Rock musician Billy Idol once said, “Rock isn’t art, it’s the way ordinary people talk.” The conversation will be flowing when The Sunset Villains and American Babies perform at Montgomery County Community College’s MontCo Rocks concert on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m. at the Science Center Theatre, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.
“This is the first year for the concert,” said Michael Kelly, the show’s director and MCCC’s Music Technology and Music Business Instructor. “It will be a bi-annual event, and we decided to kick it off during MCCC’s ‘America’s Music’ film and lecture series.”
To get the ball rolling, Kelly went to the MCCC student body, through his classes and an online Facebook poll, to find the right artists.
“I was made aware of American Babies through MCCC student James Hamilton in my music history class,” said Kelly. “Jim is the brother of Tom Hamilton (founder of Philly band Brother’s Past and American Babies), and has performed with the group. I immersed myself in their songs, and I was extremely pleased that students were tuned into this band.”
When it came to the opening act, Kelly already knew the students had made a great suggestion.
“The Sunset Villains is one of the great bands David Ivory is producing, that I was well aware of, and they came up on a short list of student favorites as well.”
Kelly said there is just one main reason for MCCC to present Montco Rocks.
“It’s fun,” he put simply. “There are other reasons of course, but that was the first one. And to tell you the truth, the choices are slim to none seeing bands out here unless you go to a bar, and there you have the age restriction.”
Unlike area pubs, this show at MCCC is for all ages. Kelly said, if you can stay up until 11 p.m., it’s a show you will enjoy.
“It’s a chance to hang with your friends in a familiar place, see two incredible bands that usually only come as far as Philadelphia, with great music they had a hand in choosing, all for about third of the cost of the same experience downtown” he said.
While this will be the first Montco Rocks of the series, the hosting of contemporary and pop music at MCCC is nothing new.
“I started combing through old copies of ‘The Montgazette’ from the 1960s and 70s and found that the school paper was full of music reviews about albums, shows and concerts that the students were into at the time,” said Kelly of his research for the show. “The idea to bring this tradition back to the campus and the community was born, with the idea that it would reflect the kind of music experience the students were looking for, and making the concert itself a classroom experience, as well. I mentioned this idea to David Ivory as well, who remembers coming to Montco to see the band ‘Gentle Giant’ and told me he’d be interested in hosting the event,” Kelly said.
MCCC students are helping to make the production possible, too.
“My Music Business class is helping with the marketing and social networking aspect, and students in my Music Technology and Sound Recording classes will be able to get hands on experience knowing what it’s like to produce a live show,” said Kelly.
The concerts will be filmed by the college’s Communication Arts Production Group and available on local media, including Destination Arts, David Ivory Presents, Channel 35 MIND TV and Montco Radio for area residents.
MCCC adjunct Sound Recording Instructor and Grammy-nominated Producer David Ivory will host the show, in conjunction with MCCC’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Office of Student Leadership and Involvement and Montco Radio.
Tickets for the show are just $10. The show is open to the public and will be held at MCCC’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. For tickets, call 215-641-6518 or visit www.mc3.edu/livelyarts.