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Let there be rock: Bellevue band in final of Classic Rockathon at Redmond's Old Fire House
A Bellevue band, Gentlemen GaGa, is one of four eager groups that will compete at 8 p.m. Friday, April 30, in the final round of the fourth annual Classic Rockathon at the Old Fire House Teen Center, 16510 NE 79th St. in downtown Redmond.
Other finalists vying for Rockathon bragging rights — and valuable prizes from local sponsors — are Fit for Hounds, Jar and Infinity Undone.
Music lovers of all ages are invited. The $6 admission fee benefits educational and recreational programs at the Old Fire House Teen Center.
Although they are not competing for prizes, a fifth musical act, Night Terrors will also perform April 30 as "Producers' Picks" at the Classic Rockathon.
Here's the lowdown on "who's who" and what you might expect to hear and see at the culmination of the Classic Rockathon:
• Gentlemen GaGa includes Jackson Main, 15, Sammamish High School, on vocals and guitar; TJ Main, 13, International School-Bellevue, drums; and Owen Burr, 14, Whitman Middle School-Seattle, bass.
At the Classic Rockathon semifinals, Gentlemen GaGa played "Folsom Prison Blues" (Johnny Cash), "Well Respected Man" (The Kinks), "Big Dipper" (Built to Spill), "Blister in the Sun" (Violent Femmes) and "Psycho Killer" (Talking Heads).
"The boys have been influenced by a variety of artists such as John Lennon, the Violent Femmes and many more, as evidenced by their song choices at the initial Rockathon," said band mom Heike Burr. "Bands being considered to cover for the finals include The Who, Rolling Stones and Blondie. You'll have to come to the show to find out more!"
As well as ties to the School of Rock in Seattle and a talent show at Sammamish High School, Gentlemen GaGa members have been active in music lessons, school band/orchestra programs and have played El Corazon, the Admiral Theatre, Vera Project, the Laser Dome and the Crocodile.
• Fit for Hounds includes Bill Doerrfeld, 18, University of Washington, on vocals and synth; Alicia Doerrfeld, 16, Skyline High School, guitar; Scott Sherman, 18, Tiger Mountain/Skyline High School, bass; and Zach Barokas, 16, Skyline High School, drums.
At the Classic Rockathon semifinals, Fit for Hounds performed "Take on Me" (A-ha), "The Promise" (When In Rome), "Enjoy the Silence" (Depeche Mode) and "Lay All Your Love On Me" (ABBA).
Bill commented, "I personally admire bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, etc. I don't think Fit for Hounds' normal musical style, punk/dance/rock, really relies much on inspiration from classic artists but we admire and respect them, nonetheless. This was our first time playing cover songs as a band and we found it was really fun learning these old tunes."
Since Fit for Hounds formed in December, they've played the Old Fire House, Kirkland Teen Union Building and Ground Zero in Bellevue and won the Issaquah Battle of the Bands. In previous bands, the members have played El Corazon, Folklife Festival 2009, Sammamish Teen Festival 2008 and other events.
Look for "more colorful outfits and '80s sunglasses" when Fit for Hounds competes on April 30, said Bill.
• Jar consists of John Thornburg, 17, Inglemoor High School, on vocals and drums; Russ Thornburg, 13, Northshore Junior High, guitar; and Julio Posada, 17, Inglemoor High School, bass.
During their set at the Classic Rockathon semifinals, Jar performed The Doors' "Five to One" and "L.A. Woman" as well as The Beatles' "Come Together."
John noted, "The classic rock artists that we most admire are The Doors, of course, Led Zeppelin and some '90s stuff like Alice in Chains and Nirvana. What fans can expect at the next round is a loud set of classic songs."
Jar's present lineup is five months old. John and Russ have played in other bands at El Corazon, Studio Seven, Oddfellow's Bar and Grill, Big Daddy's, The LAB, The SLAB and Ground Zero.
• Infinity Undone is comprised of Connor Zimmerman, 16, Eastlake High School, on vocals; Ryan Zimmerman, 23, (not in school), guitarist; Ryan Kestner, 19, going to Bellevue College in fall, bass; Michael DeYoung, 19, Bellevue College, drums; and Kris Larson, 23, (not in school), guitar.
For their initial judging at the Classic Rockathon, Infinity Undone played "Sharp Dressed Man" (ZZ Top), "The Immigrant Song" (Led Zeppelin), "Sweet Emotion" (Aerosmith) and "Fade to Black" (Metallica).
Venues played by Infinity Undone include the Old Fire House, Kirkland Teen Union Building, Ground Zero and Mr. D's.
At the Rockathon finals, expect to hear "whatever is face-melting," the band noted.
For more information about the Classic Rockathon, call the Old Fire House Teen Center at (425) 556-2370 or visit www.theoldfirehouse.org.
Mary Stevens Decker is a staff writer with the Redmond Reporter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.