sawyer concert playlist:
ward f. ward and angela crepeau in tom sawyer rehearsal. photo by brian wallace | juneau empire.
tom sawyer: juneau's progressive
last august, andy engstrom and ward f. ward started thinking about paying homage to some of the bands that inspired them to play music. they were thinking of groups such as rush, kansas and dream theater, so-called "progressive" performance-oriented music that was technically challenging and not necessarily played to death on mainstream radio.
they rounded up a handful of like-minded musicians - keyboard player george wallace, bass player dave crabtree and lead singer angela crepeau - and started rehearsing in september.
the name they chose for the show: "tom sawyer," in honor of the song from the 1981 rush album "moving pictures."
"we wanted to play music that was more conducive to the original music that we write, and we also wanted to have music that people would recognize," engstrom said. "we put a lot of thought into it, and added and subtracted things, and came to what we felt was a happy medium of music that would have a broad appeal without sacrificing the original intent of the music."
"this is the kind of music that i like to play," ward said. "this is the stuff we tend to write. the real trick is rearranging it. some of the songs have multitrack guitar or two or more guitar players, and you have to arrange it so you're maintaining the original intent of how it was recorded."
the show starts at 9 p.m. friday, feb. 10, at the alaska native brotherhood hall on west willoughby avenue. doors open at 8.
missed by a longshot, the punk band of 12- and 13-year-olds, will open.
in the spirit of the over-the-top compositions, the show will include an elaborate multimedia stage show. patrick race at lucid reverie is putting together some movie clips and images to go with the show and will screen them on 12-by-12-foot video screens on both sides of the amplifier stacks. two hand-held camera operators will be recording additional live video of the crowd.
mark alton will run the sound on a giant public-address system he bought two years ago. the subwoofers alone span 36 feet. todd vierra of gold street studios will capture a multitrack recording off the board. eventually, the tape will be mixed with the live video and the on-screen images to create eight or nine videos of crabtree's, wallace's and engstrom's original material. the videos will be sold later this year to support those projects.
"we really wanted to put on a show that people would remember," ward said. "there have been a lot of big-name acts that have come through, but none of them have ever used the multimedia."
engstrom, crabtree and ward
have played music together for years in various permutations. crepeau
was recently the lead singer for no drama. wallace, a juneau resident
since 2003, has been writing his own songs since the 1970s and had a contract
with cbs in the early 1980s.
"ward and i wanted to hand-pick musicians that weren't only composers in the same style that we liked, but were also master musicians," engstrom said. "and yes, the material is extremely difficult and very challenging, but we wanted something that was going to be rewarding for the audience to hear and see and also rewarding for ourselves to put together. there's really no time for anybody to relax in any of these songs."
recent tom sawyer news and web posts:
* pat race, assisted by his dad mike, produced the on-screen, multi media images at our "tom sawyer" feb. 10, anb hall concert in juneau, alaska. pat did a fabulous job using prefabricated videos he produced to highlight some of our original music, effects, and video feeds from 3 live cameras operated by kendall and gloria merry and a special "guitar cam" mounted to the head stock of ward f. ward's guitar. he's posted insights into the creation of the concerts multi media; check it out. here's an into:
this weekend i got to run a multimedia show for a prog rock concert! andy engstrom of volitar is the one who roped me in and it was a great show and a great experience. they played covers from rush, kansas, and ozzie osbourne but the best songs were the originals by george wallace, dave crabtree, and andy engstrom.
for the media display we had 12 foot screens set up on both sides of the stage and ben sapp built some projector mounts so we could hang a pair of projectors from the lighting rigs. i recruited my dad to run a main video board with four inputs while i did the button mashing on the sources. more info
* we are honored by rush bassist, geddy lee's web post of our anb concert.
* rush is a band: a blog devoted to the band rush and its members, neil peart, geddy lee and alex lifeson has posted an article.