Nightcrawler: Don’t Worry; Be Hoppy, band brewfests, Frehley manages to one-up the blood moon

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Former Grand Band Slam winners 413 will headline Iron Duke Brewery's first annual Harvest Fest at the Ludlow Elks this Saturday.
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Fans of suds ’n’ sounds will find no shortage of occurrences in which to quench their multi-sensory cravings this weekend. On Saturday, Oct. 10, at the King Phillips Stockade at 1200 West Columbus Ave., in Springfield, Log Cabin/Delaney House and Samuel Adams will roll out an authentic Octoberfest Stein Hoisting Festival — live music, food, and a German fedora all included with the $35 admission price. This event runs 1-6 p.m. and has a rain date of Oct. 11. To purchase tickets or obtain more information, kindly point your browser to logcabin-delaney.com

The very same Saturday, Ludlow’s recently opened Iron Duke Brewery will unleash a festival that has been fermenting in the heads of company creators for some time now.

“At least a decade,” says co-owner Mike Marcoux of Harvest Fest, which is going down at the Ludlow Elks on Oct. 10 from noon to 8 p.m. The event will feature everything brews and bands, food trucks, and lawn games. “Our taproom has only been open since November, and we figured what better way to celebrate all of the hard work that went into making this possible than making our Harvest Fest idea a reality, too?”

Getting tapped to headline the inaugural event are none other than 2011’s “Best New Band” Grand Band Slam winners 413. And how, you ask, did they acquire the coveted slot?

“You know, I’m not sure,” admits singer/six-stringer Jeff Braz. “We’re based in Ludlow, and so is Iron Duke and this event. They love our music … We love their beer. And according to them, the night we played their brewery was the best turnout they’ve had to date. So maybe all of the above?”

Tix are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets cover admission as well as your first beer and a donation to Juvenile Diabetes.

Permission to speak Frehley: Attendees of the Sept. 27 Big E show didn’t know whether or not to point their respective phone cameras to the stage or the sky as rock’s legendary “Spaceman,” Ace Frehley, performed amidst the backdrop of the storied super blood moon eclipse.

While the Crawler has seen the freshly minted Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer on more than a dozen occasions with KISS over the years, it occurred to him that he had not experienced Frehley solo since his appearance at the long since defunct Mikaras in Springfield precisely two decades ago. And that affair was just south of Spinal Tap: Ace turned in a clumsy, slurry set backed by a band seemingly assembled in the parking lot.

In the years that followed, Frehley’s former bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley perpetually laced Ace in the media, dubbing him everything from an “addict” and “totally irresponsible” to ultimately “unemployable.” And perhaps he deserved it then, but now several years sober, Frehley has expressed increasing frustration with the labeling — and countered by putting out a couple of superior albums.

As evidenced by the local show, he has also upped his live game considerably — contracting a crackerjack band with enough chops and vox to make anything from KISS classics like “Love Gun” and “Detroit Rock City” covers, to Frehley solo chestnuts like “Rip It Out” and “Snowblind” possible.

“You know the Pope’s over here, and one of these knuckleheads on TV is going to be president, but none of it will ever ‘Shock Me,’” Frehley quipped, signaling the vintage KISS song of same name.

Shortly thereafter, he ignited the fuse in his Sunburst Les Paul, triggering billows of smoke out of the pickups as he shredded through an impressive, lengthy guitar solo.

“All these years, and I’m still smokin’” he jested to the adoring faithful. The Crawler isn’t sure if he’d go that far, but did notice that — for those few fiery minutes at least — not one head or camera was fixated on the astronomical phenomenon that was taking place up above.•

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email garycarra@aol.com.

Gary Carra

Author: Gary Carra

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