Elvis is alive! OK, not really, but close enough: The third annual Elvis Birthday Bash, thrown by NUVO’s own Barfly, Wayne Bertsch, hits the stage of Locals Only.
Heading up the show, as always, are the Messarounds, fronted by Bigger Than Elvis’ Danny Thompson. Thompson promises a collection of lesser-known Presley songs. “It amazes me how many people don’t know Elvis songs past 1959,” Thompson says. “You won’t have to be an Elvis fan to enjoy this. People think of only a dozen or so Elvis songs, but he recorded 600 songs in his career. In our set we’ll probably play 30 songs, and I bet people won’t know half of them.”
The biggest difference between the Messaround’s Jan. 4 tribute set and Presley’s own performances will be scale and instrumentation. “With Elvis, he always had a huge band behind him, sometimes an orchestra,” Thompson says. “We’re not doing them differently, but with a three-piece band we’ll have a little more rockin’ groove to them than the originals would have. And I think Jeff [Stevenson] and Glenn [Hopkins] make enough noise to make up for it!”
Other performers include Hey Hey Melodica: “They’re sure to put an interesting spin on the music of the King because their music frequently features such non-traditional instruments as the glockenspiel, slide whistle and of course the Melodica,” Bertsch says.
Little Voice’s alt-rock sound will also be on hand, with its trademark offbeat humor. “We considered doing the three stages of Elvis [early, Hawaii and fat] with Erika [Thomas, guitar/vocals] being the fat Elvis, since she is now four months pregnant!” Little Voice guitarist Mike Rittenhouse says. “However, I think we’ll be going with our second idea, which is dressing like ‘Jailhouse Rock.’”
Additionally, Jay Elliott will contribute solo acoustic sets between acts. “Here’s a chance to see one of Indy’s most charismatic frontmen dishing out the tunes of rock and roll’s most charismatic performer,” Bertsch says.
Check out videos from the bands