July 1 concert to feature local '80s tribute bands
By Terry Duffy
The sixth annual Spirit of the '80s music festival fundraiser is making the move up north for 2017.
Held in past years at Lewiston venues, including stints at Academy Park and a visit to the Artpark Outdoor Amphitheater, Spirit of the '80s will be held at the Somewhere Bar, 681 Blairville Road, just outside of Youngstown.
The show gets underway at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 1, inside the tents at Somewhere. It is presented by Spirit of the '80s organizers and the Lewiston-Porter Class of 1987.
Organizers said the move to Somewhere is a good fit, and pointed to the establishment's popularity among Lewiston-Porter alumni, both young and old.
"Locals remember the Blairville Road establishment as the little place with the volleyball courts," Spirit of the '80s spokesperson Michelle Hosie said. "Three years ago, Pat Stack of Youngstown was looking for a small bar and restaurant where he could have big parties. Since opening, he has hosted over a dozen events and charity fundraisers with over 500 guests. Their largest event to date was the St. Patrick's Day celebration (this year) with over 2,000 people."
Hosie reported Spirit of the '80s will lead off this year with local band Second Coming starting at 4 p.m. They'll be followed by the alternative rock act No Vacancy at 5 p.m. Both bands feature current and former Lewiston Music students.
The unique sounds of R.E.M tribute band Dead Letter Office follow at 7 p.m., with Talking Heads tribute Start Making Sense headlining at 9 p.m.
Hosie said concertgoers are in for a treat.
"Opening for Start Making Sense is a tribute to a band with arguably an even more unique sound," she said. "The jangle pop/folk rock sounds of R.E.M. are celebrated by Dead Letter Office, named for an album of 'B-sides' released in 1987.
"Unlike other R.E.M. tribute bands, Dead Letter Office has five members (rather than four), allowing them to tackle the complete catalog so that fans can hear deep cuts in addition to the well-known hits including 'Losing My Religion,' (This One Goes Out To) 'The One I Love,' 'Man on the Moon' and 'It's The End of the World As We Know It.' "
The evening will cap off with the tribute band sounds of what Hosie calls "a new-wave trailblazer."
"Start Making Sense is a tribute to one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the 1980s," she said. "With their avant-garde approach to rock and funky blend punk, pop and world music, Talking Heads were trailblazers of the new-wave movement. The seven-piece tribute (Start Making Sense) from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, recreates the band's entire 16-year career, led by a frontman who does an impeccable David Byrne, signing favorites such as 'Once In A Lifetime,' 'Burning Down The House,' 'Take Me to the River' and 'Road to Nowhere.' "
Hosie said two shuttle buses will provide concertgoers rides to Somewhere from several locations in Lewiston and Youngstown, including The Brickyard Pub & B.B.Q. and The Stone Jug.
"Organizers want everyone to have a safe place to park and especially don't want anyone drinking and driving," she said.
Hosie advised those planning on attending the concert to visit the Spirit of the '80s Facebook page and website for more ride locations and details.
General admission tickets for Spirit of the '80s are priced at $15 presale (now available at Lewiston Music or online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event2950172
), or $20 at the door. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Lewiston-Porter Alumni Association.