The second night of “live” bands performing took place at the River Music Experience’s Mojo Coffee House on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 (Veteran’s Day). The weather was horrible outside, so this may have had an effect on the crowd that was smaller than it had been on Monday night.
The first band (which I missed) was Fire Sale. I did meet a very cute young blonde person who told me this was his band. I’m sure they were awesome.
The second band, a heavy metal group called “Through Terror,” were the showmen of the night. Lead vocalist Mike Saviano has been doing his study of classic heavy metal rock showmen. Other members of the band were Brooks Swanson on lead guitar; Chris Kostielney on drums; Jsin Grievous (lead guitar); and Sean Deppe on Bass. The group has played together for about 2 years.
I asked the group if they had day jobs. Jsin works at a guitar center and O’Tool Design; Sean (Deppe) works at Honda; Mike Saviano works at a metal shop (appropriate); Chris Kostielney plays drums; and Brooks Swanson (lead guitar) is working on an engineering degree to help implement solar panel technology as an alternative energy source.
The Dani Lynn Howe Band featured lead singer Dani Lynn Howe (from near Cedar Falls, IA) who has been singing since she was 13. The group has been named favorite C&W group for the past 5 years by the “River City Reader” and Dani Lynne’s alto was very pleasant, with excellent back-up from her band.
“Tapped out!” was a more mature group with Brandon Brown on lead vocals. Brandon had one of the better voices of the night and was ably backed by Kirk Wood on guitar and vocals; Tim Olson on bass guitar; Tom Zick on drums; Steve Svec on guitar and vocals; and Rich Kraves handling sound. “Tapped Out,” which has been together since 2006, played “Just Got Back from Baby’s,” “Smokin in the Boys Room,” “Rebel Yell,” “The Other Side” (by the Red Hot Chili Peppers); and “China Grove.” A very enjoyable group.
The last group of the night, The Ron LaPuma Band, have opened for Blues Traveller, Corey Stevens and Foghat. The group plays a lot of biker gigs and will soon appear (January 31) at McCormick Place at the Chicago Bike & Parts Expo. They will also appear at the Iron Horse Music and Bike Fest in Sabula, Iowa. LaPuma grew up in Chicago at Clark & Diversey and has worked with B.B. King (Ron says he has a guitar signed by B.B. King). Certainly Ron was a guitar virtuouso. The other two members of the band were Steve Hintze and Jimmy VanHyfte. The group played “Choo Choo Mama,” “You Got Me Runnin'”; “I Just Want to Make Love to You,”; “Voodoo Child” and a tribute of “All Along the Watchtower” (Neil Young), which I think they dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan. The lead guitar was fantastic and had a great voice. Both of the other 2 backing musicians were very good.
For sheer thrashing showmanship, the young charismatic heavy metal dudes (especially Mike Saviano) scored big, but for musicianship, Ron LaPuma and “Tapped Out” get my vote, with a nod to the pleasant voice of Dani Lynne Howe and her band.