OFF!-n-Rage Concert let all ages rock

Friday, May 6, 2005

The A.C. Brase Arena was the site of the first OFF!-n-Rage concert put on by OFF! Magazine and Rage 103.7 FM. Co-sponsored by Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department and Shivelbine's, the OFF-n-Rage Concert drew approximately 200 people.

Local bands featured were Battery Kate, Knotted Fear, Elixir, Rock Solid and Roadside Memory. Each band was allowed a 40-minute time slot to play their music, and seemed to take advantage of their opportunity to do what they do best - rock.

"I thought it was a cool show," said Rock Solid's lead singer, Jesse Shivitz. "It was righteous. All the bands were very professional. Shivelbine's was awesome providing the equipment that they did."

In the audience, Squeaky Huff and his 6-year-old son, Devon, had been rocking out all night, throwing their pinkies and index fingers up in the air in the classic rock salute while Battery Kate played, encouraging them all the way.

But when Knotted Fear came on, they really went crazy, jumping up and down and headbanging ferociously. Huff has been a Knotted Fear fan from the beginning, and he passed that love on to his son.

"I gave him the demo and he was banging his head and going crazy," said Huff. "I told him when there was a show I could take him to, I would."

The all-ages format allowed Huff to bring his son, who rocked as hard as anyone.

"They got a lot of noises," said Devon of his favorite band.

The stage was on the floor of the arena, which seemed to give the fans a great way to see their favorite bands in a bar-style setup. All the bands' shows were filmed that night, making it feel like a venue that might only be seen in St. Louis. Steven Ireland, the station manager at Rage 103.7, was confident with the way the concert went.

"I think there was a good turnout," said Ireland, "and there was a lot of diversity in the bands that played. I thought they did a great job."

Without the dedication of several people at both Rage 103.7 and OFF! Magazine, none of this would have been possible.

Carolyn Suntrup, from Rage 103.7, and Mike Crowden of OFF! Magazine worked constantly to organize the event from the beginning of January this year until the concert to get bands to play, help promote the concept and make it all happen. Pepper Newton was also very instrumental in obtaining underwriting for the event from Hempies and Shivelbine's. Jared Smith spent all day helping bands load and unload equipment and setting up the stage. Dr. Bruce Mims, faculty adviser to Rage 103.7, was also a constant support as well as the rest of the Rage and OFF! Magazine staff.

"For it being the first event of this scale that Rage has ever tried to pull off, it went pretty well," said Suntrup. "We had a great mix of bands; they all had something different to offer. There was a very diverse crowd - from young to old. We couldn't have pulled it off without the bands' help."

"It's amazing that it even came together," said Tara Herbst, a member of Rage's management staff. "It took a lot of hard work to get the show going."

Southeast student Marissa Harms said, "Despite the overabundance of crazy adolescents sporting an amazing amount of wannabe-goth garb, I had a pretty good time. I went to the show mainly to see Rock Solid, but also to check out what was up with other local music. Rock Solid put on an awesome show and the band Elixir put on a good show as well."

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