Weekend of local rock volume 32

This is an example of judicious editing, as I could have easily put up 40 shots – instead I distilled it to 14.

A week ago Kim and I were at Pork in the Park as two earlier posts this week suggest. But I intentionally held off on doing the musical portion until now. On Saturday a total of eight bands performed and we saw six – seven if you count the tail end of Power Play.

We pick up the action with the ’80s cover band Riot Act. They won their spot by winning the Battle of the Bands last year, over my objection. But they came with one purpose:

Although they did a pretty good set, my socks stayed on throughout.

These guys are a five-piece band with one lady who alternates between guitar and keyboards.

The five players of Riot Act played during the early afternoon at Pork in the Park. Photo by Kimberley Corkran.

This year they didn’t have the several costume changes they featured last time I saw them at Pork in the Park. The biggest switch was this getup by the bassist who does their short rap segment.

This part of the show was where they segued Van Halen's 'Jamie's Cryin' into a rap song and back.

This will give you a good idea of the crowd who was watching.

It was a fairly decent afternoon crowd during Pork in the Park and a lot of folks got into Riot Act. Photo by Kimberley Corkran.

I’m the kind of guy who will give the benefit of the doubt to local musicians. But the singer really needs to work on remembering the proper lyrical sequences – he messed up 2 or 3 times that I noticed.

A guy who I doubt messed up on lyrics (or if he did I wouldn’t have known) was Tom Principato, who followed Riot Act on stage. It was a definite transition from ’80s glam to a blues-rock gumbo. Speaking of gumbo, it’s part of the title to one of his several CD’s which were available for sale there.

I don't know if the lady is Mrs. Principato or just a fan, but she was moving and grooving to what Tom and his band were laying down.

Tom is also a Pork in the Park veteran who was here in the same timeslot last year. He may have even wore the same shirt.

Blues-rock guitarist Tom Principato once again held court at Pork in the Park. Next month he's back in the area, playing a show in Berlin.

But he and his band kept the crowd entertained as they prepared for the awards ceremony.

The four parts of Tom Principato's band. It's sort of unique to have both a drummer and percussionist to go with bass and lead guitars.

And, just like last year, after the awards ceremony we were treated to the Southern rock of Smokin’ Gunnz. They also had their swag for sale, but part of the picture is intended to show how breezy it was out there.

Yes, it was a little breezy out there. I was tempted to pick up the long-sleeved rebel flag shirt just for an extra layer.

One thing I liked about Smokin’ Gunnz is that they play a wide variety of songs from the genre. They started with five Lynard Skynard songs but they weren’t the five you may expect – there were some forgotten gems in there too.

They didn't just play 'Free Bird' when they played Skynard - Smokin' Gunnz can play some of the deeper album cuts too.

And here’s to wireless equipment.

Say hello to your friendly neighborhood lead guitarist.

Speaking of equipment, could you imagine the chaos which would ensue if someone spilled their Yuengling on this bad boy?

This is what you call a professional sound rig. As windy as it was, the sound came across really well so thumbs up to the crew here.

As the day turned into night and the wind kept a-howlin’, the crowd thinned out somewhat for the 95.9 The Sports Animal Battle of the Bands. The station changed format (it used to be 96 Rock) after the event was announced, so I wonder if edition 3 will occur next year.

Unlike last year, just 3 bands participated, with two of them being repeat performers. One of them was Order 6-D6.

When I saw them back in January, Order 6-D6 talked about getting another guitarist but this was still the same four-piece band.

With there only being 3 bands each played four songs, with Order 6-D6 choosing 3 originals and one cover song. I think being first up hurt them again because they didn’t win; perhaps they should have again.

Next up was Dakota John, who played as I recall a two original, two cover set. They were the only band I saw who hadn’t played here last year – yet they’re from Salisbury.

Dakota John showed a lot of energy and promise. While they're not quite there yet, they have the potential to be a solid band.

I think I would have liked them better if the vocals had been more pronounced. The lady can sing but I had a hard time figuring out just what she was singing. Maybe it was the cold.

Your winner was CIA, which stands for Conjured in Absence. Good thing I scored a shirt because now I can remember that. (It was tossed out and landed right by me, so I picked it up. I didn’t pull any journalistic strings.)

I'm curious to know what these guys sound like with their regular guitarist. The player on the far left stepped in 10 days before since their regular guitar player couldn't make the show.

I wouldn’t have given them first because having the fill-in guitarist made them a bit rough around the edges musically, but they went last and that seems to be a good spot, plus their best song was the original song they did to close the show. To me they were a close second but I’m not a judge.

And maybe I was just popsicle-frozen by then since the temperature had dipped into the low 50’s and the wind was whipping the flags around Pork in the Park. I was glad to be in a warm car because Kim couldn’t take the cold and left before CIA began.

As part of winning, I believe CIA gets to play as part of the “Suds at the Shorebirds” event next Saturday. (Damn, I have to miss it – couldn’t you have picked a date where I wasn’t at our spring convention?) So you can go and judge for yourself whether they deserved to win.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.

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