May 1, 2009

Who's Making Noise: Runnin’ Wild Band

(Reprinted from

How long do you think it takes to leave a lasting impression? If you’re performing in a band, the most you can hope for is to have gained some fans by the end of your set. That could be anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours. However, at this year’s Ultimate Music Experience (UMX), bands were given the opportunity to play for about 10 minutes, each. Two songs to show what you’ve been practicing, to convince a bar full of judges and judgers alike that you are capable of wowing the masses at the 2009 People’s Fair. Man, that’s a tough gig.

However, one band didn’t need the full ten minutes or even a full minute to impress the room. As my friend (a music promoter and one of those aforementioned judgers) and I walked into the room to see Runnin’ Wild Band setting up, we exchanged looks, noted the prominent black Xs on the band members’ hands, muttered something about “another high school band,” then sat down at the bar. The room was noisy and slightly rowdy.

When RWB began playing, I (and the rest of the bar) immediately took notice of the superb guitar playing, the funky bass line, and clean drumming. The trio of young men seemed perfectly comfortable on stage. Aside from the professional sound, another thing struck me right away: these kids were playing some pure Blues. In an age of Indie, Emo, Punk, and many other occasionally interchangeable genres, how refreshing to hear the mellow, drawling sounds of a solid jam band!

Now, keep in mind, the band had just started playing and I was floored. When Tony Pacello opened his mouth and belted out a song with a voice so powerful, I might have thought it was Zeus himself rocking out onstage. Instead, it was just a skinny young guy, with a voice akin to Steve Winwood or Robert Plant, wailing on his guitar with his buddies.

They finished their two songs with raucous cheering from the audience and for the rest of the day, I saw each member of the band being accosted repeatedly with appreciative slaps to the back. What else can be said of a band that captivated so many people in under a minute? I can’t wait to see what these boys could do given the chance to play three or four (and hopefully more) songs.

Style: Blues, Jam

Band Members: Tony Pacello (vocals), Hunter Roberts (bass), Jeff Jani (drums)

Live: May 8th / Piper’s Inn (Aurora)

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