Friday marks the kickoff of the 2010 Concerts in the Park series at Cesar Chavez Plaza, located on 10th and J streets. Concerts in the Park is an annual free, all-ages event that runs during the summer at 5 p.m. every Friday and features local bands of various genres.
Leading off this year’s series is a lineup of four bands that fall under the indie/punk/hard rock genre.
Headlining the show is none other than local legend and pop punk artist, Kepi Ghoulie. Bassist and lead vocalist of the former band, The Groovy Ghoulies, Kepi has continued his musical career and kept his fans. The full band consists of Kepi as guitar and vocals, Dino as bass and vocals, and Atom as drums and vocals. Friday’s show will be an electric set for Kepi, which doesn’t happen all the time.
Three-member band The Kelps has been around for just over a year and is playing its first Concert in the Park show. Residing in Lincoln, The Kelps’ members are Tony Reyes, 19, on drums and percussion; guitarist/singer Cory Barringer, 18, and Cameron Betts, 20, on bass and "second howl."
They said they are extremely honored to be leading the crowd into Kepi’s set.
"We’re enormous Kepi Ghoulie fans," Barringer said. "There’s such an aura around the local music scene regarding Kepi….He’s a hometown hero."
The Kelps started out three years ago, playing their first show at a battle of the bands under the name The Captains of Spaceship Earth. They decided to change their name after figuring they’d better "grow up."
Though they usually don’t like having expectations for shows, they have no doubt that this one will be good.
"Kepi’s playing full electric. He usually plays acoustic," Barringer said. "This is quite something." The band members, who said they like to leave their music genre label open to interpretation by their fans, said it doesn’t matter how big the crowd is; they just enjoy playing.
"We’ll play to 10 people just as if we were playing to 10,000," Barringer said.
Also playing the show are two garage rock sisters who call themselves Dog Party. Gwen Giles, 14, plays guitar and back-up vocals while Lucy Giles, 12, jams out on the drums and carries the lead vocals. Gwen has been playing guitar since she was 9 years old, and Lucy has been practicing drums for about three years. Their first performance was at a school talent show.
According to their father, Sam Giles, his daughters are "excited out of their minds" about the lineup, seeing as they are "super into Kepi." The girls agree.
"We’re friends with SIMPL3JACK and have played with Kepi a few times," Lucy said.
The plan is to play on stage with Kepi Ghoulie again on Friday. They will be assisting him with tambourine and back-up vocals.
When asked how they came up with the name Dog Party, the sisters said, "We have a pug, and he’s kind of crazy."
SIMPL3JACK is kicking off the 2010 Concert in the Park series. The three 12-year-old members put down an alternative punk rock sound that, like Dog Party, started out with a grammar school talent show. They have been around as SIMPL3JACK for a little over a year. The band members are friends with Dog Party and have played many shows together. This will be their first show playing with both The Kelps or Kepi Ghoulie. The three members include Cole Apperson on lead vocals, Ryan Kendell on bass and Wyatt Cermak on drums.
"We’re going to rock out hard," Apperson said in regards to Friday’s show. "I’m way happy with Kepi."
Friday’s lineup is full of true rock.
Kepi was unavailable for comment due to being on an international tour.
The 2010 Concerts in the Park Series complete lineup, according to booker and promoter Jerry Perry is:
May 7 – Kepi Ghoulie, The Kelps, Dog Party, Simpl3jack
May 14 – Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Low Down Dirty Dogs
May 21 – Dance Gavin Dance, Phallucy, Con of Man, Desario
May 28 – Mike Farrell, Aaron King & The Imperials, One Eyed Rhyno
June 4 – Method Echo, The Nibblers, Live Manikins
June 11 – The Nickel Slots, Los Blazing Hangovers, Mae McCoy & The Neon Stars
June 18 – The Secretions, The Shruggs, The Four Eyes, The Enlows
June 25 – Mumbo Gumbo, Not An Airplane
July 2 – The New Humans, Sister Crayon, Chelsea Wolfe, (Sea Of Bees – pending)
July 9 – Izabella, Walking Spanish, Inversions
July 16 – Kate Gaffney, Gerald Pease, Autumn Sky, Juliana Zachariou
July 23 – Lite Brite, Prieta, Musical Charis
July 30 – Whiskey & Stitches, Final Summation, Bastards of Young
Aug 6 – The Golden Cadillacs, Light Rail, Johnny “Guitar” Knox and Dave Croall with The Soothers
Aug 13 – The Brodys, The Phantom Jets, This Luxury
1: The Kelps – Courtesy of The Kelps
2: Dog Party – Courtesy of Dog Party
3: SIMPL3JACK – Courtesy of SIMPL3JACK