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Jeff Wallack Memorial Show; Hawthorne Heights Comes to Altoona This Weekend

April 13, 2012 - Jim Price
A popular annual benefit concert to remember a fallen area musician and a visit from national recording group Hawthorne Heights provide two big highlights to this weekend’s area live music happenings.

When the 8th annual Jeff Wallack Memorial Show takes place at Pellegrine’s this Saturday night, April 14, it will present a special trip down local music memory lane, as several past area bands will reunite to perform, and a popular area frontman will return to the live stage after a nearly two-decade hiatus. The show will remember Wallack, a popular Altoona area guitarist who passed away unexpectedly at age 40 on April 2, 2005; and raise money for a musical scholarship fund in Wallack’s name. The evening will feature Wallack stories and remembrances, as well as participating bands performing the music that Wallack enjoyed playing; specifically metal-geared music of the '70s and '80s.

The Jeff Wallack Memorial Show will feature the return of Todd Giornesto to the live stage. A popular frontman during the 1980s and early 1990s, Giornesto returns with a new incarnation of his self-named band which features alumni from his past bands Slammer, Beyond Reason and his earlier edition of Giornesto. (See my previous blog for more details about Giornesto and his career.)

Reuniting once again at this year’s Jeff Wallack concert will be Shattered China, a popular early ‘90s Altoona-based band whose roster included Wallack. Pulse, an influential late 1970s Altoona area band, also will reunite onstage, as will mid-1980s area pop-rock group I.O.U. Current area band favorites Half Tempted and NailDriver will perform. Also performing will be As U Fall Away, a new band project featuring Wallack’s former Rapid Fire bandmate John Scarfone on bass and vocals, Rich Piccerillo on guitar and Pam Hiles on drums.

The Jeff Wallack Memorial Show will begin at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are available for $5, admission is $8 at the door. There will also be door prizes and other giveaways during the course of the evening.

Recognized as an influential force in emo and pop/punk, Dayton, Ohio’s Hawthorne Heights brings their “Stripped Down to the Bone 2012” tour to Altoona’s Masonic Hall this Sunday night, headlining an all-ages show presented by AnEmergencyScene. Hawthorne Heights’ first two albums, 2004’s “The Silence in Black and White” and 2006’s “If Only You Were Lonely,” both achieved gold certification (selling over half a million copies), and their 2006 single “Saying Sorry” peaked at Number 7 on Billboard’s Hot Modern Rock Tracks Chart. On this current tour, Hawthorn Heights will perform full-band acoustic renditions of their best-known songs plus new compositions. Spitalfield lead singer Mark Rose and Allentown’s Sandlot Heroes are supporting Hawthorn Heights during this tour. Also performing on the bill this Sunday are local favorites On The Run, Nothing to Prove and The Big Time. The doors open at 5 p.m. and the show begins at 6. Tickets are $8 in advance, or $10 at the door.

Touring in support of their new album, “After Ever After,” Buffalo, New York heavy modern rockers As Summer Dies returns to Altoona this Saturday night, headlining a triple bill at 30 Something. Formed nearly a decade ago, As Summer Dies’ dark, goth-meets-metal sound has earned them a steadily-growing fan base, along with support slots for Mushroomhead and other prominent metal and modern rock names. Opening for As Summer Dies at 30 Something will be area modern rockers On Dying Days and Assault Method.

And for fans of female-fronted hard rock, a road trip to Johnstown this Saturday night will prove fruitful as “Queens of the Underground,” a female heavy rock showcase, will take place at Ace’s Lounge. Presented by Placid Promotions, Queens of the Underground will feature Washington, D.C.-based national recording group A Sound Of Thunder, which has just issued their debut album, “Out of the Darkness.” Also on the bill are Maryland-based Cassandra Syndrome and local female-fronted progressive rockers Lies, Inc. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for advance, or $10 at the door.

Here is the listing for live music on area stages this weekend:


Ambush at Rubine’s, Altoona

Slacker Theory at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

Highway Divide at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 9:30 p.m.)

Felix & the Hurricanes at Aldo’s, Altoona

Forever On Holiday at Castle Pub, Ebensburg (starts 6 p.m.)

Borrowed Time at the Bedford Arts Center, Bedford (starts 7 p.m.)

Back In Black (AC/DC tribute) with Voodoo at The Arena, State College


Up Your Arsenal, G.G. & the Assassins and more at The Art Studio, Tyrone (all ages, starts 4 p.m.)

The Sitch and Aunt Lisa’s Bone at Aldo’s, Altoona

D.D. & the Pub Crawlers at Family Pizza, Altoona

The 8th annual Jeff Wallack Memorial Show featuring Half Tempted, Giornesto, NailDriver, As U Fall Away, Shattered China (reunion), Pulse (reunion) and I.O.U. (reunion) at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 8 p.m., proceeds benefit the Jeff Wallack Music Scholarship Fund)

As Summer Dies, On Dying Days and Assault Method at 30 Something, Altoona

Artifact at Fat Daddy’s, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Green Eggs at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

R2B2 at Buccinese Society, Altoona

Blu Voodoo at Eldolyn Terrace, Altoona (starts 9:30 p.m.)

The House Band at the Heidelberg Club, Altoona

Fueled By Ignorance at Glenn’s Place, Claysburg

Rock & Roll Gypsies at Williamsburg American Legion, Williamsburg

“Queens of the Underground” featuring Lies, Inc., Cassandra Syndrome and A Sound of Thunder at Ace’s Lounge, Johnstown

Rapid Fire at the Sunshine Inn, Coalport

Penciltucky at Madhatters, St. Boniface

Octane at Yesterday’s Party, Ebensburg

Dakota Rose at Castle Pub, Ebensburg

Forever On Holiday at Jay’s Place, Ebensburg (starts 9:30 p.m.)

Orange Fire at Our Place, Colver


AnEmergencyScene presents Hawthorne Heights, Mark Rose, Sandlot Heroes, On The Run, Nothing to Prove and The Big Time at Masonic Hall, Altoona (all ages, starts 6 p.m.)

Shake Shake Shake at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona

Raggedy Hobo at Mason Jar, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

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

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Shattered China, performing during last year's Jeff Wallack Memorial Show at 30 Something. The group will reunite again at this year's Jeff Wallack show, happening Saturday night at Pellegrine's.


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