Back by popular demand, Live Wire returns to Penn's Peak Saturday night with its acclaimed AC/DC tribute show.
The evening promises to pack a solid one-two punch of rock'n'roll, as Hollywood Nights, a tribute to Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, kicks off the performance at 8 p.m.
This is the second appearance at the Jim Thorpe venue this year for Live Wire, which headlined a January double bill with November Rain, a Guns'n'Roses triubute band.
"It's been a very busy year for us, and we're fortunate to get a return show to Penn's Peak in the same year," said lead singer Chris Antos, who handles the vocals for both Bon Scott and Brian Johnson AC/DC songs for Live Wire. "We are trying to do a lot for this show in particular to make it even bigger than the last time. We want to give people even more bang for their buck."
Live Wire has been performing together for a decade and bills itself as North America's Top AC/DC Tribute Band. They have even been featured in episode five of AC/DC FANNATION, which can be viewed on AC/DC's YouTube, Facebook and MySpace pages as well as on the FANNATION website.
Antos said that turning point for the band happened five years ago when it performed at Musikfest in Bethlehem, and the band continues to perform as the closest thing to the real thing.
"Pennsylvania in itself, with Musikfest and Penn's Peak, has given us the jolt we needed," noted Antos, who wears a Brian Johnson-style cap on stage.
Antos related that he personally was influenced by the late Scott, AC/DC's original singer, who died in 1980, as well as inspired by vocalists such as Dee Snider of Twister Sister.
"Personally, I love to do the Bon Scott stuff, because that's what turned us on to AC/DC in the first place, but certainly the Brian Johnson stuff has a lot of power to it, and I realy enjoy playing Brian's songs on stage, too," he admitted.
Antos promised Live Wire will go all out for this appearance at The Peak. The band has purchased an inflatable Rosie patterned after the one AC/DC once used (as a prop for the song "Whole Lotta Rosie"), and had added new video production.
"We have a few surprises we want to work in, too," added Antos. "Times are tough, but people can come in and enjoy the two hours we're on stage during the weekend and maybe not have to deal with their problems until Monday."
Hollywood Nights is a Philadelphia-based Bob Seger Tribute that has been gaining momentum since it was formed 14 months ago.
Lead singer Rick Murphy has been singing in rock bands for most of his life, although he noted he spent most of that time trying to emulate singers such as Steve Perry of Journey. The strain of attempting to hit the high notes almost caused him to require surgery on his vocal chords.
Murphy then decided to use his normally raspy voice on Seger material, and it was a much better match for him.
"It's been this way since I was born," said Murphy. "I've been singing in bands my whole, entire life, but I tried to sing like guys with high voices. I could pull it off 20 years ago, but since then, I've felt my rasp is actually a gift, and I kind of embraced it.
"When we settled on doing this Seger thing, I feel like I'm home," he added.
Murphy said the very first concert he ever went to featured Seger opening for Kiss back in 1976, and he's been a fan ever since.
Hollywood Nights, named after Seger's 1978 hit, is a nine-piece band that performs its setlist from a repertoire of about 40 Seger selections, spanning his career.
"We go through the hits from the late 1070's and early '80's to make sure they are all there, but we also don't want to leave out the early years, plus we also do some songs from Seger's 2006 tour," mentioned Murphy.
"As we continue our journey on this and draw Seger fans new and old, we feel we'll dig even more into the Encyclopedia of Seger," he added. "Our goal is to set the bar high."
Tickets for Live Wire and Hollywood Nights for Saturday, Dec. 5 at Penn's Peak are $19 in advance and $24 the day of the show for general admission seating and can be purchased on-line at www.ticketmaster.com , at Ticketmaster outlets including Boscov's and Gallery of Sound, at the Penn's Peak box office and Roadies Restaurant. Call (866) 605-PEAK for more information.