How long has it been since you’ve been to a show where you can hear the crashing of cymbals? Or witness band members setting up the stage for themselves with the help of their friends? Or how about having such good seats (instead of holding a pair of binoculars like you were on a stakeout, so far from the action) or standing so close to the stage you can smell the energy in the air? I myself experienced this energy and passion this past Saturday night in a basement of a Lutheran Church located in Bronxville, NY. Yes the stage was small, it was hot and there were some technical difficulties at times (I did say basement, right?) But you know what? This is what rock& roll is all about. This is where rock & roll started and has a “re-birth” all over again with every generation. The epicenter is the “garage” and everyone needs to go back “home” every once in a while to remember the good times as well as witness the up and coming talents who are right in your own “backyard.” I can honestly say that I always look for signs that the “younger generation” will keep the torch going and after the show Saturday night, the rock & roll train just picked up some new passengers and its full steam ahead.
By the time I arrived Tyler Pendleton and his band were setting up their stage for a local event that was put together by Kuba Kierlanczyk, a junior at Bronxville High School, and featured the following acts: States Away, Temporary Heroes, Beyond Arms Reach and the aforementioned Tyler Pendleton. It was stuffy in the basement as the younger crowd was milling around in anticipation for the next band to hit the stage. As Tyler and his band mates began playing, you could immediately feel the energy from him which I believe energized the crowd as well as his band. I always lean on baseball for analogies and if you play with a Derek Jeter – you are going to perform better because you know he is giving it all, so you need to be on your game. When they performed “Blue Skies” from Tyler’s “Closure Volume” album, I was really impressed on how tight the whole band was from start to beginning. The guitar work from Chance Jones and Asher Zeitschik sort of remind you of bands like Fall Out Boy or All American Rejects with a twist of Rancid. The lead work from Asher was very striking. The “meat and potatoes” of every band- the bass and drums were handled amiably by Doug Gettenberg and Mark Buono. (Buono established the “Massive Sound” Studio where “Closure” was recorded). By the time they played “Unbelievable” I had this smile on my face as I knew then that this thing that we call rock and roll was still alive and thriving in the “underground.” The passion from Tyler and his band mates were bleeding through the speakers as they ripped through all of their songs with controlled precision. I, along with everyone else who attended, was at the “core” of where rock and roll music begins: the “feedback,” the smashing of the cymbals, the raw sounds of the bass, the guitars and drums and of course the endless energy- this is what rock and roll is all about.
The next time you are looking for something to do on a weekend, do yourself a favor- search for the local talent and reacquaint yourself with the meaning of rock & roll. Like me, you will be pleasantly surprised that- using Huey’s famous line- “the heart of rock and roll is still beating.”