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Keeping it local: St. Louis-based bands take BBQ Bash spotlight

By: Jessica Meszaros

If you’re looking for an excuse to enjoy tasty food and great company, the Wildwood BBQ Bash is a staple for many locals. While music may not appear to be the spotlight of the BBQ Bash, it is just as much part of the event as the food and the camaraderie.

Frank Schmer, owner of St. Louis Home Fires and organizer of the Wildwood BBQ Bash, thinks so too. It was part of the reason, when organizing the 2018 band lineup, that the newest season of music caters to popular, local bands.

“We wanted music that people could dance and sing along to,” Schmer said.

From country to well-known 80s hits, the goal for the 2018 season was to get BBQ lovers of all ages and musical tastes out of their lawn chairs and onto the dance floor.

“We really wanted to go back to what the Bash is all about,” Schmer said. “And that means keeping it local.”

Superjam, a St. Louis-based 70s and 80s cover band [Superjam official website photo]

Friday, Sept. 28

The first day of the Wildwood BBQ Bash will kick off with students from School of Rock at the Mari De Villa main stage, located at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood.

With locations in Kirkwood and Ballwin, students from the music instruction school will cue up at 6 p.m. to get crowds hyped up for the evening’s headline performance.

“School of Rock has been involved in the bash for the past several years,” Schmer said. “It gives the opportunity for those kids to jump up on stage for an hour, play together in front of a pretty big crowd, and have some fun.”

Following School of Rock, residents longing for the days of intense guitar riffs and drum solos won’t want to miss the evening’s headlining performance by Superjam, a St. Louis-based 70s and 80s cover band.

Specializing in the genre of rock, Superjam’s playlist includes covers of hard rock hits by well-known artists like Boston, STYX, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Sammy Hagar, Billy Squier, Queen, Santana, The Who, Toto, Kansas, Eddie Money, Night Ranger, Steve Miller Band, Blue Oyster Cult, Rush and many more. Each cover is complete with live instrumentals and vocals that add a new spin on tried-and-true classics to intrigue both casual and hardcore fans.

The band includes Dave Farver on lead vocals and sax, Jeff Gallo with vocals and bass, Eric Lysaght as lead guitar, James Wolfe on the keys, guitar and vocals, and Lee Skyles on the drums.

Superjam will jam out on the BBQ Bash’s stage at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28.

Singer-songwriter Sean Coray [Facebook photo]

Saturday, Sept. 29

The second day of the event will begin with another local artist who, this time, will bring a mix of pop and soul to the main stage.

Singer-songwriter Sean Coray will play for BBQ Bash audiences at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, boasting three EPs and a foray of original songs that blend genres like rock, pop, soul and folk. Coray’s unique sound and incredible story as a St. Louis native who gave up his job and apartment to pursue a career in music will no doubt hold audiences captive for the entire performance.

Kindgom Brothers [official website photo]

From 4-7 p.m., Kingdom Brothers will take the stage to play a series of songs that blend blues, R&B and Gospel influences.The band’s original tracks feature positive message and melodies that prove that the blues don’t have to be sad.

Later in the evening, local party-rock dance band Dr. Zhivegas will take the BBQ Bash stage as the evening’s headliner.

Led by frontiersman Frankie Muriel, Dr. Zhivegas has toured around the country, playing in cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. But the band is most well-known for stealing the spotlight as St. Louis’ top cover band for almost two decades.

Dr. Zhivegas

Fans will have no trouble dancing away the calories from the BBQ Bash with Dr. Zhivagas’ playlist of chart-topping hits, ranging from classic songs by Prince to newer artists like Bruno Mars.

Dr. Zhivegas will take the Mari de Villa main stage at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Following Dr. Zhivegas’ first act, crowds can enjoy a free fireworks show. After the fireworks, Dr. Zhivegas will start up again and keep the party going until the Bash grounds close at 11 p.m.

The Eskimo Brothers [Facebook photo]

Sunday, Sept. 30

The Bash ends with a little taste of Nashville, thanks to a headlining performance by The Eskimo Brothers.

Based out of Nashville, the The Eskimo Brothers’ members include David Graham, who specializes in vocals and guitar; Mark Robertson, on vocals and bass; and Joe Fick, on bass.

The trio got their start in 2010 and have gone on to become a musical staple in the honky-tonk, rockabilly and hillbilly music genres.

The Eskimo Brothers have become known one of Nashville’s can’t-miss live shows. The band specializes in a uniquely blended raw and rowdy sound that will draw in rock and country fans alike.

The Eskimo Brothers will take the main stage from noon-3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30 preceding the Bash’s official awards ceremony, which will be held at 3:30 p.m.

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