bands take music through decades, genres
|By SHANNON VENEGAS - Special to TimeOut||
August 22, 2013
WAUKESHA - No
matter what you’re in the mood for at this week’s Waukesha’s
Freeman Friday Night Live, two popular cover bands will be sure to
cover all the bases. They are from the rockin’ 1950s and 1960s
sounds of Freddie and the Cruisers to a journey through the decades of
rock, along with some heavy metal and modern country, from Stereotype.
Play to every
itself on trying to satisfy every listener in the audience with a mix
of rock from the 1950s through today, along with ‘80s hair band
music and modern country.
“We try to hit
everyone’s genre,” guitarist Randy Moser said.
Moser played the
trumpet and other brass instruments in grade school before braces
ended this aspect of his musical career. He eventually picked up
guitar in high school, though, learning a few chords here and there.
He taught himself on the guitar and formed Stereotype in 2005.
“I just had that
music itch again,” Moser said.
Stereotype is a
six-piece band with Moser and Scott Sonnheim on guitar, bassist Kurt
Rakowski, drummer Tim Walsh and female vocalists Sarah Cole and Bette
cover hits date back as early as the 1950s, with “Runaround Sue”
by Dion. The 1980s hit “Footloose” is another song the band likes
to rock out to.
“We try to find
those dance tunes that were lost to the ‘80s,” Moser said.
“That’s a real good niche for us, like ‘Word Up’ by Cameo.”
appeals to its country fans with fun favorites like Jason Aldean’s
“My Kinda Party” and “Done” by Band Perry. With their talented
female vocalists, they also do a great rendition of Miranda
Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” and “Poor Me” by Heidi
likes to play hard rock at the end of the night for some of the
younger crowd that hangs around longer. Being a 1980s “hair band
freak,” Moser said they like to play hits from Bon Jovi, Poison and
that’s different about us, for one, I really pay attention to
Facebook and the age groups that come to listen to (us),” Moser
said. “We try to play to our age group. Most of the time people say
they want to have a good time and dance. That’s why we do this. We
want to see people on the dance floor. We want people to forget about
their problems, forget about their work week. Just get people out;
have a good time.”
impresses its audience with top-of- the-line equipment and a laser
“I believe in no
matter what you get paid, to bring everything you got because you
never know who’s going to be the audience,” Moser said.
Freddie and the
Cruisers, a four-piece band that is a smaller version of the older
Rockin’ Robins, brings its listeners the best loved rock and roll
songs of the 1950s and 1960s.
The band includes
guitarist and vocalist Freddie Marquez; Steve Heebsh on harmonica,
percussion instruments and vocals; and Jessica Zdanowicz on the drums.
They also have a handful of musicians who step in to play the bass.
Marquez has been
playing on the streets of Waukesha since even before WFFNL officially
began. He’s been playing guitar since he was 14 and is in his 50th
year as a musician, having opened for some of the big names like
Chubby Checker, Johnny Rivers and Roy Orbison, who did “Pretty
“I just know
what songs will make people run to the floor, and I know what songs
will make people sit back and listen,” Marquez said. “It just
comes from years of playing.”
One song Marquez
knows will get people up and dancing is the “Hand Jive,” a
favorite of Freddie and the Cruisers listeners. “Sleepwalk” by
Santo and Johnny Farina is another favorite that brings people out for
a slow dance.
Marquez said he
likes to reproduce the sounds of the beloved musicians from this era
so listeners can re-experience their favorite bands.
“People that are
over the age of 25 up to 80, if they have a memory, and if they can
remember what they used to listen to on the radio when they were a
teenager, when they first got their license, when they got their first
car, through the years when they used to smoke a pack of cigarettes,
or when gasoline was under a dollar a gallon, people like that
remember songs I play that you just don’t hear on the radio
anymore,” he said.