Four iconic rock stars from the infamous Club 27 may be gone, but their music will break on through from the other side into a live show.
The music of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison of The Doors and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana will be featured in Club 27: A Rock Concert Experience.
Produced by Niagara’s Something Something Productions, the performance sets stage at the Bell Tower Community Arts and Entertainment Centre on Saturday, June 29.
The rock music icons were riders of tragic storms who died at the age of 27 of causes, which were either drug or suicide-related. The term Club 27 came to the attention of the public officially after the death of Kurt Cobain, then resurfaced 14 years later with the death of Amy Winehouse.
Club 27 Producer Rob Burke, joined by his wife and co-producer Dina Mavridis, said the musical experience is a celebration of “groundbreaking music” that influenced the artists’ respective generation followers.
“They were four big forces of rock,” Burke said. “I am a huge fan of Jim Morrison and The Doors. Also, being a big rock music lover, this was something I have always wanted to put together even before Something Something Productions was established and that was nearly 10 years ago.”
Burke explained it took about four months to establish from initial concept, to the performers researching the artist they would be performing the to rehearsal.
“The first few times we rehearsed together in our home studio, it was as though we had been performing together all along,” Burke said.
“This event is unlike any other in the Niagara area. It’s an experience. What I mean by experience is that it’s not just covering the songs, we include multimedia, fog, moving lights and sound clips by the artists themselves between songs to perceive it as though the artists are actually engaging with the crowd,” he explained.
Burke said each performance is different. Describing it as a “live show”, no matter what performance is attended, there’s always a fresh spin. “The show is never the same as we don’t do the show on a continual basis.”
“After each performance, we have always had an audience shout out for an ‘encore’ and we did when we performed at the Warehouse in St. Catharines,” he said.
The pilot run of Club 27 broke through at Cork’s in Niagara-on-the-Lake last year and went for five performances. Positive audience feedback and encouragement from Burke’s father-in-law and the performers lit a fire that inspired the couple to expand the performance into the Niagara Region.
Burke said their marketing efforts paid off with the event at the Warehouse in St. Catharines, Bell Tower and a spot at this year’s Welland Floatfest spotlighting Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison.
Burke chose the Bell Tower for its third event because of their great support for arts and culture and performance space. “I remember going to the Bell Tower for a friend’s event, looking around and saying, ‘I’m going to bring a show here.’ I didn’t know what it would be at the time, but once this came to light they were immediately receptive.”
The show stars Burke performing as Jim Morrison, Sydney LeDoux belting out Janis Joplin, Phil Bosley on Jimi Hendrix vocals and Jesse Lamothe on Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) vocals. The vocals are backed up with Phil Bosley on lead guitar, TJ Rogers on drums, Lee Stewart on the keyboard and Bassist Jacob Toms-Boudreau.
Burke said the performers fully-researched the artists they would be emulating. He said the Joplin performance is the “glue of the show”, as she had such a unique vocal range, of which, is a “challenge to perform.” Also, Burke said all performers capture the talented essence of the Club 27 members.
Burke noted, “the performance doesn’t touch anything in the show about death or when they died because we all know 27 is the number. Instead, we are focusing on the music and showmanship they had on stage.”
The concert is performed and displayed in such a way that the music connects with the audience.
Burke said the recent performances have appealed to a huge demographic range that left them leaving and questioning, “Why haven’t I listened to these records in so long?”
Tickets for Club 27: A Rock Concert Experience are available at https://www.ticketscene.ca/events/23213/ for $25 general admission or $45 for VIP Loft. Doors open at 7 pm and the show starts at 8 pm.
They are also available at the Bell Tower by phone at 289-320-9968 or in person.
Photos courtesy of Ami Holmes Photography