Taking in a performance by Laurel’s 7th Avenue Band was unusually difficult this spring. The classic rock band took a brief break from performing in early May while drummer Tim Harmon recovered from shoulder surgery, but in July the band returned to the stage.
“I enjoyed the time off, but I’m itching and ready to get back at it,” Harmon said. It’s uncommon to find a void in the 7th Avenue Band’s schedule; for five years the band — composed of Harmon on drums, Jeff Shelton on lead vocals and keyboard, Dave Padilla on lead guitar, Bill Carr on guitar and Maria Plum on bass — has rocked area bars and been a staple at music events in Billings and Laurel.
On July 11 the band performed during the Yellowstone River Boat Float and is slated to perform the Stillwater Stage July 24, at Alive After 5 Aug. 13 (the band’s fourth AA5 performance), during the Laurel Heritage Days Aug. 22 and at Rock the Block in Laurel Sept. 12, in addition to weekend gigs at local bars. The band was offered a Fix at Six slot, but had to turn it down due to Harmon’s surgery.
“We’re blessed. We’ve been really fortunate to be doing what we enjoy,” Harmon said. This year the band underwent its first member change, bringing in Maria Plum of the recently disbanded classic rock band Skeptic.
Plum, the band’s first female member, has added new a repertoire. “We can do Fleetwood Mac, and she’s a great vocalist and bass player. She’s a whole new breath of fresh air for us,” Harmon said. Plum’s first show with the band was during a performance at an Outlaws game April 25.
Harmon said he learned a long time ago to “play what they want to hear, not what you want to play.” For him, “that’s the whole point: having fun and having people enjoy it.”
Intended as a complement to the city’s various summer music series, the Local and Live concert series was launched two weeks ago and continues on Friday, July 24 and 31, from 9 p.m. to midnight. Leading up to the Magic City Blues fest, bands will perform on the Stillwater Stage adjacent to McCormick Café at North 25th Street and Montana Avenue.
The 7th Avenue Band performs July 24, and The Rev. Payton’s Big Damn Band performs July 31.
Bane (noun): That which causes ruin or woe. Also, an underground hardcore band from Worcester, Mass. Created in 1995, Bane is a project of guitarist Aaron Dalbec (Only Crime guitarist and former member of Converge).
Bane has sporadically released albums, including 1999’s “It All Comes Down to This” and 2001’s “Give Blood,” an album touted for revitalizing the East Coast’s stagnant hardcore scene. The band was quiet for several years until “The Note,” released in 2005.
Credited with progressing the underground hardcore movement, Bane is also touted for sincerity in lyrics and passionate live performances. Relentless and at times frenzied, Bane’s music is an emotional firestorm of hardcore entrenched in a deep love of the form.
The majority of Bane’s members are committed to principles of straight edge, an anti-drug lifestyle popularized in the 1980s by musicians including Minor Threat, and some of the band’s songs deal with this ideal.
The band is making a stop in Billings on Wednesday, July 29, at the Railyard, performing an all-ages show beginning at 6 p.m. This Is Hell, a Long Island, N.Y., hardcore punk band known for high-powered live performances, opens for Bane. Local metal band From Womb to Tomb opens the show.
The cleverly named Missoula gothic metal band Walking Corpse Syndrome headlines a concert at the F.O.E. on Laurie Lane on July 24 in what promises to be an eardrum-exploding foray into darkwave meets metal.
Formed in 2007, the six-piece band combines gothic metal and industrial styles of music with uniquely dark and heavy results. Opening support is provided by local bands Kancerus, Ostracized and Stygian. The concert begins at 8 p.m.