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Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 12:01 am

Come together over something

Park plays with Looming and The Sun and the Sea, Sat., Dec. 20, at Marly’s Pub.
PHOTO COURTESY PARK VIA FACEBOOK.COM

 

Just as families reunite during the holiday season, it appears that bands do, too. Among many other exciting events this weekend, we have a few get back-togethers to report.

I guess this one is rather late news, as the Springfield rock band Park officially told the world they were back together last May. With a summer comeback show and a Chicago date last fall, the cat’s out of the bag, as they say, but anytime Park plays after their several year hiatus, it’s a reunion of the musicians and a gathering of friends. On stage with Looming and The Sun and the Sea, the Saturday show at Marly’s featuring Park is set to be the show of the season.

Looming is arguably the most talked about new group in town from what I hear with my ear stuck to the ground and my head in the sand. They are a terrific bunch of youthful musicians and performers doing really original, original material and doing it with a certain touch of something that just puts them somewhere different and wonderful.

The Sun and the Sea contains former members of the formerly very popular Springfield band, The Graduate. Those guys lived in a van for years, traversing moor and mountain, field and fountain chasing the star of stardom. The new group sounds less polished but more intricate, and travels less, though still reaching for the stars.

Park is still touting a fine national reputation around from the heyday of the band’s popularity in the late 90s and early 2000s. Ladd Mitchell, the main remaining Park connection, spent much of the last few years responsibly being a dear young dad. He was also working on a novel. The latest Park project musically reflects chapters in the novel, but isn’t meant to be a concept album. You’d better just come on and see the band to figure it out for yourself.

On Sunday in Tradewinds (wow, there’s a reunion waiting to happen) at Knight’s Action Park, Off the Wall throws a fan appreciation party. When these guys hosted a Keep ’Em Warm benefit at the Cove a few weeks back, they collected over 900 winter items for kids, much appreciated recently, I’m sure. This weekend they’re staying busy playing Marly’s on Friday and Boondocks on Saturday, then hosting the gathering on Sunday. Off the Wall has former members of Royal Pain and, one of the areas most popular bands in its time, Hot Property, and therein lies your reunion reasoning. RP starts at 4:30, HP plays together for the first time in seven years at 5:30, then the Wall takes it on home, with some musical interplay most likely to happen.

I had no notion all this reuniting stuff was going on when we booked the Raouligans to play along with me this Sunday at the Brewhaus. One of the advantages of our new 7 to 10 time slot allows for musicians with early hours on Monday, like Owen Irwin and Bruce Williams, to make the gig and still get enough rest to make Monday a decent workday. Tim Harte and I are still looking for a job. We’ll all be celebrating Owen’s birthday by rocking out for the first time in well over a year.

Cowboy Randy Erwin doesn’t play in town nearly enough for my taste and time so I’m calling this one a one-man reunion show. Catch him at Norb Andy’s Holiday Party on Saturday night with the Old Fashioneds hooting it all up just right.

As always, check the Illinois Times Pub Crawl for your favorite shows and make your own Now Playing list, just in time for the holidays.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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