IIM’s “Never Better Tour” Stops At The Winner’s Circle and Then Returns to Midtown Tavern

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The second week of Immersed in Music’s “Never Better Tour” started off with a bang as six bands rolled into the Holiday Inn Grantville’s Winner’s Circle Saloon for a Sunday afternoon show that, once again, wowed the packed house and gave the kids an opportunity to play in a larger venue on a real stage.

Young Rockers’ “The Crazy Dragonettes” got to kick off their set with George Ezra’s “Budapest” and then went on to highlight their versions of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song,” as well as their original “Special Song” and a Crazy Dragonettes’ spin on Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

Breaking the Sound Barrier, Wade Corbin’s Drum Ensemble this year, gave a very special set of all original Electronic Dance Music, composed by Michael Finnerty. Michael, along with Luis Radanovic, gave a spirited performance of these original compositions, two of which are featured on this year’s IIM Compilation CD.

Orbit took the stage next, this time with a recuperated Nick on keys showcasing his chops on Paramore’s “Hard Times.” This band is such a delight to experience! Their enthusiasm is infectious, as Ella and Yusuf trade leads and blend harmonies effortlessly. They again featured songs by The Killers, The Raconteurs, The Lemonheads (by way of Simon and Garfunkel!), Rex Orange County, more Paramore, and The Beatles. They got everyone up and moving with a rollicking version of “Twist and Shout!”

The Breads, which is comprised of Graham and Jack Cramer, Eli Pettingell, and Jonathan Luo, got their first chance at showing off their talents on songs by 3 Doors Down, The Fratelia, and Go Betty Go, closing it all out with a rousing rendition of Green Day’s “Brain Stew.”

The Black Bandits also got a chance at a repeat performance and, once again, stormed through their set of Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and AC/DC songs as the crowd was mesmerized by how talented and poised this Rockers Prep band has become.

Revolution closed the show, starting their set with George Thorogood’s “Move It On Over.” Denim Henry and Gavin Meckes on guitar, Maddy Weiss, on drums, and Eli Pettingell (again) on bass and vocals, then steered their set confidently through their original song “Funky Child” and Chris Stapleton’s “Midnight Train to Georgia,” featuring Denim on lead vocals. Next, they ripped through the punk classic “Wild Child,” slowed it down with a beautiful version of the Chilli Peppers “Under the Bridge,” and closed with Ted Nugent’s “Stanglehold.”
The tour continued on Tuesday evening, with IIM bands, Woody’s Roundup, The Breads, and Revolution, blowing off the roof of the Midtown Tavern.

Woody’s Roundup finally got to debut their set of Everclear, Green Day, Oasis, and Chuck Berry songs, and gave a wonderful performance of “Santa Monica,” American Idiot,” “Wonderwall,” and “Rock and Roll Music.” Henry on guitar, Timmy on bass, and Emily on keys, held together by the solid drumming of Quinn, did a great job of backing Max, who came through with the strong vocals that have come to characterize her evolution as a lead singer this year.

Revolution came next and picked up where Woody’s Roundup left off, playing an energetic set of many of the songs they featured at Sunday’s Winner’s Circle performance. Denim really got the crowd going with his version of the Chris Stapleton song and the band as a whole ripped through “Stranglehold” to close their set.

And finally, The Breads got their chance to headline, opening with a strong version of “Kryptonite” and tearing through “Chelsea Dagger,” You Better Listen,” “Song 2,” “and “Brain Stew.” They closed out their set w an impromptu jam and the crowd went home happy.

It was a fantastic week for Immersed in Music students! Best of all, they get to do it again next week, when IIM goes into Cliff’s Tavern in New Cumberland at 2 pm on Sunday and then finish their live performances on Monday and Tuesday nights at The Londonderry School, 1800 Bamberger Rd in Harrisburg. Come out and help these awesome young musicians close out our 2018-19 year.