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Winging It Twice More...
August 20, 2009 - Jim Price
Chicken wing and live music connoisseurs have two more reasons to cheer this summer. The weekly Thursday evening Lakemont Park Wing-Off’s have been extended for two more weeks. The additional Wing-Off’s will take place on August 20 and 27 from 5 to 9 PM.
Both Wing-Off’s will feature entertainment from two of the state’s most popular party-rock bands. The August 20 Wing-Off will mark the Altoona return for Emily’s Toybox, who hasn’t been on a local stage in nearly a decade. Started in Huntingdon County in 1995, Emily’s Toybox rapidly evolved into one of the state’s most popular bands with a freewheeling, no-holds-barred stage show that blended uptempo rock with insane humor and chicanery. In the past, the group has peppered their punk-fueled brand of original songs and covers with such zaniness as toilet paper launchers, Carmen Miranda-styled dresses and fruited hats, irreverent redneck-styled singalongs and much more. At the front and center of Emily’s Toybox’s musical insanity continues to be lead singer and rhythm guitarist Mike Wise, whose presentation and comic wit often bring to mind a more musically-inclined Jim Carrey. Flanking Wise are lead guitarist Jason Mitchell, bassist Milhouse and drummer Wade Corbin. Expect to experience high-octane reads and twisted takes on popular songs, equally twisted Emily’s Toybox original songs, and plentiful stage antics and spontaneous comedy. Be careful, you might sneeze wing sauce out of your nose!
The Wing Off’s will conclude August 27 with an encore appearance from regional party band juggernaut Green Eggs, who entertained the Wing-Off on August 6. Also a steady fixture on the state’s stages since the mid ‘90s and their original inception as Green Eggs & Spam, the current Green Eggs roster features the brotherly tandem of singer/keyboardist Brian and singer/bassist Brad Nicarry. Clearfield’s Matt Day plays lead guitar and sings, and Doug Black plays drums. Green Eggs’ trademark is nonstop, upbeat musical grooves, into which the group incorporates a wide variety of popular songs. The group’s song variety can be very freewheeling during any given show; audiences might hear diverse song selections ranging from popular current rock and hip-hop hits to ‘60s chestnuts like Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and the Foundations’ “Build Me Up Buttercup,” ‘70s hits like the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and Abba’s “Dancing Queen,” ‘80s rock from Guns’N’Roses and Bon Jovi, country hits from Garth Brooks and Big & Rich, and much more. Green Eggs are versatile musicians as well; the Nicarry brothers frequently swap instruments and positions onstage, and both they and Day alternate lead singing assignments through the course of their performance. And as was the case during their Aug. 6 Wing-Off performance, Green Eggs’ tight, pulsing grooves should again inspire plentiful dancing activity in front of the stage.
The final two Wing-Offs will also be competitions for those cooking up the wings. The August 20 Wing-Off will be a “People’s Choice” competition judged by the public, while the August 27 Wing-Off winner will be determined by a panel of local celebrity judges.
Wing-Off fans can rejoice, as the festivities of one of Altoona’s most popular summertime events continues for two more Thursdays at Lakemont Park.
Mike Wise of Emily's Toybox, during a performance earlier this month at Roadhouse On 747 near Mount Union.