Sunday, March 26, 2017

Penn's Peak

Friday, August 20, 2010
Singer Jared Weeks and bassist Eric Taylor of Saving Abel are out front during their Penn's Peak performance Thursday night. JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS

The mantle of southern rock is large enough to encompass a variety of sounds.

Take Thursday evening's bill of hard rocking bands at Penn's Peak, three of which hail from south of the Mason-Dixon line, as an example.

Saving Abel, a quintet from Cornith, Mississippi, headlined the bill, which also included American Bang from Nashville, Tennessee and Taddy Porter from Stillwater, Oklahoma. While each have Southern roots, they showcased their own approaches to being part of the latest wave of Southern rock bands without having to hoist Confederate flags.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vocalist Chris Antos of Live Wire, shown here during a 2009 performance at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, returns to The Peak on Friday night with Live Wire's Ultimate AC/DC Tribute show. The band plays songs from all phases of AC/DC's career. Opening the evening will be special guest Bad Medicine, performing a Bon Jovi tribute. Show time is 8 p.m. Tickets for Live Wire and Bad Medicine are $19 in advance and $24 the day of the show for general admission seating.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Taddy Porter will perform at Penn's Peak on Thursday night as part of a bill with Saving Abel, American Bang and Sugar Red Drive.

Taddy Porter is named after a beer and has a lead singer whose family has a background in baseball.

So what is the deal with the bird perched on the amplifier on the band's self-titled debut album, which has just been released?

"That's the scissored-tailed flycatcher, which is the state bird of Oklahoma," explained Taddy Porter's Andy Brewer, in a phone interview while on the road in North Carolina this week.

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Saving Abel makes a return visit to Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe on Thursday, Aug. 19. Opening for them will be We Are The Fallen, American Bang, and Taddy Porter.

Saving Abel have achieved another milestone in their notable career. The quintet's follow up to their gold-certified self-titled debut "Miss America" entered the Billboard album chart at 24. This is the highest position the band has held with any album on the Top 200.

The lead single "Stupid Girl (Only In Hollywood)" is flying up the rock charts, currently bulleted at 12, while the accompanying video is in rotation on MTV2.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Two more shows have been announced for Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.

Beatlemania Now, a tribute to Liverpool's Fab 4, will be coming back to Carbon County's largest concert venue on Saturday, Sept. 11.

The group goes through several costume changes including one in which they wear apparel from the band's "Yellow Submarine" tour.

Besides sounding like The Beatles, Beatlemania Now also looks like the original John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

A Journey Tribute with Voyage will be staged at Penn's Peak on Saturday, Nov. 13. Featured will be Hugo, formerly of Evolution.

Monday, August 9, 2010
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey's McGee sings and plays in the midst of the band's dazzling light show at Penn's Peak Friday night.

Umphrey's McGee is a band that dwells in different musical realms.

There has even been a term coined for what the Chicago-based sextet does - "improg", a combination of improvisational and progressive rock music.

The improvisational part appeals to fans of the jam band circuit, to which Umphrey's McGee (the band took its name from a relative of guitarist Brendan Bayliss) is often linked. The band demonstrated its stamina Friday night at Penn's Peak with a three-hour performance, including two sets and an encore.

Friday, August 6, 2010
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Carl Palmer drives the beat for Asia at Penn's Peak Thursday evening.

Asia has been defined as a supergroup, since it is comprised of members from other British progressive rock bands.

Fans of the genre sometimes don't reserve the reverence for Asia that they do for Yes, King Crimson, Roxy Music and other bands that preceded it, but Asia continues to chart its own path and shouldn't take a backseat to anyone.

The secret to Asia's commercial success, upon the release of its multiplatinum debut album in 1982, is that the quartet create a whole even greater than it's the sum of its formidable parts.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Asia, featuring original members (from left) Steve Howe, Carl Palmer, Geoffrey Downes and John Wetton, will perform at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe Thursday evening.

By now, it is obvious that the reunion of the four original members of Asia has taken on a life of its own.

To borrow the title of one of the British supergroup's songs, it has been beyond their wildest dreams.

"I don't think anyone envisioned it," said Asia keyboardist Geoffrey Downes, in a phone interview from Alexandria, Virginia, prior to the soundcheck for a concert on the band's current tour, which includes a stop at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe Thursday night. Doors open at 6 p.m., with showtime at 8 p.m.

Monday, August 2, 2010
Skid Row guitarist Scotti Hill swirls his hair while delivering a riff at Penn's Peak Friday night.

Prior to Skid Row taking the stage at Penn's Peak Friday night, two songs were blared over the speakers.

One was "The Star-Spangled Banner", which Skid Row plays before every show as a tribute to U.S. troops serving overseas.

The latter was Rainbow's "Long Live Rock'n'Roll", featuring the late, great Ronnie James Dio on vocals.

Monday, August 2, 2010
Guitarist Paul Barrere of Little Feat sings on stage at Penn's Peak Saturday night.

There have been some changes with Little Feat since the band's last appearance at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe in December, 2008.

For one, the band has gone from a seven-piece to a six member unit, as it parted ways with female vocalist Shaun Murphy last year.

Also, drummer and original founding member Richie Hayward has been battling with liver cancer and has been replaced on the road by former drum technician Gabe Ford, the nephew of blues guitarist Robben Ford.