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A Monstrous Return and a Heartfelt Benefit This Weekend on Area Stages

August 25, 2011 - Jim Price
Even though summertime warmth prevails in our region for a few more weeks, indoors is where this weekend’s primary live music highlights will take place this weekend.

Saturday night marks the long-awaited return of one of Pennsylvania’s most technically-dazzling bands – Coinmonster – to the live stage at Aldo’s in Juniata. First formed in 1990, the New Castle-based trio has built their reputation with a presentation that showcases amazingly precise and quick-hitting musicianship. The current cast of guitarist/vocalist Jon Reider, bassist Rick Stoner and drummer David Galazia weave incredibly complex rhythms, erratic stops and starts, hefty power chords and intricate melodies into a display that will leave music connoisseurs’ lower jaws banging off the floor. Coinmonster’s compositions are often elaborate and complex, and viewing how these three musicians not only stay on the same page through it all, but how tightly and precisely they are able to pull it all off, is well worth the price of admission. (And don’t be surprised if the group throws a curve ball and suddenly diverts into a mild-mannered update of Hall & Oates’ “Sarah Smile” at some point during the performance.) Coinmonster has released six albums thus far, and has landed music in the television shows “Six Feet Under” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” If names like Rush, Primus or even classic Frank Zappa are prominent on your list of musical favorites, Coinmonster deserves to be a must-see. Local heavy-hitting favorites NailDriver will open the show.

A multitude of local bands will converge at Pellegrine’s this Sunday to support an area child and family in need. The “Have a Heart” benefit will raise money to help the family of a Tyrone area girl who was recently the victim of an abduction and assault. The show will begin at 1 p.m. and last throughout the afternoon and evening. Taking the stage will be E.V.K., Felix & the Hurricanes with The House Band, Rapid Fire, Triple Threat, Rich Dasch & Harmonica Dave, Hot Damn, The Hawks, Ambush, Hard Drive, That’s What She Said, Johnny Danger, Slacker Theory, Camino Sky and Rain Must Fall. There will also be door prizes and gift basket giveaways. Bethany Lutheran Church is a special sponsor of the event.

If you’re looking for one more fun event to get the kids to before school reconvenes, After Midnight Media will present “Kids Day” Saturday afternoon at downtown Altoona’s Heritage Plaza. Along with various children’s activities, food and refreshments, there will also be live music by Punk Fiction, Saving Jake, Chelsea and Stevie Moses of E.V.K., and an Elvis impersonator. Admission is free, and the event will run from noon to 9 p.m.

And for a look at an area band on the verge of catapulting into the national limelight, head to downtown State College Saturday afternoon for the annual “Rock the Block” party, sponsored by QWK-Rock. The show starts at noon, and will feature area rockers Candlelight Red, who are on the verge of releasing their debut disc for national indie record label Imagen Records. Comprised of singer Ryan Hoke, guitarist Jeremy Edge, bassist Jamie Morral and drummer Josh Hetrick, Candlelight Red is in the midst of playing a series of southern and Midwestern tour dates with Saving Abel. Their first single off the new CD, “Closer,” was just added to the rotation on Sirius XM Octane radio. Also performing at the “Rock the Block” party is Egypt Central, Eve to Adam, Noise Auction and Vision To None. Admission is free.

There will be plenty of other live music around the area this weekend as well:


The Good Seeds at Baker Mansion, Altoona (free outdoor lawn show, 7-9 PM)

Ambush at Rubine’s, Altoona

Washington Slept Here at 30 Something, Altoona

Aunt Lisa’s Bone at Aldo’s, Altoona

Kenny Karlheim at City Hotel, Northern Cambria

7th Gear at Yesterday’s Party, Ebensburg


AnEmergencyScene presents Basement, Daylight, His Day Has Come, Light Hearted, Eyes Wide and The Life We Knew at the Masonic Hall, Altoona (all ages, starts 5 p.m.)

Coinmonster and NailDriver at Aldo’s, Altoona

Wild Guess at 30 Something, Altoona

Johnny Danger at Belmar Hotel, Altoona

Sunset Strip at Glenn’s Place, Claysburg

Channel 5 News Team at Yesterday’s Party, Ebensburg

PT Cruisers at City Hotel, Northern Cambria


Flight 19 at Valley View Amphitheater, Altoona (free show, 4-6 p.m.)

“Have a Heart” Benefit at Pellegrine’s, Altoona

Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s, Altoona

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

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Coinmonster, during their last Altoona appearance in January, 2006 at City Limits (30 Something) in Altoona. The New Castle-based trio returns to Altoona Saturday night to perform at Aldo's.


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