Fantasy Springs Rock Yard, Friday, August 8th 7:30 PM FREE!
By Lisa Morgan
To the envy of the many talented bands in and around the Coachella Valley, the classic rock cover band, 212, has scored one of the most enviable stages of the summer. A result of tenacious persistence and the talent to back it up, 212 will be opening for the Tom Petty tribute band, You Got Lucky, on the Rock Yard stage at Fantasy Springs in Indio this Friday night starting at 7:30 pm.
It would seem that the boys of 212 are the one’s who got lucky (if you want to call a year and a half of hard work “lucky”). Since I last wrote about the boys of 212 back in May of 2013, they made it through significant personnel changes with flying colors, becoming an even stronger presence in our music scene. More recently, the rocking four piece has grown into a five piece with the addition of new member, keyboardist, Mark Wilson. Wilson, who has been playing “since dirt”, as he puts it, hails from the Temecula music scene where he’s performed for the last several years. I asked him how he came across our desert’s popular rockers from such a distance. “FarmersOnly.com,” he quipped, proving he was a perfect fit for this band of brothers who take their music, but not themselves, seriously.
On a more serious note, Wilson shared, “I’ve been classically trained since the age of 5. I have since done a lot of studio work and played with several bands, including tributes, rock and heavy metal. I’d been wanting to be part of the thriving music scene out here for a while, and the day after my band dispersed, I got in contact with these guys on Band Mix. It just all came together.” I asked him how he felt about his new music cohorts. He immediately answered, “The drummer’s an asshole and the bassist is a Prima Donna,” as the laughter of his new band mates filled the room. As it turns out, drummer Leonard Colvin, is not an asshole, but he is a task master, developing and implementing arrangements that allow 212 to add their own unique flavor to the classics everybody knows and loves. “A lot of cover bands think it has to be exactly like the recorded version,” Wilson explained. “In my opinion, you want to make these songs your own. Honestly, if I want to hear a song just like it plays on the radio, I’m going to listen to the radio. We don’t want to be a jukebox. Some bands are great to hear, and no fun to watch. That’s not us.” (Note: There was no rebuttal for the comments regarding bass player, Jimmy Thomas being a Prima Donna. One will have to go see them to find out whether it is fact or fun.)
The guys of 212 made it clear how big a part Wilson and his keyboard would play in gigs to come. “The addition of keys to our band is not merely for accent. We’ve been working really hard over the last couple of months to make them an intricate part of our sound. New songs have been added to our arsenal from The Cars, Stevie Wonder, INXS, Ides of March, Tom Jones, Randy Newman and more.” The future will also reveal a solid depth of writing skill as they venture into producing and adding originals to their playlist. With all five musicians, seasoned and talented, this should prove to be an extremely valuable and intriguing development.
Wilson joins Michael “The Voice” Labrecque, the dynamic and versatile lead singer and front man; Leonard Colvin II 35 year veteran of drums; Bass man, Jimmy Thomas who got his start in music in the third grade with brass wind instruments; and Chuck Baum; you’ve heard of the guy behind the guy? Well, Chuck’s THE guy. Baum has been playing guitar since age 11 and eventually landed the lead guitarist spot for the Suzanne Oliver Band, and has played with the likes of Jeff Beck, Paul Stanley, and Lita Ford.
In May of 2013, when they were a new four piece, having just brought in Labrecque on lead vocals, Baum shared his hopes for the band. “I’m hoping that this band will take us back into playing casinos and larger venues.” It would seem that there aren’t too many goals that Chuck Baum has set that he hasn’t achieved. With this fantastic five, they are well on their way. You are sure to agree as you watch them set the stage on fire this Friday night.
Follow 212 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TwoTwelveBand or at www.212rocks.com
Find out more about new member Mark Wilson at www.markdavidwilson.net
For more information on the Rock Yard and entertainment at Fantasy Springs, go to www.fantasyspringsresort.com or call them at (760) 820-4201. Fantasy Springs is located in Indio off of the 10 Freeway at Golf Center Parkway.