Wednesday, July 17, 2013

AD/HD - Wausau, WI

One of the interesting things about travel is the opportunity to catch the pulse of a community by visiting local bars and just take in the ambiance of the establishment and the locals that reside there.  Depending on the day you might be able to catch a baseball game, hear some quality gossip or perhaps a story or two.  If that day happens to be a Friday or Saturday there might be something a little different to take in.  What could it be you may ask?

Live music obviously (this is a music blog after all).  Local bands really afford the opportunity to catch onto what happens in a town.  The definition of a "town" is subjective, it can be either a little Podunk town in the middle of Oklahoma or it could be a huge city like Chicago.  I hold to the definition for either description and here's why.

Its easy to define an entire town in the middle of nowhere by that little corner bar by looking either at the "jukebox" (do those still exist) and determining what the locals listen to just by the names that are floating there.  It becomes more difficult when you enter a major city but it is still possible.  Stereotyping a city by a genre of music is a terrible idea, as an example do you think there is only "country music" in Nashville, or "grunge" in Seattle?  Shame on you if you do because you are really missing out on excellent opportunities that may change that outlook.

The major city can be defined by the music that lies within its neighborhoods.  Take a city like Chicago for example, a metropolis that can be defined as a "blues" town.  However Chicago is home to some excellent punk music but it also is home to metal, thrash and country bands as well.  Equally Nashville could be labeled a "country" town but they too have a presence that truly is 180 degrees from country music.  Yes country music is a force in Nashville but one would be overlooking far too many acts that aren't country.

If one were in the stereotyping mood, you could look at a state like Wisconsin and what would you see?  Would you see cheese-eating Packer fans that love polka?  Probably but that really wouldn't be fair.  In the past I wrote about the venue "The Rave" in Milwaukee, as well as Aerosmith at Summerfest and Stephen Pearcy at the Wisconsin State Fair and that provides a little peek into the world that is music in Wisconsin.  Wisconsin is home to a phenomena relating to "bar culture" that should be examined.

Wisconsin is an eclectic mixture of country music, bluegrass, hard rock and metal located in the tiniest unincorporated village to major cities.  Wisconsin lends its passion for all things "green and gold" to the many original and cover bands that fill the bars, pubs, fairs, weddings and lodges of the Moose, Odd Fellows and the Elks.  Living a mere eight miles or so from the border of Wisconsin, I have experienced those performances, in those venues.  It isn't possible to explain what goes through your mind as you see two people in their eighties dancing to Billy Idol or Motley Crue at a wedding and I've seen people of the same age line dancing to a metal band.

Within Marathon County, Wisconsin lies the community of Wausau, the county seat and home to approximately 39,000 people.  While the population of Wausau doesn't reflect that of a small town, its really the people that make it feel like it is.  But what music really represents the community?  Could it be country music?  Hmm...

I suppose one could think so but the jury is still out on that one that is until you hear ADHD.  I know, I know ADHD is a medically treatable condition but this ADHD is much different.  The ADHD in this conversation is a rock band, one that plays "covers" of some serious bands.  As I listened to their cover of "Breaking the Law" on their  YouTube channel it became apparent that these gentlemen can really play.  Generally speaking that song (Breaking the Law) is one that I have seen and heard only ONCE played well (by any cover band or not names Judas Priest).  That singular performance has changed to TWO times.  Their performance of the song was impressive, very solid and it was just freaking good.

By listening to the band the first thing you will notice would be the vocals of the lead singer.  He has a voice that really fits exceptionally well inside the songs that they perform.  The song choices would make it difficult to maintain any continuity in their vocals but it is done very well!  Reminiscent of Mr. John Popper of "Blues Traveler" mixed with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill (ZZ Top).

Determination is defined as "firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end" and to that "intention to achieve a desired end" should include the inability to achieve an end IF one is never satisfied and therefore the end can never be achieved.  Determination involves trying to become or achieve something and any musician would tell you that they are determined to be the best at their craft.  Yes this goal does have some commonality between each band member but it is doubtful that the bassist wants to be the best drummer ever.  As I mentioned earlier I have only heard "Breaking the Law" covered only twice well and that shows great determination.

Its hard for bands that do cover music if not for the only reason is that one has to meet the expectations of the original piece of music and try to do the song justice.  Only those bands that show determination in their craft can achieve such a daunting task.  AD/HD has a set list that is in its most basic form is exceptionally difficult. Covering the aforementioned "Breaking the Law" and with the likes of "Tush" (ZZ Top), "Down On Me" (Jackyl), "Say What You Will" (Fastway), "Man in the Box" (Alice In Chains) plus Van Halen, Black Sabbath, and even Simple Minds the band MUST be able to play each at an uber high level. 

Musically the band is on point and they provide skill and talent to very difficult group of songs.  The guitar work is great and really helps mold the entire package into one cohesive body of work.  It becomes the responsibility of their fans to hold them to a higher station as well as pushing for tougher bodies of work and even more original pieces.  With the drive within the band it is possible that they can accomplish both of those tasks with ease.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) is a condition that affects 3 - 7% of school aged children as well as 8% of adults in the United States.  In simpler terms that equals eight million adults and the symptomology of the disorder includes difficulty following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing tasks, or completing work within time limits.  ADHD can make simple everyday life a nightmare as it alienates the individual from their normal every day tasks.  As anyone that knows someone afflicted with ADHD can attest simple concentration can be the hardest part of the condition.

Without the ability to concentrate on those tasks can lead to social stigmas, the inability to succeed at work and even self-expression. The name of the band is a misnomer.  Of the symptomology mentioned previously it is obvious that those with ADHD have difficulty succeeding.  It is also apparent that the band AD/HD should change their name.  This band shows through hard work, skill and creative ability that they are successful.  Let the patrons of local establishments in and around Wausau, Wisconsin take notice of this band.  Said citizens should be watching for those visitors that wander into the local pubs trying to figure out what Wausau has to offer them.  Tell them that yes we do have some people that are cheese eating, cheese wearing polka loving Packer fans but if that stranger wants to know what the rest of the area is doing, take them to an AD/HD show.  Then that stranger can tell everyone the story about one heck of a great band.

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome review. Parts of it gave me chills. (mostly because it was about the boys in my band!) Thanks for your kind words. ADHD ROCKS WISCONSIN!