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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Rock lives through Hairball

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rock and metal from the 1980s will be featured during Hairball's concert tonight at the Clay County Regional Events Center. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
(Photo Submitted)
"This music lives," according to Happy, guitarist with Hairball.

Hairball is ready to rock area audiences at the Clay County Regional Events Center when they take the stage at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Hairball's concert will epitomize the 1980's, with some of the decade's most colorful rockers and music portrayed. The audience will get to experience the band paying homage, with singers in full costume, to Bret Michaels, AC/DC, Guns 'N' Roses, Prince, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, KISS and many more.

"People ask me how long can this go on," Happy shared. "You tell me when that Elvis thing goes away.

"Good showmanship never goes out of style, and good music never goes away."

Hairball founder Mike Findling said the audience won't know if they're seeing Alice Cooper, or Gene Simmons of KISS, perform.

"These are dead-on impersonations," Findling said. "One will be on stage performing while the other is back stage changing. The pyrotechnics, the lighting, the gymnastics and theatrics all reflect the party atmosphere of a concert in the 1980's. Hairball is the 'ultimate '80's rock impersonation act, re-creating the atmosphere of the decade.'"

Happy calls the show, "a gourmet feast for eyes and ears."

Hairball originated more than 12 years ago in the Twin Cities area.

"We started in clubs, down and dirty, and it exploded into a theater production that embodies all the magic and energy of concerts and music from the days when MTV used to play videos by rock bands and not game shows," Happy said.

He calls Hairball "a wolfpack."

"It's not a dictatorship, but it's a wolfpack. The alpha is as important as the omega. Rock and roll is a team sport."

Happy, refers to himself as the "Paul Schaffer" of the band. He is joined onstage by bass player Sports Pop, drummer Colt Python, and singers, Rockstar Bob and Kris Vox.

"We live the fantasy and we present it as the fantasy. If you like the fantasy, we are the fantasy," Happy said. "Coming to see our show is like going to 20 concerts in one night."

He continued, "When we do Alice Cooper, there are pythons and snakes. When we do Kiss, there's fire breathing. We're carrying around a large show and production like those bands did in their heyday. We do all the costumes and theater."

"The thing about us, if you don't like Alice Cooper, in a few minutes it's going to switch to Motley Crue. If you don't like Motley Crue, hang on, ... it's a rock 'n' roll magic show."

So how does Hairball's showmanship sit with the bands they imitate?

"Hopefully they're flattered," Happy said. "We wouldn't be doing that artist if we didn't have admiration. We're bringing some of the artists that we, as kids, idolized. ... When I was a kid, I snuck into these concerts to see the bands we do."

Who will enjoy Hairball's concert? Is it just for those who grew up on metal and rock from the late '70s and mid-80s?

"We are a very edgy rock show without being vulgar," Happy said. "But it is loud and full of surprises. We've got a large following of very young kids and this is classic rock to them. I'll often drag an 8-year-old kid on stage and let him play my guitar."

He shared a social media message he received from a fan.

"I got this from a mother who loved the music she grew up with, and her 12-year-old daughter bugged her to come to the show. She and her daughter got to enjoy the music together."

"Sometimes I think this band's job is to carry the torch. I get goose bumps when I see a 50-year-old man and his 16-year-old kid enjoying the show together. He gets to live it again and the son gets to experience it for the first time. Can't think of anything much better than that."

Local band Soundstill will open the show. Doors will open at the events center at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.

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