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HERE'S WHAT U MISSED IF YOU WEREN'T AT THE LIVING UNDERGROUND:


review of the show:

5-22-04

The first annual Living Underground, which was a benefit multi-band concert for the Arts programs at West Bloomfield High School, was the brainchild of senior Brent Burgess, who implemented his keen interest in local independent music in planning this show, which involved all local talent and some great unsigned bands. the artists came from all over, some of them from as far away as Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids just to play in the concert. The weather in West Bloomfield the morning of the show was a little bit iffy (heavy thundershowers in the morning and fairly soggy all around) so the decision was made to start the show in the Atrium of West Bloomfield High School instead of in the courtyard. Eight bands, a stage and a lot of electricity in the air, (NOT from the thunderstorms) made for a great afternoon of music.

The four and a half hour show got underway shortly after high noon, when Detroit's own Troubleman, the self-professed "Hardest working band in Detroit", played the first of three shows they had booked for that date.  They were nicely loud and played a great set of straight up rock and roll for the appreciative audience. Their self titled latest album is a must have for fans of Detroit Rock and roll.

Scott Martin was next. Accompanied only by his trusty guitar and harmonica, Scott performed an intimate set of music from his album "My Favorite Martins". Highlights of his show included a cool rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" as well as his set closer, David Bowie's "Space Oddity". Scott was well liked by everyone and gave a heartfelt, personal performance. he was also nice enough to lend us his sound system for much of the show. Thanks Scott!

The fun loving Mydols were up next. The local quartet, consisting entirely of "soccer moms" (as they call themselves), performed twangy, reminiscently rockabilly music that included the popular "Mydol Twist" and amusing songs about being the White Stripes' Jack White's mom and taking out the trash. In true soccer mom tradition, The Mydols brought their kids and their husbands to the Living Underground to join the fun.

Jessika Carmichael, who is a student at WBHS, was the next performer. She was just plain incredible, showing an amazing singing voice and guitar work and performing songs she wrote about her Mom, her Dad and, as she told the audience, "metaphors". Jessika is a major talent that you might see on the national charts some day, sort of a cross between Jewel and Frente's lead singer Angie Hart.

From Ann Arbor came Faces for Radio to perform. Singing a sweet set from their second EP "I Woke Up in College", lead singer Travis Atkinson sounded great on such catchy songs as "Questions Abound" (a personal favorite) and "Nothing Better".  Percussionist Eric Kogelschatz wailed on the congas with reckless abandon and it was a real crowd-pleasing set. We were very lucky to get FFR for the Living Underground.

It was decided to head outside to the front steps of West Bloomfield High School for the last three acts.  Colic was loud and proud with a rockin' 25 minutes of music, much of which comes from their self-titled EP. The four man band played a hot set and showed why they are such a popular attraction at such venues as Detroit's St. Andrews Hall and the Emerald Theater in Mt. Clemens.

The ska-ish-rock quartet Tripstick was up next. The musicianship was excellent as bassist Buddy showed some incredible licks on the five string bass and lead singer Dan Schell was in great voice as the band played an outstanding set, mostly from their latest release, "Quixotic". The band sounded a lot like 311 and this is a very, very good thing.

Wrapping up the Living Underground was Broken Sunday, from Grand Rapids. This band is really going places! And they were my wife's favorite of the performers. Broken Sunday played an excellent seven song set, including a surprising cover of Del Shannon's classic "Runaway". Lead singer Joe Cisler sounded great and the band truly rocked out, a fitting ending to the celebration of local independent music and the arts.

We would like to thank everyone involved with the show, those who showed up and donated their time and money to the Living Underground and especially the great musicians without whom this benefit never would have happened. Also extra special thanks to Mike Baum, Ronen Goldstein, Ms. Alison Davis, Mrs. Pat Burgess, Mrs. Jessica Townley, Ron Welch from the WBHS staff, Judy Davids of the Mydols and everyone else, and especially D.J. BB, the man behind The Living Underground who worked his butt off booking the bands and getting the whole event together. Hopefully the Living Underground will become a spring tradition at WBHS, even if we do steal your name for the show, BB. Hope to see everyone next year!

--Paul Townley, Station Manager, WBLD-FM 89.3

the images of living underground I:

The setup begins in the WBHS atrium.

Lots of Heavy lifting and moving things around before the show began.

This was the flyer that advertised the event.

Detroit's Troubleman opened the show, the first of 3 sets they performed around the area that day.

Scott Martin played a sweet acoustic set.

The "all soccer mom band", the Mydols, perform at L.U.

West Bloomfield High School's own Jessika Carmichael was amazing.

Faces for Radio, from Ann Arbor, was a popular part of the show.

The show moved to the front steps of WBHS where Colic rocked the house.

Tripstick had awesome musicianship and a ska-rock sound.

Broken Sunday, from Grand Rapids, closed the show with a smokin' set.

WBLD Station manager Mr. Townley lives out a life long dream and becomes a roadie for the Mydols.

Organizer of the event, DJ. BB, rawked out!


THANKS TO EVERYONE ONCE AGAIN! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!