Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer city, township feature four nights of live bands


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Bessemer — Persons looking for a rockin’ good time will have no trouble finding it as the Fourth of July period has a list of live bands set to perform across the region.

Bessemer alone will feature three bands tonight, Friday and Sunday evenings in the downtown area. Ramsay, in Bessemer Township, also will have a Saturday night live band.

Flashback, which is the only local band, will perform tonight from 8 p.m.-midnight on Sophie Street in Bessemer.

The Dweebs, from the Twin Cities of Minnesota, will perform in downtown Bessemer on Friday from 8-11 p.m.

In Bessemer Township, SLAB Band will perform on Saturday from 6-11 p.m. with breaks for other activities. The band is based in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Back in downtown Bessemer on Sunday, Legacy of the Loud — also from the Twin Cities — will perform from 9 p.m.-midnight.

Representatives of each of the four bands talked to the Daily Globe on Tuesday about their coming gigs.

“It’s a great time to get outside,” said Brian Waterman, leader of Legacy of the Loud. He added that the long winters in this region set people up to break loose in the short summer season.

Todd Tilch of SLAB Band, said there’s also a lot of energy flowing as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be waning. “People are wanting to have fun and get out,” he said.

“We love to play,” said lead vocalist Heidi Ofstad of Flashback. “It’s really a fun time to see all the family that come home for the holiday.”

She said that members of Flashback practice once a week in preparation for performances. “We play just about everything, but our main focus is classic rock,” said Ofstad, who is from Saxon, Wisconsin.

Other Flashback members are Don Guglielmotto of Bessemer, Matt Weber of Ironwood, Dan Gerry of Hurley and Jim McKenzie of Marenisco.

Members of the Dweebs — founded and led by “Papa Dweeb” Michael Blue — claim on their website to offer “colorful costumes, crazy stage antics, and lots of crowd participation.”

Blue, who provides vocals and plays guitar and keys, said the band strives to provide “fun for all ages.”

He said the cover band plays everything from Michael Jackson to Johnny Cash to Led Zeppelin, with an emphasis on classic rock and country. “These are songs that people are real familiar with,” assured Blue.

The full-time band includes three of Blue’s adult children: Mike Jr. “Mikey” on drums, Benjamin “Ben Jammin’” on vocals and guitar, and Claire as the lead female vocalist. Other band members are Gabe Lincoln on bass, Aaron Rogers on guitar and Tom Coen on keys.

“We bring the history of rock and roll to life,” said Waterman of Legacy of the Loud.

He said the band aims to offer “the biggest classics,” including music from Journey, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard.

“We’re just looking forward to being there,” said Waterman, who plays drums. Other members are lead vocalists Alex Miller and Terry Westerman, bass player Thomas Moga and “Mickster” on guitar. All members provide back-up vocals, and Westerman also plays guitar.

Tilch, who joins Cindy Kearns in providing lead vocals for SLAB Band, said listeners can expect five decades of dance, pop and rock and roll sound.

At their Ramsay performance, the band will be positioned directly behind the Bessemer Fire Hall, which overlooks Ramsay Memorial Park.

Tilch said the cover band maintains a busy schedule, but all of the members also have other full-time jobs. He’s a trucker, and his girlfriend, Cindy Kearns, is a masseuse. The two of them provide lead vocals, and Tilch also plays guitar.

Keyboardist Lance Dickinson is a carpenter, drummer Ryan Whitcraft is in the medical field, and bass player Craig Burns is a foreman at a ski hill. Whitcraft and Dickinson also provide back-up vocals.

Tilch doesn’t sugar-coat the lifestyle. “It’s a challenge to get five to six people together in a band,” he said. “A typical gig is a 12-hour day, but we chose this.”

The timing accounts for the full gamut of travel, set-up and take-down, besides the performance.

“It’s all about the friendship and the music,” said Ofstad regarding Flashback, which also will perform at Wakefield’s Picnic in the Park on Sunday at 1 p.m., next to Sunday Lake.

Learn more about the bands from their websites or from Facebook.