1970s rock lives on today

Patricia Rocha, Reporter

International student Ivan Mendez has set out to create a new type of show with the concept of a mock concert series.

Mendez and his band-mates, Blaine Robey and Mauro Lepore, are attempting to create a show that bridges the gap between local show and a large-scale tour with their band that covers the 1970s band America.

“We’re just doing it for fun,” says Mendez. “[The band mates] and I are really excited. It’s really cool because none of us had ever heard of America before,” he said. “A couple months ago, we didn’t even know who they were – didn’t even know they were a band. Now, we love America.”

The show is supposed to recreate the feel of a real America concert by any means possible.

“We’re going to get the guy that does lighting for Rabobank, and he’s going to help us put up the stage lights. We’re going to have the RV in the back kind of like a tour bus,” Mendez said. “We’re trying to make the vibe of the band exactly like a concert, and afterward we’re going to sell demos, sign autographs and take pictures.”

The members aren’t originally from the United States, with Mendez being from Mexico and Lepore residing from Argentina. English is their second language.

Mendez’s host father and owner of the restaurant Coconut Joe’s, Joe Coughlin, influenced the boys to listen to classic rock and acts as the band’s manager.

“That’s part of why this is so great. The music’s great, but also the story behind the music,” Coughlin said. “You have to know what’s going on here.
They’re not only from another country playing America.They’re from a different generation playing America.”

Coughlin is allowing the band to showcase their talents at their show in Coconut Joe’s Banquet Hall on Nov. 20 and is excited to give them a safe venue and an audience that’ll appreciate the music.

“That’s part of the fun of it,” he said. “We’re going to do it like a real concert, complete with posters and lighting and we’re going to give the people who come the real deal.”

The band will play songs by America, but will also play some of their favorites like “Gravity” by John Mayer and “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd and hope that they will be able to play more classic songs for future shows.

Those interested in attending must RSVP at 661-431-6528 to be put on the door list for entry.