Red, Rhythm and Boom to feature student bands

Samantha Stulen | Staff Writer

Mason’s Independence Day festival, Red, Rhythm and Boom, will showcase live music by several Mason High School student bands this year.Twelve-Eight, Zilla and Welcome to Nowheresville were recruited after the National Honor Society talent show to play at the Independence Day celebration, which will occur on July 3rd at 2:30 p.m. at Corwin Nixon Park.

Running the festival is Angie Gardner, Recreational Manager for the City of Mason, who said that this year, the fair will feature local and regional talents due to its lower budget.

“We are aware of what’s going on in the economy, so we are trying to do the best we can to provide a great service and a celebration for Independence Day,” Gardner said. “Along with that, we were looking at what local talents we have and regional talents we have and what cost-breaks they would give us in order to still put on a really exciting event.”

The student bands were recommended by Student Activities Director Lorri Fox-Allen to Recreation Coordinator Richard Back.

Seniors Nick Holderbaum on bass, Dan Marque on piano and Tim Neumann on drums in Welcome to Nowheresville are looking forward to the exposure to older audiences the concert will bring them.

“[Red, Rhythm and Boom will] be the best opportunity for us to get our stuff out there past just the high school audience,” Neumann said. “A lot of times, we play for [only] high school kids.”

Red, Rhythm and Boom attracts 20,000 to 30,000 people annually; but last year, due to Huey Lewis and the News present as the headlining act, over 60,000 people of all ages attended the festival, according to Gardner.

After last year’s festival, Gardner said the idea was pitched to use local acts in 2010, City Council then decided on the bands and the budget for the festival.

“We work on Red, Rhythm and Boom [for] a complete year; as soon as we’re done, we’re working on the next year,” Gardner said. “[After Huey Lewis in 2009, the idea of local bands was pitched, and] we checked with City Council to ask for their direction; we gave them opportunities to look at what it would cost for national, regional [and] local acts, [and we gauged] interest from the people who called the council [explaining] what they thought, and [the] council voted on a direction.”

The festival’s attendees include a wide range of families and ages, while the bands usual audiences are comprised of high schoolers.

Senior Alex Cunningham, Zilla’s lead guitarist, said that to maintain the diverse audience’s attention, the band (made up of senior Tony DeLotell on rhythm guitar, senior Gator Schrand on drums, St. Xavier senior Aaron Carnevale on bass and Mason alum Mike Timmons, a current senior at Walsh College in Massachusetts) will be playing covers of well-known hip-hip songs such as “Get Low” by Lil’ Jon and the Eastside Boys and “Lemonade” by Gucci Mane, as well as “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit and “Inside Out” by Eve 6.

“I don’t think we’re appealing to the older demographics, but I think we’re definitely trying to appeal to most of the people,” Cunningham said.

Marque said that Welcome to Nowheresville will be appealing to older generations, due to planned covers of ‘80s songs, but will appeal to everybody, with the band’s original songs as well.

“We definitely want to hit up the younger generation with our originals, [and] we’ll play some covers; it’ll be good for everybody,” Marque said. “[Also,] we have a few tricks up our sleeves, as far as gimmick-y things, [and]as far as song choice, our songs should keep everybody entertained and our stage [energized].”

Gardner said that this year there will be two stages for bands to perform, and the student bands, including Twelve-Eight, will be on the second stage. Making up Twelve-Eight are seniors Tim Miller on drums, Eric Nikolaides on guitar and freshman Kevin Nikolaides on bass.

Miller said that playing at Red, Rhythm and Boom this year will be just for the band’s enjoyment: he said he does not expect anything major, such as a record deal, to come of it, as the festival comes a month before he and Nikolaides leave for college and Twelve-Eight breaks up.

While Zilla and Welcome to Nowheresville said their music appeals to all, Miller said that not everyone enjoys the blues: according to Miller, the genre of music Twelve-Eight plays will appeal more to the older generations, as he said young people may not like the band’s blues as much as parents may.

“We generally appeal to an older audience: 35 or 40 and up,” Miller said. “Usually, I don’t feel like teenagers are so hip to what we’re doing. It’s just not a style that’s particularly popular with young people.”

Stage Lineup
Student bands to play on second stage.
This year’s Red, Rhythm and Boom festival will be featuring local musical acts on two different stages. Here are the line-ups:

Kid Zone
Showmobile Stage
2:30-3:10 p.m. Access Denied
3:15-3:55 p.m. Twelve-Eight
4:00-5:00 p.m. Sonic Sledgehammers
5:05-6:05 p.m. JAB Band
6:10-7:10 p.m. Smiling Rhinos
7:15-8:15 p.m. Cold Smoke
8:20-9:05 p.m. Zilla
9:10-10:00 p.m. Welcome to Nowheresville
Main Stage
2:30 p.m. Ben Lapps
3:00 p.m. Saffire Express
4:45 p.m. Ground Floor
6:00 p.m. Ben Lapps
6:15 p.m. Rusty Griswolds
8:15 p.m. Ben Lapps
8:30 p.m. Off the Hook
10:30 p.m. Rozzi’s Fireworks