Music, City Picks

Dr. Dan and the Looters w/ 54 Bicycles, the V-Tones

When: Tue., Dec. 13 2011

“This band is about fulfilling fantasies,” says cover band 54 Bicycles lead singer Mitchell Davis. He learned guitar so that he could play his favorite Widespread Panic songs. “If it wasn’t for discovering them, I definitely would have never gotten into music the way I am.” The group opens up for jazz organist Dr. Dan Matrazzo and Savannah band the Looters this week, an early contributor to the Aquarium Rescue Unit and occasional guest with Widespread themselves. He should feel right at home with the Bicycles guys. Davis’ voice closely emulates Panic frontman John “JB” Bell’s signature gruff style (unintentionally, Davis says). Bassist Brent Poulson nails Panic’s Dave Schools’ fluid style and monstrous low end. Davis says one of the biggest perks of leading a Panic cover band is the fantasy aspect of designing dream set lists. The group dusts off long-forgotten tunes like “Burned Faceless,” even adding in ones they think Panic ought to cover but hasn’t yet, like Deep Purple’s “Hush.” “When we’re playing and I look out at the crowd, I can tell who is really into it,” Davis says. “They’re not going to be dancing around like they would at a Panic show, but you can tell if they’re nodding their head that they’re hearing what we’re doing.” 54 Bicycles formed last January. With their patron group taking an extended hiatus beginning next spring, the Bicycles may be poised to experience a huge boost in attendance as fans seek out their “Chilly Water” fix.

Stratton Lawrence

Price: $8

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