The invasion is on - big, beautiful motorcycles are roaring through our town lookin’ to show off their machines and have a good time. So let’s show them some southern hospitality and jump on the good-time wagon with them.
I started a little early heading over to the Wed. Bike Night at Hooters on Rt. 50 where Randy Lee Ashcraft started the evening with the raising of the American flag and singing the national anthem. Wow! Always a moving experience. The number of bikes there was amazing and this is just the advance group. They’re roaring into town as I’m writing this.
After Hooters, where you’ll find good entertainment this weekend from Aaron Howell and Pompous Pie, I headed into town to the Purple Moose to hear Queen - well, Almost Queen. Yes, and what an appropriate name. Performing so many Queen hits, they impressed me with their dynamics - powerful harmonies and those signature backup vocals, and were instrumentally perfect as well. If you think no one but Freddie Mercury could hit those notes and perform with such style and charisma, you would be wrong. Joseph Russo was absolutely superb. We couldn’t take our eyes off of him except to watch the stunning performance of drummer John Cappadona. He was just as flashy and dramatic as Joe. Many of Queen’s songs are rock operas punctuated by operatic-style vocals, unusual instrumentation and drum flourishes, captivating the ear, eye and imagination. Randy Gregg on bass and Steve Leonard on guitar were equally superb blending their talents to create a show that can only be described as exceptionally outstanding - truly the next best thing to a real live Queen concert, which sadly we will never see again. Thanks to these guys for keeping this amazing body of music alive in our hearts and minds; so many songs we still hear on the radio and maybe don’t realize that it’s Queen. The Purple Moose brings back Surreal this weekend who do a few Queen songs, quite well I might add. You gotta come and party with Surreal - two more nights of fabulous rockin’ music. Make that three, ‘cause those Led Zeppelin guys are back in town on Sun. night. Kashmir, who is also performing on the Ocean Stage for OC Bike Fest at 1:30p on Fri. and at 3 p on the Boardwalk Stage on Sat., will perform an entire 3-set concert from the stage of the Purple Moose Sun. You know how good they are, but if you haven’t heard them yet, it’s a must!
I can’t believe the lineup of events scheduled for this year’s OC Bike Fest. I hope you read my articles starting on page 5 about Charlie Daniels and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad. It’s thrilling to have these groups here.
There is no end to the festivities lined up for this weekend. I caught Animal House at Fager’s Island last Mon. after the Ravens impressive win and I was reminded anew what a great party rock band they are. The group is just loaded with talent allowing them to trade off instruments to bring others to the front for lead vocals. For instance, Perry is the phenomenal lead singer who can hit those high Journey and Bon Jovi notes with ease; sometimes he takes over bass from George for him to sing a few. Keyboardist John will relinquish his post to Perry to come sing a few that his wonderful voice is well suited to. Did you think I was going to forget about the lovely Ashley. She delivers her songs with bounding enthusiasm bringing the whole crowd along for the ride. Then there’s Steve on guitar who packs a wallop with his vocals as well. Now this means with all that vocal ability that backup harmonies are superb. And let’s not forget the powerful drumming of Fred who is so laid-back to talk to but attacks those drums when the time is right. Check them out for yourselves this Fri. & Sat. nights at Fager’s Island.
Trader Lee’s is amping up the entertainment for all their biker buddies with Back Seat Becky on Fri. early at 2p and lower case blues at the same time on Sat. Their continuous music will feature Bird Dog & The Road Kings at 6p and Loud Love at 9p on both days. This joint is gonna be jumpin’ my friends!
Live Wire playing AC/DC hits is the hot ticket tonight at Seacrets after the always entertaining Jim Long Band. Dr. Harmonica & Rocket 88 is back playing Sat. at the 45h St. Taphouse & Sun. at M.R. Ducks. So much...check our list and party safe!