EagleMania soars at Festival of Ice

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First Posted: 2/10/2014

Music is always an important part of the annual Abington Business and Professional Association’s Clarks Summit Festival of Ice, but this year’s theme of “Rock ‘n’ Ice” takes that aspect of the event soaring to a whole new level.

For those whose weekend would not be complete without the melodic country rock sound of The Eagles providing a soundtrack to their festival experience, tribute band EagleMania will perform a two-hour concert at Clarks Summit Elementary School (401 W. Grove St., Clarks Summit) on Saturday, Feb. 15 with local opening act Hippie Nation.

Frankie Reno, who plays keyboards and guitar and sings lead and backup vocals, said the group is looking forward to a great night in Clarks Summit. The band consists of Reno, Paul Kuklinski on bass, Steve French on lead vocals, Jon Weiswasser on drums, Ken Darcy on guitar and vocals, and John Gaechter on guitar and vocals.

Reno said those attending the concert can expect a show “consisting of all of the best known hits of The Eagles, in addition to the solo work of Joe Walsh, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey. We play their best known ballads and rock songs, so there is something for everyone.”

The event will also include a rock star costume contest with cash prizes for the winners. Concert attendees may dress as their favorite rock star or musical performer to enter to win $50, and couples or groups may come as a musical duo or band to enter to win $100. There is no entry fee for the contest, but a ticket to the show is required, and entrants must register before 7 p.m.

“I love the concept of the Ice Festival in general,” Reno said. “I think it’s a nice way to give back to the community and give people an opportunity to attend a family friendly event. The addition of live music to such an event is a bonus for all who attend.”

The Eagles, which Reno said was his favorite band for as long as he can remember, formed in 1972. The group produced seven No. 1 hit singles, won six Grammy Awards, and sold more than 150 million albums, earning its place as one of the best-selling bands of all time.

“With all of that in mind,” Reno said, referring to the Eagles many accomplishments and popular sound, “it was a tremendous undertaking for us to form an act that would be able to replicate the sound of a band that is so well known to so many people. The music of The Eagles has become the soundtrack to the lives of so many baby boomers. These songs are so familiar to people that it was paramount for us to make every effort to reproduce their sound as accurately as possible.

“The unmistakable vocal harmonies, and the exceptional musicianship of The Eagles proved to be quite challenging in the beginning. We went through several different lineups until we found the right combination of musicians who can both play and sing this material the way The Eagles do,” Reno continued.

“We have spent a significant amount of time dissecting each song, each vocal, and each and every instrument that was used on the original recordings and replicating them in our live show. We do our best to sound as close to The Eagles as possible, without using any artificial or pre-recorded vocals.”

He added that the most flattering compliment EagleMania members receive at their shows is, “You guys sound exactly like The Eagles.”