On the Ave: Facing the Music...

Last Edited:

...at Landis Theater with a free event this Friday.

This is a story of a unique opportunity for our students and the public that’s coming up at the end of this week. I’ve been a longtime fan of the rock vocal band Face—a group known throughout the world. I’ve been seeing them since they started about a decade ago. They put on a high-energy show with vocals that are really off the charts. I’ve wanted to have them come to Vineland for years, but the costs always seemed prohibitive as they are based in Boulder, CO, and do not typically tour on the east coast. 

I’ve known one of the performers, Cody Quails, from about 20 years ago when he was with a band called Kindred. I saw Face’s holiday show at the Boulder Theater last month when I was in Colorado and was chatted with Cody about whether they have any plans to come east. They happened to have a show booked in New York City for Saturday, January 13. This made adding a show at the Landis Theater a real possibility for the day before. I reached out to Vineland Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Mary Gruccio and her staff to see if they would have an interest in pursuing the educational aspect that Face offers and have them also put on a concert for the students. 

And so it’s going to happen this Friday—a tremendous opportunity for the students and public alike to see a first-class group and for the students to have a wonderful educational opportunity.

It’ll be a free presentation—a student workshop and a performance this Friday, January 12—both at the Landis Theater, 830 E. Landis Avenue. The workshop will happen from 10 to 10:45 a.m. and the performance, open to students and the public, will take place from 11 to 11:45 a.m.

Just to entice a bit more, here’s a bit more about them:  

According to FringeReview.co.uk, Face is “blending modern popular tunes with complex harmonies, brilliant beat-box rhythms and superb singing…Face take their audience on a musical journey and it’s fantastic fun.” 

Performing over 100 shows per year around the world, the band has also competed on the hit NBC series The Sing-Off, headlined at Edinburgh, Scotland’s prestigious Festival Fringe, as well as Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, and has opened for legendary performers such as Jon Bon Jovi, Barenaked Ladies, Jay Leno, 38 Special, The Wailers, Manhattan Transfer, Culture Club & Boy George, Rick Springfield, Cracker, and Robin Thicke.

Read: On the Ave: Holiday Wrap-Up, II

Critics and fans worldwide rave about Face’s stage presence and performance as much as they do the music. “[Face] communicates with a directness and warmth—perhaps America at its best,” according to Sweden’s Norbbottens Kuriren. FringeReview.co.uk said that Face achieved “an instant connection—twinkling eyes suggesting a mischievous love of what was about to happen.” Recorded A Cappella Review Board called Face “a true American heartland sound.”

Their awards include Boulder Weekly’s “Best Local Musician” for four consecutive years, “Best Local Band” for two years in the Denver A-List Awards, and “Favorite Musical Artist” for 2016 in the 9News Local Music Awards. 

I want to thank the Vineland Board of Education for helping to make this great event possible and hope that you can join the students in seeing and hearing some great musicians.

***

I see this, along with Dr. Kenneth Lacovara’s earlier talk on dinosaurs as the beginning of making the Landis Theater—and The Ave—the home for a series of talks and presentations by some of the country’s greatest talents—speakers, scientists, explorers, artists, and performers. His talks are part of the TED program—Technology, Entertainment, and Design—with the slogan of “ideas worth spreading.” I see the Landis Theater as a natural location for a TED-like series of presentations that would bring top people in their fields to engage with the public and create discussion on a wide variety of issues.