On Thursday March 28, local rockers got together at the Blue Grotto to raise funds for the YMCA-YWCA Strong Kids Campaign. Billed as the YMCA Strongs Kids Rock-a-thon, it was a night of comedy, and great music. Many local businesses also contributed draw prizes, with the proceeds going to the charity. First up, was the comedy stylings of Arron Butowski. His monologue took us to some uneasy, family situations with humorous consequences. He also played guitar and sang, with the accompaniment of Jeremy Kneeshaw on percussion.
After each set, organizers drew tickets for prizes, while the bands tore down and set-up the stage.
The next act to perform was a band that was created for this event. They really were a pleasant surprise. They did a high energy set, highlighted by wonderful playing and great harmonies. The band, appropriately named, One Night Stand, consisted of John Treichel guitar and vocals, Jeremy Kneeshaw, drums and vocals, Angie Heinze, vocals and bass, Katie Neustaeter, keyboard and vocals. They were later joined by Scott Skolmoski on bass and vocals, too.
They immediately got the dance floor shaking. Some of their highlights were covers of Midnight Rider from the Allman Brothers, Wagon Wheel from Darius Rucker and Rihanna’s Stay. Heinze and Neustaeter harmonized well together and Neustaeter’s keyboards allowed for the great variety of music they played.
Angie Heinze barely had time to catch her breath and she was back with The Angie Heinze Band. They performed another mainly up-tempo set of rock classics including Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles, Fortunate Son from Creedence Clearwater Revival and 80s favourites, Call Me by Blondie and The B52’s Love Shack.
The band included Angie Heize, lead vocals, Scott Skulmoski, guitar and vocals, Brad Klenk, drums, Darren Jones, bass, and Daniel Heslop on keyboards. They added to the energy on the Grotto’s dance floor.
After a brief pause for more prizes, the region’s favourite 60s retro band, Paisley Groove, played a wild set of Santana and Joe Cocker favourites. Notably, this band has two percussionists. Lyle Shepard handles the drum kit and and Pat Ebert plays the multitude of percussion instruments that are at his disposal.
This and bass player Myron Rosvick lay down that wonderful groove, that the talented Doug Goodman on keyboards and vocals and David Langevin with his lead guitar & vocals can play and sing along to. The fun continued as Katie Neustaeter and Angie Heinze joined Paisley Groove to provide some vocals and dancing.
The last band to perform was Half Step Down. Lead singer Nikki Omen, mentioned that this was their third gig. It should be noted that at least two of the gigs were for charity functions, so these guys have a big heart, as do all the other performers on this night. My personal highlight is their version of Big Wreck’s That Song.
Half Step Down consists of Nikki Omen on lead vocals, Dan Hansen, lead guitar, Dion Perry, drums, Kevy Altersound on bass and John Thorpe on lead guitar.
It was a fun night at the YMCA Strongs Kids Rock-a-thon at the Blue Grotto with great entertainment! A great job by the tv/radio station gang at CFJC, B100, 98.3. Some of the people involved with the organzing and realization of the this event were Angie Heinze, Katie Neustaeter, Adam Donnelly, Dylana Milobar, Nikki Omen and undoubtedly many others, and of course the Blue Grotto staff. Another entertaining night for a good cause!