The Late Show
The Levee, Noblesville
Friday, Nov. 24
Who would guess that a classy little martini bar sits nestled in the autumn-bare fields on the northern outskirts of Noblesville? Stranger still is the idea that The Late Show, a solid rock band that won local fame and national recognition in the 1970s, would choose this venue to stage the debut concert of its 2006 resurrection.
The Late Show’s re-emergence on the music scene went off something like a dormant volcano erupting in the middle of semi-rural Indiana. The band’s magnetic energy could be felt from the bar entrance, and the members’ mastery of instrumentation and group cohesion allowed them to have some serious fun on stage.
The original Late Show included four members who performed original music as well as cover tunes from the 1960s. Local guitar icon Mark Moran is the only remaining member from that lineup, but all five musicians in the current incarnation have made names for themselves in the Indianapolis music scene. Joining Moran are Phil Bunny (guitar), Monte Stultz (keyboard/guitar), Sherman Crouch (bass) and Stephen Bunny (drums). The band has added selections from the ’70s and ’80s to their repertoire, which calls for a wide range of vocal styles, but the challenge does not present a problem for the group, because everyone in the band sings. They seamlessly trade off lead, backing vocals and impressive four-part harmonies.
“We all love this music,” Stultz says. “Our energy on stage comes from that feeling.” The band’s passion proved infectious Friday night. Vintage Late Show fans clinked martini glasses with 20-somethings, toasting old and new song favorites. It made no difference whether the listener holding the glass would classify the music as a “memory-jogging classic” or “cool retro.”
The Late Show has already booked several more shows, including Mickey’s Irish Pub in Carmel on Saturday, Dec. 2 and a return engagement at The Levee on Dec. 15.