Young rock stars open for national act
Four young rock stars from Woodbury will be opening for national act Eddie Money this weekend.
Woodbury Junior High student Jake Luppen, Woodbury High School student Jack Lambert, and Alex Sutton and Kyle Caspers, who both attend the St. Paul Conservatory of Performing Arts, are set to rock the stage at Trocaderos in Minneapolis on Saturday, Oct. 4.
The four met through the St. Paul School of Rock, where they take weekly lessons and where they have been selected to be part of the school's elite "Road Crew" band which is opening for Eddie Money.
"I thought that would be really cool," said Luppen, who is 13, explaining how he felt when he found out Road Crew would be the opening act, although he confessed he first had to ask his mom who Eddie Money was.
"It's really cool to open for a national act, because I really don't think I would ever get the chance to do that with my own band, because it takes a lot of time to get to that level.
"With a [School of Rock] teacher who helps to book the gigs it sure helps a lot to be able to play a lot better gigs."
Luppen and Lambert alternate as lead vocals for the group, while Sutton and Caspers play bass guitar.
Road Crew plays rock covers at its concerts, with music ranging from ACDC and Eric Clapton to the Beatles and Black Sabbath.
In addition to the four musicians from Woodbury, three other students from the School of Rock also play in Road Crew, which has new members every six months as School of Rock-ers audition for the privilege of playing in the signature band.
In fact, the Eddie Money gig could be the last one for this particular incarnation of Road Crew, as trials will be held this week to audition to retain or win a place on the band.
The Woodbury quartet say the experience has transformed their lives.
Caspers, who says he is convinced he wants a career in music -- even if it's as "an old guy working in Music-Go-Round would suit me" -- explains he is grateful for the world that School of Rock has opened up to him.
"I think the School of Rock has really opened me up creatively," he said. "It's sparking my aptitude for being a real musician.
"Before, it was just a casual interest that I was pretty meek about, but once you have been in School of Rock, people know you for what you have done.
"It gives you self-respect as a musician, as opposed to just sitting in your basement playing guitar."
The four student musicians say they have appreciated having their eyes opened up to musical styles and bands not popular among their peers at school -- don't get them started on the subject of rap music -- and say they were thrilled to discover other people who thought the same way as they did.
"It's cool to have it; it's like my home away from home -- I could sleep there and live at that place," said Lambert, only half-joking.
"They just accept us there and it's a very comfortable place for me."
For more information on the School of Rock, visit www.schoolofrock.com.