The Skeptics/Killers From Space/Garage Sale @ Sky Stage – September 21, 2019

The exploring Frederick underground events have truly been something else. Diverse lineups full of insanely skilled and talented, sometimes notorious Frederick area bands from the past have been the highlight. This event featured a reunion by The Skeptics who last played a show nine years ago. The band features Stephen Blickenstaff (who provided art for the band along with his drumming). I absolutely love The Skeptics’ songs (which you can hear on spotify!) and was excited to see them.

DJ Bump provided some vintage surf rock and eclectic psychedelic sounds in between bands to make for a truly enjoyable evening of nonstop music.

Garage Sale – Jokes, “who’s ready for some light jazz?”. Jammy surf rock with playful stage antics and lots of unexpected dancey breaks. When the vocals kick in a 60s pop rock is channeled with straightforward melodies and building harmonies. Even some upbeat light country twang makes its way into their set. Organizer and Killer From Space Craig Stang joked introducing the band that he loved them and they were his SECOND choice to play for the night. After one song there was silence as each band member stopped in the position that they ended the song in – It was quite a funny gag and they were full of them. Just when you thought you knew what to expect from Garage Sale, a trumpet comes into the mix.

Killers From Space – You just never hear the theremin often enough in most bands. Fun fact, the top song in 1966 featured theremin… it was The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations”. Quality surf rock with melodic and thick guitars and spacious whammy bar parts, rhythmic bass and steady drumming. The instrumentals take on a life of their own through Bilckenstaff’s incredible skills and interesting theremin playing. Member Craig Stang stated, “What a beautiful crowd.” to which a crowd member replied, “get your eyes checked.” Entertaining cover selections where the lyric parts are all converted  to soulfully played single note guitar parts. Some covers: Link Wray’s “Rumble” and R.E.M.’s “The One I Love”. “Every beautiful song should be followed up by one like this one called “I Will Kill You”..

The Skeptics – A surf/punk/pop/psychedelic 80s band that even had a documentary created about them called “The Skeptics in a World of Their Own.” Classics like “Haunted Host” have dark vibes through low-notes on guitar and bass and a voice that can channel fear, creepiness and a general mystifying quality. A tight rhythm section holds down every song. The band has many different influences through the alternative rock music world of the 80s with 60s psychedelic rock tinges. Each element is equally interesting and makes each track a delight to hear live. Blickenstaff’s drumming style pummels forward in a fill driven class of it’s own. The band provided some trivia with a reward of a Granny smith apple for whomever could guess which serial killer their song “Grisly Remains” was inspired by; It’s no surprise this band is intriguing with song topics like that. The Skeptics are an interesting group that are hard to pin down to any exact classification, but one thing’s for sure.. They rock!


Author: whatisfrederick

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