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Finale for the Front?
November 27, 2008 - Jim Price
Twenty-five years ago, in 1983, one of the most popular rock bands in Altoona music scene history, The Front, played their first live show in front of a packed house at the Coaches Inn (now 30 Something) in Greenwood. The group had previously recorded two 45 RPM singles, and their biggest hit, “Girl Like You,” was gaining heavy airplay on Altoona AM radio airwaves, as well as achieving notoriety in markets from Ohio to New Jersey. Vaulted by the strength of “Girl Like You” and another single, “Girls Talk,” The Front became a dominant force on the Altoona music scene through much of the 80’s and early 90’s.
The Front will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their arrival on area stages with a special reunion show gala this Saturday night, Nov. 29, at the Bavarian Hall in Altoona. The show will begin at 9 PM, and will run until midnight.
The late 80’s/early 90’s inception of The Front – lead singer Bob Gates, guitarist John McKelvey, bassist Randy Rutherford, keyboard player Harold Hayford, and drummer Clint Carothers – will perform their most popular songs, including “Girl Like You,” “Girls Talk,” “Battleground for the Brave,” “Still the Rain” and more. And the group will also perform many of the 70’s and 80’s-era cover song favorites that crowds used to come out to hear them do. The Front is bringing in large concert-caliber sound and lighting to help make it an unforgettable experience.
If you are a Front fan from years past and want to experience the band again, this Saturday’s reunion performance may be your last chance. Citing their career and family commitments and their respective ages, the band members have indicated that this will likely be The Front’s final reunion performance.
The ticket price is $10 per person. Advance tickets may be purchased from band members and at Thompson’s Pharmacy, Intrivah Health & Wellness, The Music Emporium and Ford Music. Those attending must be 21 years of age or older, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Legal ID is required.
The Bavarian Hall is located at 112 S. 13th Street in Altoona (near Prospect Pool).
Randy Rutherford of The Front, during the group's reunion show four years ago at The Bavarian Hall.