Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Niagara Gazette 8/20/09 Review

SOTS in the Niagara Gazette 8/20/09

Local band is singing along Two gigs:

Niagara Falls’ Son of the Sun band opens today at Molson Canal Concert and Hard Rock on Saturday.

By Michele Deluca

When you play in a rock band it’s easy to tell when your music is starting to make an impact on your audience.

Your first clue is when you’re up on stage, and you look down and see people are wearing your band’s T-shirts.

Your second clue is when they start singing along to your original music.

Your third clue is when they buy out all the CD’s you’ve brought to your gig.

“People are actually buying the ‘merch’,” said Joseph Stocker, founder of Son of the Sun, using musician’s slang for the word, merchandise. “You usually don’t sell stuff being a local band playing local shows, but we’re selling T-shirts and records. We’re really lucky or we’re just doing the right thing. Probably both.”

Maybe the most important indication that people are listening is when a band gets booked to open for major performers at two extremely popular free concerts.

Son of the Sun, a relatively young band made up of experienced local performers, will open for Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive at the Lockport Molson Canal Concert Series at 5:30pm on Friday. The band will also open for Rusted Root Saturday at a free outdoor concert that begins at 4pm on the newly designed Falls Street across from the state park.

In a part of the world where it sometimes seems there are more bands than there are audiences, members of a relatively new Niagara Falls band Son of the Sun are finding themselves with a surprisingly strong following and some impressive bookings. They were even recently named best original local band by Spree Magazine in Buffalo. The band’s success seems to have taken on a “life of it’s own,” according to Stocker, who started the band with friends during the winter of 2008 after having some success co-writing with singer-songwriter Zak Ward, also of Niagara Falls.

The band expanded with the additions of Brandon Delmont, a drummer from Kenmore, Steve Matthews, a bass player from Lewiston and Jeremy Franklin, a guitar player from the City of Tonawanda.

They played their first time out at the Hard Rock Cafe that March. A year later, in April of this year, they won a Battle of the Bands at the cafe and were also voted audience favorite. They were one of the bands selected to open for Rusted Root Saturday because of their band battle victory.

“We know that they have a nice following”, said Sue Swiatkowski, a spokesperson for the rock n roll – themed restaurant and nightclub. “And we know that they’re superbly talented because they were voted on by four judges who are prominent in the local music industry”, she added, noting one of the judges was Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls. Stocker said he started Son of the Sun because “I just wanted to hear the music that I had in my head.”

The flavor of the tunes is rooted in 50s and 60s rock music and all the music is original. People seem to like the songs, he added. “We’re sold out of our record and we printed 200 limited copies of vinyl.”

After the band performs this weekend they are looking forward to expanding their audience when they perform at the Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati.

And while they’re trying not to get too far ahead of themselves, it may be impossible not to hope that this ride is the one most musicians dream of.

“Hope, yes, expect, no,” said Ward of this thoughts on the Son of the Sun’s success. Still he added, “There’s no reason why we couldn’t take this as far as we can possibly go.”

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