Every area has its own musical acts and artists whose infamy lives on through memory and myth. Their very names evoke shared sounds, imagery and experiences. .
One such act on the list of this areas infamous is the one and only Green Ice, reuniting for a 40th anniversary performance Saturday at McBryde Hall on the campus of Winthrop University in Rock Hill.
Keep an eye on the roof when this funkified explosion hits the stage. By all accounts, theres never a dull moment thanks to flashy showmanship and skilled musicianship.
Known as much for tight vocals, wild guitars, pounding drums and thumping bass as their killer choreography, colorful costumes, makeup, fog, pyro, and whatever it took to get the boom shaka laka point across. Just the mention of their name evokes tales about antics back in the day circa 1970s and 80s.
Rock Hill High School friends, they dreamed of musical stardom. So, inspired by a few of their favorite national groups particularly Parliament-Funkadelic they put together their own stage show and took it on the road.
Green Ice was born.
What followed was 16 years of approximately 200 shows a year all across the Southeast. Along the way, the band opened for everybody from Cameo and Mothers Finest, to Kool & The Gang and George Duke.
A summertime reunion in 2011 brought them back together, laying the groundwork for Saturdays anniversary event which features the lineup of Tommy T Barnette, bass guitar/vocals; Jerome G Barber, drums/vocals; Gary Bruh Barber, lead guitar; Donald Butler Wilson, guitar/vocals; Wade Witherspoon, vocals; Rickey Herb Richmond, vocals; Alton AJ Johnson, vocals; Larry Wright, percussion/vocals; and Trey Baby Funk Miller, keyboards.
Excitement is rampant, even though that 2011 show started out kind of scary, AJ Johnson said. But we got a good response and now were looking forward to the show Saturday, looking forward to crowd reaction. It reminds you that you can still do something, still perform.
Calling the event a celebration, he promises a show with high energy. Its always been a pretty big band 9 members covering the hit songs by The Tyme, Chuck Brown, Cameo, Commodores, Ohio Players, and, of course Parliament Funkadelic, and others.
There are always surprises, he adds, throughout the show. Expect guests in the audience, to get up, sing and help us out. Referring to the bands past and their big fan base back in the day, We like to dress up and catch people by surprise, Johnson said.
But for this show, the special theme is simply the Green Ice 40th anniversary.
By the way, there will be costumes and a look for this show, but Johnson was cautious not to reveal too much, wanting to preserve the surprise factor.
Recruited originally because he played trumpet in the Rock Hill High School marching band, Johnson is ready, feeling good about the anniversary. Oh yeah, its going to be fun, he said.
I feel blessed that were all still here, living, able to play, still got our identity and still got chemistry together better together than apart with something to share, like brothers. Getting the band back together sometimes might not work out, but for us it does.
Its Ice Ice baby from Green Ice, live with opening act Recall, 8 p.m. Saturday at McBryde Hall on the campus of Winthrop University in Rock Hill. For information, check Facebook.com/GreenIceFunk.
• Friday: The Sound Committee at Amici Lovin Oven, Rock Hill; The Oneppo Brothers Band at McHales On Main, Rock Hill; Brent Cates Duo at Wild Wing Café-Ayrsley, Charlotte; A Stained Glass Romance Reunion Show with Graves of Valor, Get Rude, more at Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte; Megan and Liz with Kalin and Myles at Amos Southend, Charlotte; Skinny Velvet, The Deluge at The Double Door Inn, Charlotte; U-Phonik at Wild Wing Café-Epicenter, Charlotte; The Lenny Federal Band at the Comet Grill, Charlotte; Jym Chapman and The Migrant Workers at Smokey Joes, Charlotte; 2013 Wolves, Hungry Girl, Southern Madman, more at Snug Harbor, Charlotte; Ronnie Hymes, Carolina Freight at Pucketts Farm Equipment, Charlotte; Fusebox Poet, Bridge to Grace, Holly Would at The Saloon-NC Music Factory, Charlotte; Chris Sanches at The Deck-NC Music Factory, Charlotte; The Stickley Brothers at Evening Muse, Charlotte; Chris Lane, Out of The Blue, Shook Lane at Coyote Joes, Charlotte and Carnival of Madness Tour with Shinedown, Skillet, In This Moment, Papa Roach, more at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Charlotte.
• Saturday: Plair All-Stars, Front Line at the 2nd Annual Experience SC Festival, Downtown-Old Town, Rock Hill; Carolina Rhythm Band at Q2U, Lake Wylie; Sweatin Bullets at SouthSiders, Waxhaw; Summer Throwdown with Acid FM, Adapt To Chaos, Beyond The Broken, more at Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte; Twiztid, Jelly Roll, Lil Wyte, more a Amos Southend, Charlotte; Analog Daze CD Release with Gigi Dover, Big Love, and Kevin Marshall Band at Double Door Inn, Charlotte; Best Day Ever at Wild Wing Café-Epicenter, Charlotte; Face to Face Mariachi E, World Service Project, Nohaybandatrio at Common Market-Plaza Midwood, Charlotte; Horseskull, Hour of 13, Sinister Haze, Demon Eye, more at The Milestone, Charlotte; Grand Opening with Jo Dee Messina, Karla Davis, Kojo Bey Drum Circle, more at Romare Bearden Park, Charlotte; Hank and Cupcakes, Jackknife Barbers at The Saloon-NC Music Factory, Charlotte; Caleb Davis at The Deck-NC Music Factory, Charlotte; Matthew Mayfield, Korby Lenker at Evening Muse, Charlotte; The Pickett Straight Band at Pucketts Farm Equipment, Charlotte; The Allman Brothers Band, Steve Winwood at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte and Moe Bandy at Don Gibson Theater, Shelby.
• Sunday: Eighth annual Holy Angels Benefit with Lenny Federal Band, Donna Duncan The Loose Lugnuts, The Barbed Wires, more at The Comet Grill, Charlotte; Grand Opening with WBT Briarhoppers. Michael York and Big Cigar Band, more at Romare Bearden Park, Charlotte; Olivia Chisholm at The Saloon-NC Music Factory, Charlotte; Bands Together at The Chop Shop-NoDa, Charlotte and Sense of Purpose with Paul Agee, Chris Allen, Joe Lindsay, Jody Gholson at Tyver Creek Pub, Charlotte.
• Monday: Open Mic featuring My Blue Hope at Evening Muse, Charlotte and Monday Night All Stars at Double Door Inn, Charlotte.
• Tuesday: Muse, Cage The Elephant at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte; Bill Hanna Jazz Jam at Double Door Inn, Charlotte and Beer Cocktails with Mike Waters, Stacey Leazer at Heist Brewery, Charlotte.
• Wednesday: Peace and Love (5-8 p.m.) at Romare Bearden Park-Uptown, Charlotte; Abe Reid at Snug Harbor, Charlotte; Company, Elonzo, Sinners and Saints at the Visulite Theater, Charlotte; Mad Conductor, Dollar Signs at Milestone, Charlotte; Nodega at Neighborhood Theater, Charlotte; Black Flag, Good For You at The Chop Shop-NoDa, Charlotte; Tosco House Party at Evening Muse, Charlotte and John Mayer, Phillip Phillips at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte.
• Thursday: Genealogy at Neighborhood Theater, Charlotte.
And that was all she wrote.
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