Get in on the ground floor of local music.
ALT-Natives, a radio show which airs Saturday nights on Times-Shamrock Communications station ALT 92.1, will kick off a series of all-ages concerts at Karl Hall, Wilkes-Barre.
The radio show features all original music by local acts, and the concert series — ALT-Natives Underground Live — will put those same acts on stage, ALT-Natives host John Popko said.
The monthly series will begin Thursday, July 25, with Scranton-born progressive/alternative rock band Eye on Attraction. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m., and the music will run from 8 to around 9. Ed Cuozzo from University Drive will open the night with an acoustic set before Eye on Attraction hits the stage. Admission is free and first-come, first-served at the venue, 57 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre.
Eye on Attraction, which got its start in 2010, gained popularity in Northeast Pennsylvania, and that spread across the state and beyond. The group came off a national tour with rock band Adelitas Way in 2017 and has spent the past few years working on new music and playing shows around the country.
Its most recent single, “Pleasantville,” has amassed more than 100,000 streams on Spotify. As far as a chance to play in its home region, the timing couldn’t be better for the band, drummer Andrew Merkle said.
“We don’t play locally almost at all anymore,” Merkle said during a recent phone interview. “We’ve taken that next step, where we’re playing more regional and national touring. We’ve been in the studio for six months or so with new releases, so we’re going to be able to have a hometown tour and play some new music.”
Eye on Attraction — which also consists of Jen Fracas on vocals, Joe Quincy on bass and Mike Trischetta on guitar — plans to release dual EPs, “The Method” followed by “The Madness,” sometime within the next few months, though no set dates are planned. The two releases will form one full album, Merkle said, and fans can expect to hear some new songs from the upcoming EPs as well as vintage tracks when the band takes the stage at Karl Hall.
“We’ll definitely be doing some of the old favorites,” Merkle said. “It’s nice to be able to debut some new stuff, too.”
The concert series will run the last Thursday of the month except for October through December, when the holidays will bump up the shows by a week. The concerts will be BYOB for those 21 and older.
Working with the local music scene since 2004, Popko feels passionate about the work NEPA acts are doing. As part of a locally owned and operated radio station, Popko wants to showcase local talent.
“My goal is to really focus on what’s happening now and the artists who are out there hustling and creating the local music scene today,” he said.
The chance to be part of a series that shines a light on local musicians feels special to Merkle and the rest of the group. While the band has been all over and he has played in almost every state in the country, Merkle said, he and his bandmates know the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scene holds immense talent and a supportive group of artists and fans. Any initiative that promotes the scene only bolsters that, he said.
“The people are passionate, hard workers and make great music,” Merkle added. “It’s one of the best scenes I’ve ever encountered.”
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT on Twitter
If you go
What: ALT-Natives Underground Live featuring Eye on Attraction with special guest Ed Cuozzo of University Drive
When: Thursday, July 25, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Karl Hall, 57 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre
Details: Admission is free and open to all ages. BYOB. Visit alt921.com for more information, or ALT-natives on Facebook and Twitter.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT