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February 22, 2024

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Live music set for beachside concert

In the music business, many bands fail to have longevity or don’t stay true to their roots with several changed lineups. The band Sledge is one exception to this trend.

Sledge has lasted for 11 and a half years which by today’s standard, that’s quite an accomplishment. On Saturday, Murder Your Face, Goiterjelly, Contain the Sickness and Sledge will celebrate that accomplishment with the seventh-annual Pre-Sledgefest concert that takes place at Howard’s Club H.

Goiterjelly and Sledge will use this show for preparation for the big Sledgefest show that takes place on July 29 at the Portage Quarry.

The Pre-Sledge show is one that is anticipated throughout the year by both the bands and the community.

“We are excited about the show. It’s going to be a big show. It always is,” said Anne Frederick, a spokesperson for Howard’s.

But the focus of the night will be on the band Sledge, whose long hiatus from the music scene will come to an end.

“As far as we know, we can’t stop. We got stronger,” Jason Parritt, the drummer for Sledge said about the band’s endurance.

Parritt, along with other members Al Foreman and Al Baldonado, is trying to incorporate the youth of the music scene into the Sledgefest shows, almost as if it was a passing of the torch from the veterans to the rookies.

Around six months ago, Parritt took flyers to local schools to attract them to a battle of the bands that was taking place at Howard’s, to determine who plays at Sledgefest. MySpace played a pivotal role throughout the battles, as means of communication between Parritt and the high school bands.

But making the battle a competition was not what Parritt intended for the younger bands.

He wanted to design the show using MySpace as a way for the younger bands to network with each other and to teach them lessons on ways to survive as indie band. Booking your own shows and interacting with other bands is essential.

Although the eight-band battle had a winner with Premonition, it was still too close of a battle to allow only one band to play at Sledgefest, prompting that also Contain the Sickness will also be playing the July 1 show.

Contain the Sickness, a hard-core metal band, has been playing together for a year that mainly played parties in past performances. The previous battle was their first exposure to the bar scene.

“We always loved Howard’s. Sledge has always been our [favorite] band”and Jason Parritt was my idol,” said Ben Lacey, the drummer for Contain the Sickness.

The band looks forward to playing the larger venue again and to reunite with Sledge for the upcoming show.

“It will be about getting hours under our belt and playing for the people,” he said. “Playing shows is really what we want to do”This is a big stepping-stone for us and is something we’re very excited about.”

In preparation for the show, the band will continue to jam six to seven hours a day, trying to show everyone what they are all about.

“Playing music is better than anything. It’s our drug. It’s what we choose. It’s our life,” Lacey said.

According to Parritt, Sledgefest is all about celebrating the local music that the small city of BG brings.

“It’s 100 percent local bands, and there’s no other reason,” he said. “It’s giving thanks to helping the community. There’s no other fest that has what we have, and it’s dedicated strictly to music.”

Sledgefest will see eight bands taking the stage every hour. The lineup includes: Student Loan, Premonition, Bancroft, Cronis, Goiterjelly, Crazy Eddie, Lynched and Sledge.

Sledgefest takes place on July 29, at the Portage Quarry. It will be a reunion of sorts for two bands: Crazy Eddie and Sledge.

“I’m kind of proud of Sledgefest and Sledge. I hope it never dies,” Parritt said.

He went on to say that if he’s no longer able to attend the show, he wishes that Sledgefest lives on for years to come in celebration of local music.

Pre-Sledgefest takes place this Saturday at Howard’s Club H. Doors open at 9 p.m. with the show starting at 10 p.m. Sledgefest will happen on July 29, with the first band hitting the stage at 1 p.m. at the Portage Quarry.

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