Friday night while waiting for people just outside of the Voodoo Lounge, I hear the sound of something new to me. I hear the beautiful sound of a violin mixed with a mandolin along with guitars and drums. My very first thought was “What is this? I need to see this!” I made my way immediately through security and right to the front of the stage to this Irish rock show.
The band was called Chance the Arm. I didn’t understand the name at first and had to look it up. The definition is to take a risk in order to get something that you want. The band is definitely taking a risk with this genre of music. There isn’t much of Irish / Celtic Rock in our area, but it does call out to my Irish roots. They take some very beautiful Irish melodies and kick it up a notch to make it more rock and modern.
The band is made up with 7 members.
Dave Costello – Guitars
Justin Herdzina – Guitars
Paul Jeffries – Bass, Tinwhistle, Percussion, Drums
Kevin Burton – Vocals, Keyboard, Bass
Ricky Johnson – Drums, Percussion, Acoustic Guitar, Bass
Lindsay Jones – Violin
Jonathan Tucker – Mandolin, Accordion, Percussion, Vocals
As you can see they are very talented in many diverse instruments. I highly recommend if you get a chance to check this band out. It’s not very often that you can see or hear this kind of music outside of the Renaissance Festival. You can find them out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/chancethearm
Honestly when I first walked in and saw Chance the Arm playing, I was wondering what Kilroy had done to a rock show. It did not grab me at first, but I was just being short sighted in hindsight.
Chance the Arm has a very clean, well timed performance with more instruments than that ear can decipher in quick fashion. Usually, unless it is very well practiced and rehearsed when you add as many instruments in as they had on that stage (easily 10+) it comes off muddy and dull. Chance the Arm came across very entertaining and with a Celtic sound that almost put you into a trance while listening.
While typical with most Celtic shows I catch, the vocals were not in every song, and honestly the Celtic that I hear that does have vocals, it is almost a turn off. To me the instrumental and the talent shown by playing the various instruments at a high level skill that Celtic requires is the entertainment that the genre provides. This band provided all of that where I could not really even look away, they just demanded that you gave them the attention that they deserved.
Being of the Celtic Rock genre I fear that the chances to be able to get out and see this band are going to be limited greatly. There are not many venues that will chance a night on the genre, which is sad because the base for this music is large.
Lucky for Chance the Arm this show was at the Voodoo which has some of the top sound and production guys and gals in the business that allowed them to show off what they were doing correctly on stage. 90% of the venues around Kansas City and the in-house personnel provided would not know where to start to properly mix and enhance the instruments correctly.
With everything done and said, Chance the Arm is someone you should without a doubt follow and catch at least one show of what they do if you enjoy Celtic Rock. It would not be a waste of your time.
Rachel Crews and Frank Arena