BRINGING LOCAL SOUND DOWNTOWN TO ALTON’S RIVERFRONT AMPHITHEATER

(Alton, IL) – Alton Marketplace and Riverbender.com are set to host the third annual BIG GIG Local Music Show at the Alton Riverfront Amphitheater. The concert will take place on Saturday, July 23rd from 3pm to 10pm.

The following St. Louis / Metro East bands have been selected to perform their original music at the concert:

Ancient Chinese Secret (Power Funk / Reggae Rock)

Irony Rains (Alternative/Contemporary Folk)

Mason Hollow (Acoustic & Progressive Rock)

Midnight Escape (Rock)

White Sage (Indie)

Zion & the Lion Roots Band (Reggae)

Plus a special appearance by 2010 winners, Audri & Aaron (Acoustic / Pop)

 Tickets are on sale now, online at www.RiverfrontAmphitheater.com/BIGGIG as well as at the Jacoby Arts Center located at 627 East Broadway, Alton, IL. Jacoby’s gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from Noon to 4pm. Advance tickets, which are $10, may also be purchased from any band member. Admission at the gate on the day of the show will be $12. One dollar from each ticket sold will be donated to the Jacoby Arts Center to help advance their live music endeavors.

“Our selection committee is building a tradition of showcasing a diverse, multi-genre lineup of talented local musicians,” said Sara McGibany, Executive Director of Alton Marketplace. Music lovers who buy their ticket during presale (through July 1st), will vote for their favorite band, and the band that sells the most tickets will receive first choice of time slot in the concert’s lineup as well as a prize package of promotional tools to help advance their musical career. Two original songs by each band can be heard on the website and at the Jacoby Arts Center.

An after party concert featuring more live, local music will be held at Mardi Krawlers, located at 300 State Street in Alton. Your Big Gig ticket stub will gain you free access into the official after party, which is hosted by Cobra Kai Entertainment.

For more information, please contact Sara McGibany at: 463-1016.

Ancient Chinese Secret –

The power trio of Ancient Chinese Secret plays from the heart in an unmistakable fusion of funk, reggae and rock. Front man Jay Lipe has been writing and performing his original style for over 20 years, and never fails to bring the backstage party right up to the front row. He has shared the stage with musical legends such as Parliament Funkadelic and Black Flag, and has recently completed a European tour playing bass with the band Scene of Irony. The rest of the lineup features equally powerful and expressive musicians. Steve “Action” Jackson plays electric guitar, and his leads will leave you wondering if what you have just heard is possible with human hands. John “J.P.” Perotka brings the noise on the drum kit, incorporating a solid back beat with exploratory percussive grooves. ACS is one band that must be experienced live to be fully appreciated.

Irony Rains –

Irony Rains offers a sophisticated sound that can be enjoyed by all ages. The group plays a wide range of originals featuring heartfelt lyrics and engaging melodies, and also enjoys putting their own spin on new arrangements of instrumental rock covers. The band’s journey began in 2008 as a duet of Josh Davis on vocals and acoustic guitar and Alicia Clayton on vocals and electric violin, and after a year of playing acoustic gigs the dynamic duo changed pace by adding Derek Jackson on bass guitar and Bruce McLaughlin on drums. The newest additions are lead guitarist Philip Klostermann and talented singer/songwriter Andrew Davis. The band recently released a self-titled album, and is ready to take the St. Louis area by storm with their new repertoire and show the world what good music sounds like.

Mason Hollow –

The Mason Hollow project was born as a result of the band’s love of music and the need to express their lives, emotions, thoughts and spirit through music. The members are all multi-instrumentalists, and have been writing songs individually and collectively for over 10 years. Andy Hentrich plays drums, percussion, guitar, piano and sings. He has deep musical roots in the Riverbend area, and has played with the Lewis & Clark Community College Jazz Band. Andy keeps the band up on cutting edge music while maintaining the heartbeat of the group. Randy Flemming sings and also plays guitar, piano, and synthesizers. His energetic style introduces layers and textures to the group’s sound. David Thompson plays electric and acoustic guitar, bass, guitar synthesizer and sings as well. His creativity, imagination and songwriting are a common thread of the bands tapestry of sound. It’s plain to see that this band has fun while sharing their passion for people, nature and the planet through their music.

Midnight Escape –

Midnight Escape is representing a new wave of rock ‘n roll, bringing high energy and prolific musicianship to every performance. The band hails from Hardin, IL, and is currently working in the studio on their debut album “Hello Tomorrow”, which will represent a sense of hope that true, authentic rock music still exists. Combining classic rock with a modern spin, Midnight Escape looks to touch a new generation of listeners while meeting the standards of lifetime rock ‘n rollers. The group is led by brothers Jared and Nathan Sagez on vocals and guitar. The rhythm section is provided by Jesse Klaas on drums, and Jeff Hanneken on bass. The band sincerely enjoys interacting with their fans, and always makes the effort to hang out with the crowd after their shows in order to talk with each person who wants to meet them.

White Sage –

Musical friends, Renessa Drainer and Marisa Johnson, have combined their talents to become the duo White Sage. The singers decided to join forces because of their shared vision of using music to express their hopes, dreams and emotions. While each musician has a classically trained background, their style is very free and expressive. Renessa, a native of Jerseyville, plays piano and has been singing her heart out since the age of three. She has found music to be a powerful healing force in her life, and she wishes to share her songs with others in hopes that they too may break free from whatever obstacle is holding them down. Marisa is also originally from Jerseyville, and later moved to Alton. Piano at a young age ignited her passion, and from there she wanted to learn any instrument she could get her hands on. She now plays guitar and utilizes music as her favorite form of communication. The love these two girls have for music, life and humanity is present with every lyrical phrase; their songs are geared toward happiness, love and healing of the soul.

Zion & the Lion Roots Band –

Zion and the Lion Roots band are a dynamic force whose songs encompass peace, love, unity and spirituality. Zion was born and raised on the island of Dominica and now resides in St. Louis, where he has joined forces with the Lion Roots Band to mesmerize audiences with their beautiful vocals, hypnotic rhythms and uplifting message. The group performs all original reggae music written by Zion who has released three albums and is finishing the fourth, called Crying for Freedom, all on the Skank label. The group consists of Eric Brown on drums, Terry Getz on guitar, Akon on keyboards, and Bassie on bass guitar, who combine to represent a powerhouse of talent that will captivate any audience with their tight, crisp delivery. Background vocals by Fran Tayler and Rose Salinas create a heavenly dimension of harmonies. This band will enlighten and entertain any audience with their roots reggae.

Audri & Aaron –

Since winning last year’s Big Gig, Audri & Aaron have wasted no time getting their name and music out to the world. Formed in April 2010, this acoustic/soul/pop duo has found their musical niche with influences from artists such as Norah Jones, Amos Lee, Colbie Caillat, Michael Buble and Henry Wolfe.  The group consists of Audri Lucasey on vocals and violin, and Aaron Kellim on vocals, guitar and piano.  The two teamed up while attending college, having many music and vocal performance classes together. In their relatively short time together, Audri & Aaron have already written and recorded a number of catchy, radio-friendly songs. Earlier this year, the duet also won retail specialty store Maurice's nationwide "Small Town Sound” contest, which gave them the opportunity to perform a daytime showcase during South by Southwest Music and Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

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