first time catching them playing out (and I got there a little later than planned so only caught half their set…sorry guys!), but I definitely look forward to catching them out and about again in the future. Next up in the brewery was New Jersey based Whiskey Grin. These guys shredded both covers and originals from beginning to end. Following a remembrance ceremony that included the All Veteran Group parachute team, Cheap Trick took to the Spyglass stage. I have to say, if I didn’t know better, I’d have never guess these guys formed their band in 1973. They sounded great, playing all of their classics including “She’s Tight”, “I Want You to Want Me”, and “Dream Police”. They even kicked off their encore with “Surrender”. All in all, it made for a great day of music, as well as remembering those tragic events 20 years ago.
Next up was a trip back to Spyglass Ridge Winery with my son to see Led Zeppelin tribute band – Get The Led Out. Formed in 2003, the group set out to bring Led Zeppelin fans the studio music experience. While it’s hard to get in all of Zeppelin’s hits during a single concert, the guys did a great job during 2 sets plus an encore playing “Rock and Roll”, “Black Dog”, “Kashmir” and of course “Stairway to Heaven”. I grew up loving Zeppelin’s music and have shared a lot of it with my son, so it was a pretty wild experience getting to share this show with him.
The following day, I headed down the street to The Facktory in Liverpool for Jon Garcia & The Hopless Romantics’ Single Release Party, celebrating their new release “Forget It”. Jon put together a show including himself and 4 other local bands with a variety of styles that made for a great night of music. First up for the evening was Illusion of Solace, a progressive metal-core band based out of Harrisburg. These guys came out swinging, with a ton of energy and heart to get the crowd amped up for the evening. Look for their new sing ‘Asbury’ premiering 9-30-21 on Spaceuntravel’s Youtube channel, and on Spotify. Next up was a band you may remember from my article last month – Elsewhere. The guys brought their raw, punk based metal tunes to the stage, continuing the energy and power from the opening band. I should point out that lead guitarist Joshua Engle plays for both Illusion of Solace AND Elsewhere…playing through two high energy sets like this was pretty cool to see. Bringing it down a notch (but in an awesome way), was alt rock/grunge/pop-rock group Nick Cove & The Wandering. I particularly enjoyed these guys’ set, as they incorporated originals with a Green Day sort of feel to them, along with a few covers. They turned the show in a different direction at this point that made a good segue into the final two bands that are much more of a pop-rock feel. Fourth on the bill was my friends from Sink In, an LA Based (but with strong central PA roots) pop-rock band. These guys are an extremely hard working band, and in the years that I’ve known them they’re always either writing, recording, or touring. Make sure to check them out at a show near you, or on your favorite streaming platform. Headlining the evening was Jon Garcia & The Hopeless Romantics. Jon put this entire show together, with the help of some great friends, in anticipation of celebrating his new single “Forget It!” Jon’s raw and heartfelt lyrics really bring his new single to life and it was great being part of this release party. Be sure to check him out as well on all your favorite streaming platforms such as Apple, Spotify, Youtube, etc.
So there it is, my month of music through my eyes and ears. I did see a bit more music at the end of the month, but space and time has limits for all of us so that’ll just have to wait until next month. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, stop me if you see me out & 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.