Punk band plays Pub

By Jeremia Schrock
Sun Star Reporter

The final fall semester concert for the Student Activities Organization (SAO) was also to be its only punk rock show of the term. Whiskey Tango, who recently returned from a tour in Japan, played their second gig back in the states Friday, Dec. 10 to a crowded UAF Pub.

Despite their bad boy look and punk rock edge, SAO Assistant Director Cody Rogers had nothing but nice things to say about the band. “They’re the politest band I’ve ever worked with,” Rogers said, adding that after their last two gigs at the Pub (both of which sold out), she received a bouquet of flowers as thanks.

The band had two opening acts go before it. The first act featured Michael Loftus (bassist and vocalist of Whiskey Tango) joined with Marquita Miller for a short, but sweet, impromptu set.

The Avery Wolves, a local rockabilly band that formed over the past summer, followed Loftus and Miller. Headed by front man Nathan Harris (slap bass), the band’s rockabilly and psychobilly sound lead perfectly into the punk rock/thrash sound of Whiskey Tango.

Whiskey Tango is a four-man band comprised of Loftus, Sean Donavan (drums), Herman Schmidt (rhythm guitar) and Ian LeSage (guitar). Their sound is best described as the result of a drunken union between Irish punk band Flogging Molly and English rockers The Clash. That is a compliment.

As soon as they took to the stage, the dance floor of the Pub was flooded with dozens of dancers who crowded as close to the band as possible. Within the first few notes of the first song, a kind of frantic pseudo-moshing occurred that left the area around the stage a hazard to anyone with a pint or pitcher in hand. Many students danced the gloom and doom of finals week away.

Jim Loftus, the father of Michael, arrived at the show dressed in a simple black T-shirt that read “WHISKEY TANGO” on the back. He sat at the bar while his son’s band played. “Most everything they recorded in their first five years was recorded in my basement!” he said over the music.

Did he attend his son’s shows often? “We suffered through the years when they just barely knew how to play,” Loftus said, adding that of course he was going to come out and support his son.

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