Ten original bands plus two stages will equal an unlimited night of fun when Gable Music Ventures hosts the Wilmo Rock Circus on Saturday. The concert will be held at the Wilmington Riverfront at 7 p.m.
Wilmo Rock Circus, in which nine of the 10 bands are based in the Wilmington-Newark area, will give spectators an opportunity to see a handful of up-and-coming bands tear it up with original tunes (spanning genres of rock to pure funk) in a three-ring type of environment.
Performers will alternate between two stages playing half-hour sets. The twin stages will be outfitted with professional sound and lighting to set the scene for the event, which will also feature local vendors providing food and beverages to purchase.
Atmospheric enhancements including carnival art and multi-screen video projections to help immerse the audience in the Rock Circus experience.
The event is a collaborative effort with Jeremy Hebbel and Gayle Dillman (founders of Gable Music Ventures, based in Wilmington), Planet Ten Multimedia (based in Newark), as well as Wilmington’s Joe Trainor, front man of the piano rock band The Joe Trainor Trio. Trainor, who handpicked the show’s lineup, introduced the idea of having a large, indoor musical event since he wanted to help some of his favorite local bands gain more exposure “and get them all on the same bill,” he said.
IF YOU GO
WHAT Wilmo Rock Circus
WHEN 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26
WHERE 914 Justison St., Wilmington
The concert is comprised of the following bands: The Hold-Up, The Bullets, Deadbeatz Inc., The Keefs, Little Invisibles, Modern Exile, Petey Lownotes & the Truckstop Regulars, Still Moon Servants, The Joe Trainor Trio and Universal Funk Order.
The only band that isn’t from northern Delaware is Deadbeatz Inc., a duo from West Chester, Pa., that combines hip-hop, country, dance, rock, reggae and funk.
A sneak peak
While zombie popularity is at an all-time high and vampires are essentially and afterthought – except if you’re a fan of the “Twilight” series – The Hold-Up will remind Rock Circus patrons that vampires need a little love, too. The band will perform “Vampire Blues,” a song about despair told “from a vampire’s perspective,” said guitarist Devin Zito of Wilmington.
The Hold-Up, which draws influence from ‘50s and ‘60s rock-n-roll, blues and punk music, will also perform their song “Sharon Stone,” loosely based on the actress’ film “Basic Instinct.”
“We bring a lot of energy and classic rock appeal that not, too, many bands are doing right now,” said Hold-Up front man Jason Webb of Wilmington. “Our music is like Johnny Cash meets the Ramones, with a little splash surf rock.”
Page 2 of 2 - While each band brings a special quality to the Rock Circus, the fact that the Lownotes will perform is unique in itself, because the funky pop-rock band hasn’t taken the stage since their last show at The Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, Pa., in 2010.
The short version of the story is this: Lownotes front man Stephen Finn took a teaching job in San Diego, Calif., last year, only a few months after the band was founded, said Hebbel, 28, an alum of Concord High School. Knowing that Finn would be back in town to visit his pals Thanksgiving week, Hebbel suggested that the crew dust off their instruments and give their loyal fans something they’ve been waiting for.
Though the band will only have a few days to rehearse before the Rock Circus, Hebbel said he isn’t worried that the group will deliver a subpar performance since it only takes them two to three times to “master” playing a song.
“None of us are nervous at all,” he said.
It also helps that friends and fans of the Lownotes are pretty hyped for the band’s return concert.
“We’ve gotten a lot of buzz and a lot of response,” Hebbel said.