HERMISTON — Escape, a California-based tribute band, urges people to “Don’t Stop Believin’” as they perform the songs of Journey.
The group will take the stage Saturday, Aug. 24 from 7-9 p.m. at Chute 8 at Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, 1705 E. Airport Road, Hermiston. The gates open at 6 p.m. — food vendors and a beer garden will be available.
Tickets are $10 each, with kids under 3 admitted free. While seating is available, people can bring a blanket or lawn chair.
Formed in 1996, by professional musician Stu Simone (keyboard, guitar, vocals), Escape has featured several renditions over the years. Chad Smith (lead vocals), who joined the group in October 2013, gets high marks from his bandmates for his ability to represent the sound and moves of Journey’s Steve Perry.
The tribute band’s name, Simone said, is derived from “Escape,” Journey’s album released in 1981 that features their hits “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Who’s Crying Now” and “Open Arms.”
The concert is the third of its kind being brought to Hermiston by a small group who are mostly interested in having additional entertainment options in town. Jeff Snell of Hermiston became aware of the tribute band A Toast to Bread through a social media post. As a fan of Bread, a soft rock-pop group from the 1970s, Snell began to investigate the possibility of bringing the Utah-based group to town.
After talking to several friends, including Mike Atkinson of Atkinson Staffing, Snell said the idea grew legs. The Bread tribute band show was staged this past November in the Hermiston High School auditorium. Snell said the free show drew about 350 people.
While the small group of concert-promoting entrepreneurs charged a fee for a May show featuring Fastlane, an Eagles tribute band, and are selling tickets for Escape, they aren’t in it for the money. The ticket prices, Snell said, is an effort to cover the expenses of bringing the bands to town.
“It’s not a money-making enterprise,” Snell said.
“It’s really just about trying to bring something fun and affordable to Hermiston,” Atkinson added.
Snell and Atkinson are surprised at the number of tribute bands available. The groups, Snell said, offer a good quality sound without having to pay a premium price.
When looking at possible groups, they try to determine what people might like. In addition, they are open to feedback and suggestions for upcoming shows. Snell and Atkinson are researching the possibility of a Queen tribute band or a duo that performs the songs of Simon and Garfunkel.
“We keep doing it because it gives us something to do here in Hermiston,” Snell said. “We’re a big enough place that we want to do more than going to a movie, go bowling or out to eat.”
Advance tickets are available at Eastern Oregon Physical Therapy, 1050 W. Elm Ave., Hermiston, or www.brownpapertickets.com. In addition, tickets will be sold at the gate beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, search Facebook for “Escape: The Journey Tribute Concert.”