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In Case You Aren't Hibernating...

January 4, 2013 - Jim Price
It’s generally acknowledged in the live music and bar venue business that the busiest night of the year is usually Thanksgiving Eve, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. That is when more people tend to be out and about frequenting venues, and more venues stage live music performances.

I have no facts or figures to back this up, but based on my own observations over a quarter-century of covering the area live music scene, it seems that among the slowest nights of the year tend to be the first weekend in January immediately following the New Year’s holiday. People are generally burned out after the holidays, and venues are catching their collective breaths after the holiday season, which is often a busier time of the year for business. Thus there's usually not much going on.

And so it goes that this weekend’s live music happenings are a little thin, with only a few performances taking place around the area. But it is activity nonetheless, so if you haven’t done so already, put that New Year’s resolution to support live music into action and get out to catch a show!

Among this weekend's options...For connoisseurs of the heavier-rocking arts, Aldo’s hosts a pounding metal/punk/hardcore triple-bill on Saturday night, featuring the tenacious and volatile NailDriver, the driving punk of Up Your Arsenal and the brutal-edged sounds of Williamsburg quintet Assault Method.

If pounding the dance floor is your thing, those veteran northeastern PA party stalwarts the Giants Of Science return to the 4D’s Lounge this Saturday night. Frequent flyers on the 4D’s stage, the Giants reliably generate the party with their upbeat mixture of pop and rock song favorites, with an emphasis on ‘80s-era pop/rock. Through various incarnations, the Giants Of Science have consistently been doing their thing since 1995. And you just never know when the urge will again strike this group, and they decide to break out their legendary facepaints and white labcoats!

Altoona party trio 7th Gear also will provide ample reasons to dance at the Belmar Hotel this Saturday night. The seasoned trio of singer/guitarist Brendon Burns, bassist Kelly Montgomery and drummer Randy Servello keeps the beat and mood up with their wide-ranging mixture of current and classic rock and party song favorites.

If you wish to chase your daytime skiing or snowtubing fun at Blue Knob Ski Resort with some post-skiing live music, the Blue Knob Clubhouse has you covered throughout ski season. This weekend, The Backyard Rockers provide acoustic fun Friday evening, while R2B2 brings the full band party excitement on Saturday night.

If colder temperatures and the slight prospects of mountaintop snow showers won’t dissuade you from exploring live music activity in the nearby higher elevations this Saturday night, Cambria County rocking party favorites Locked and Loaded bring raucous good times to Clair’s Ashville Inn in Ashville, Williamsburg hard-hitters Saving Jake provide the dance floor fun at Magoo’s in Cresson, and Altoona guitar legend John McKelvey and A.X.E. light up the stage of Ebensburg’s Castle Pub. John’s bow-on-strings display on Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” has to be seen to be believed!

And for fans of acoustic sounds, Born & the Beanstalk is in action this Friday night at Bellwood’s Celtic Knot (formerly RJ’s Tavern). And Disorganized Crime – featuring singer/guitarist Rick Ramsey and hand percussionist Ed Hofer – entertain in Ebensburg this weekend at Jay’s Place on Saturday night and the Castle Pub on Sunday night.

So while a limited slate this weekend, live music is still there for the enjoyment…Support it, and if you plan on partying hardy, designate a driver!

Here is a full listing for live music on area stages this weekend and the coming week:


AnEmergencyScene presents Post Season, The Tried and True, Crash City, Forbearance, SPRRWS and Brittany Morganrose at Archway Center, Altoona (all ages, starts 5 p.m.)

Stephen Johnopolos at Raphael’s Steakhouse, Altoona (starts 6:30 p.m.)

Born & the Beanstalk at the Celtic Knot, Bellwood (starts 7 p.m.)

Felix & the Hurricanes at the Heidelberg Club, Altoona - CANCELLED

The Backyard Rockers at Blue Knob Clubhouse, Blue Knob Ski Resort (starts 8:30 p.m.)


Doug Whitfield at Raphael’s Steakhouse, Altoona (starts 6:30 p.m.)

NailDriver, Up Your Arsenal and Assault Method at Aldo’s, Altoona

7th Gear at Belmar Hotel, Altoona

Giants Of Science at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

R2B2 at Blue Knob Clubhouse, Blue Knob Ski Resort

Locked and Loaded at Clair’s Ashville Inn, Ashville

Saving Jake at Magoo’s, Cresson

A.X.E. at Castle Pub, Ebensburg

Disorganized Crime at Jay’s Place, Ebensburg


Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona

Disorganized Crime at Castle Pub, Ebensburg


Ty Ayers (acoustic) at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona


7th Gear at 4D’s Lounge (upstairs), Altoona

Open Mic/Jam Night at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Open Mic/Jam Night at Mug Shots, Gallitzin (starts 8 p.m.)


Steve Summerhill at Jethro’s, Altoona (starts 7 p.m.)

Born & the Beanstalk at Belmar Hotel, Altoona

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

To report additional shows or corrections to this listing, email information to

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Blog Photos

NailDriver, performing during the Jeff Wallack Memorial Show at Pellegrine's last April. NailDriver headlines a hard-hitting triple-bill at Aldo's this Saturday night.