A Giant(s) Return…

Here is a listing of Altoona area live music happenings for the weekend and week of Friday, February 17 through Thursday, February 23.

Among the performers on area stages this weekend is a group that hasn’t been as much a frequent flyer on area stages in the past year or two, the Giants Of Science, who return to the Four Dees Lounge on Saturday night. Started in the mid-1990s, this Scranton-based rock band became mainstays on stages throughout the state with their upbeat dance-rock party, which featured plentiful rock hit favorites from the 1980s and 1990s, plus a few newer numbers thrown in. But the Giants – singer/guitarist Mick, keyboardist/singer Scotty B, lead guitarist Johnny 5 and drummer Steve – have slowed down their heavy touring schedule over the past couple of years, especially during the winter months. So if you have missed their upbeat party, Saturday provides an opportunity to enjoy the Giants Of Science’s musical “lab experiment” once again – and who knows, they might even break out their trademark facepaints and white labcoats!

Also happening on Saturday night will be a unique double-bill at Ebensburg’s Castle Pub. The “Metal vs. Punk” bill features Johnstown-based heavy metal favorites Darkness On The Radio “versus” Ebensburg-based punk, roots and rockabilly stalwarts Ben Dumm and the East Side Band. The winners will be the audience, as both bands throw down their music with enthusiasm and passion. The show starts at 10 p.m., and there is no cover charge.

For fans of legendary 1980s/1990s progressive metal rockers Queensryche, the group’s former longtime singer and founding member Geoff Tate will perform on Tuesday night at State College’s historic State Theatre. Tate is conducting an acoustic tour, and he will perform newer song material from his post-Queensryche solo albums (including his latest, “Resurrection,” issued last fall under the project heading Operation Mindcrime), as well as stripped-down acoustic versions of numerous Queensryche standards. Tate will also offer insights and inspirations behind the music. That concert begins at 8 p.m.

For those interested in learning the ins and outs of the music business, the 21st annual Millennium Music Conference starts Thursday night (Feb. 23) and continues through Saturday in the Harrisburg area. The main hub of the conference will be the Central Hotel and Conference Center, Best Western Premier in Harrisburg. The event’s kickoff party takes place at O’Reilly’s Taproom in the hotel on Thursday night, with the main business conference – featuring various music industry panels, mentoring sessions, a trade show, keynote addresses and more – taking place during the day on Friday and Saturday. Keynote speakers at this year’s conference include Crobot lead singer Brandon Yeagley on Friday, and Chad Taylor of Live on Saturday. In addition, nearly 300 different bands and artists – from Pennsylvania and other parts of the United States, and some from as far away as Canada and France – will showcase their music at venues around the Harrisburg area on Friday and Saturday nights. For more details about this year’s Millennium Music Conference, visit the website www.musicconference.net.

And although it is not a live music event per se, guitar enthusiasts – especially connoisseurs of Martin guitars – may be interested in attending a special matinee presentation at Penn State Altoona on Thursday afternoon. The presentation will feature a screening of the award-winning short documentary film “Ballad of the Dreadnought: A Musical Icon Turns 100” in the Titelman Study of the campus’ Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts starting at noon. Narrated by musician and actor Jeff Daniels, the documentary traces the rise of the iconic Martin Dreadnought guitar, and features insights from many famous musicians who have played the guitar, such as Crosby, Stills & Nash, Steve Miller, Roger McGuinn, Vince Gill, Del McCoury and many more. After the film will be a presentation and discussion hosted by Martin guitar archivist Dick Boak and Penn State Altoona Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences Jerry Zolten. Admission to this event is free, and the public is welcome to attend.

Check out and support the area live music! And if you celebrate heavily while doing so, please designate a sober driver or call a taxi to get you home.


Greg Burley at Fat Daddy’s, Altoona (starts 7 p.m.)

Matt Burns at Railroad City Brewing Company, Altoona (starts 7 p.m.)

D.D. & the Pub Crawlers at McGarvey’s, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

Bill Ferrell at Primanti Bros., Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Matt Pletcher Trio at Cesare Battisti Club, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

The Boomers at Bavarian Aid Society, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Eldo Red at Newburg Firehall, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Rokkandy at Bellwood Eagles, Bellwood (Valentine’s Dance, starts 9 p.m.)

Jae Smith at Aviation Inn, Duncansville (starts 9:30 p.m.)

Matt Wagner at Mueller’s Pub, Blue Knob Ski Resort (starts 6:30 p.m.)

100 Proof at Huntingdon Elks, Huntingdon (starts 7 p.m.)

Denny Pompa at Patton American Legion, Patton (starts 10 p.m.)

Rik Golden at Pour On Center, Ebensburg (starts 7 p.m.)

Jampact at Philipsburg American Legion, Philipsburg (starts 9 p.m.)


Born and the Beanstalk at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Root and the Fifths at Chewy’s Pizza (formerly Monkey Wharf), Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Agent Smith at Club Kryptonite (formerly 30 Something), Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

Float, Condition Oakland and The Roof at McGarvey’s, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

Giants Of Science at Four Dees Lounge, Altoona (starts 10:30 p.m.)

100 Proof at Bavarian Aid Society, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Sugar Ridge at Newburg Firehall, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Krazy Kat Daddies at Catholic War Vets, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Rewind at Tyrone American Legion, Tyrone (starts 9 p.m.)

Stormy at Argonne Cafe, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

The Syrins at U.S. Hotel, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Buster Krows at Duncansville VFW, Duncansville (starts 8 p.m.)

Open Mic Night at McKee Tavern, McKee (starts 7 p.m.)

Felix & the Hurricanes at Blue Knob Clubhouse, Blue Knob Ski Resort (starts 9 p.m.)

Tom Fix & Sarah Mellott at R&J’s Tavern, Bedford (starts 8 p.m.)

Dave Howsare & Jerry Miller at Kountry Kettle Restaurant, Hopewell (starts 6 p.m.)

Dan Stonerook at Park Avenue Pub, Patton (starts 10 p.m.)

Bone Jacked at Patton American Legion, Patton (starts 9:30 p.m.)

Octane at Davey’s, Hastings (starts 10 p.m.)

The Reflections at Portage Italian Club, Portage (starts 10 p.m.)

Ian Jeffreys at Pour On Center, Ebensburg (starts 7 p.m.)

Ben Dumm & the East Side Band and Darkness On The Radio at Castle Pub, Ebensburg (starts 10 p.m.)


Felix & the Hurricanes at Black & Gold Tavern, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Ron “Music Man” Balestino at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

The Band OZ at U.S. Hotel, Hollidaysburg (starts 6 p.m.)


“Hard Freight Cafe” Coffeehouse at Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts (Titelman Study), Penn State Altoona (starts 7 p.m., free admission)

Open Mic with the Backyard Rockers at D’Ottavio’s Gran Sasso, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Open Mic Night at Bedford Tavern, Bedford (starts 6 p.m.)

Jam Night at Magoo’s, Cresson (starts 10 p.m.)


Jam Night at Unter Uns, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)


Steve Summerhill at Jethro’s, Altoona (starts 7 p.m.)

Kenny Fetterman at CNB Bank, Duncansville (Grand Opening, starts 5 p.m.)

(NOTE: More shows may be added to this list as information becomes available. Feel free to check back.)

To report additional shows or corrections to this listing, email information to jptheprofessor@gmail.com. Deadline to submit information for the initial posting is each Friday morning at 9 a.m.