Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Robby Vee rocks Historic Ironwood Theatre


[email protected]

Ironwood - Following the seventh annual Sisu Ski Fest on Saturday, Robby Vee and "His Rock 'N' Roll Caravan" rocked the Historic Ironwood Theatre.

As folks found their seats, there was a slideshow presentation displaying racers participating in the Sisu cross county ski races. After the slideshow, HIT emcee Mark Silver, of Ironwood, introduced "the prince of twang" Robby Vee and the theatre "came alive."

Robby Vee was born Robert Velline, named after his father Bobby Vee - an American pop singer who was a teen idol in the early 1960s.

At a young age, Vee said his father introduced him to rock 'n' roll music and took him on the road.

"He taught me so much," he said.

On the road, Vee said he watched the "pioneers of rock 'n' roll" and wanted to be like them. Over time, he said he's played along side and learned from the likes of Little Richard and Paul McCartney.

"They directly influenced me," he said. "I grew up with their records, I have all their records and I listen to all their records."

On stage at the HIT, Vee and his band - with Jeff Bjork on drums, Bryan Williams on bass and Brandon Petron on guitar - entertained approximately 200 fans in the audience by combining elements of his vast repertoire and telling stories that bridge the generation gap from "the roots of rock 'n' roll to the new sounds of the Americana music of today." Vee's repertoire includes songs by his dad, early rock 'n' roll songs and his original music.

Vee said it's special for him to play his father's music.

"His songs mean a lot to me," he said. "I met a lot of his fans over the years, then his fans became my fans. It's a family thing."

Vee said his dad taught him how to write his own songs.

"He showed me the ropes and influenced me on how to find my own voice," he said.

During the concert, Vee wowed the crowd by standing on a bass drum and an upright bass then jammed on his guitar.

Feeling the groove, several members of the audience got up to dance. Moving to the beat, Margaret Grachek, of Ironwood, said "they were great."

Bruce Greenhill, HIT managing director, said the atmosphere at the theatre was "great," too.

"It's always great to see people getting out of their seats, dancing and enjoying the music," he said.

Towards the end, Vee pulled out a Stormy Kromer hat, put it on and said he's going to "wear it with pride."

Vee said this wasn't his first time playing at the HIT. About five years ago, he said he played at the theatre and continues to "love the area."

"I love coming here," he said. "We've had a great time. We appreciate the fans for making us feel so welcome."

Rendered 05/30/2024 00:34