Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: Midnight Run

Here in Steve Perry country, a new cover band is trying to re-create the Journey hits of the 1970s and 1980s.

Midnight Run has been making noise around town as of late for its Journey tribute show, which is playing at Roe, 7845 N. Palm Ave., at 9 p.m. today. Cover is $5.

We talked to Midnight Run members Max De Vivo and Mike Giusti to learn more.

Give us a brief history of Midnight Run.

De Vivo: Midnight Run began as a collaboration of musicians led by lead singer Orlando Bellomo and the late, great Jay Byron (bass) along with myself (guitar) and Eric Wagner (keyboards) -- who all sought to replicate the timeless sound of Journey. After the passing of Byron, Mike Giusti was recruited to take over bass along with Rod Fowler (drums). Each musician is equally committed to providing as true a sound to the original Journey band as possible, and to this day, the band continues to play and perform larger and larger venues throughout the Central Valley and the Bay Area.

Why Journey?

Giusti: Journey's music helped shape the '70s, '80s and '90s and today. Journey continues to tour and create new albums, showcasing resiliency and talent. Journey's music is timeless and can be appreciated by generations of fans, both new and old."

It must take some guts to start a Journey cover band around here, considering this is Steve Perry territory.

Giusti: This endeavor is a monumental task to honor Steve Perry and his contribution to music. We don't see this as a kind of competition, but as a means to embrace and celebrate the music of Journey and Steve Perry.

How many songs are in your repertoire? What are your guys' faves?

De Vivo: Currently, we have 20 songs, all of which are the most celebrated selections Journey fans recognize. Among our favorites are "Don't Stop Believing," "Lights," "Wheel in the Sky," "Any Way You Want It," and "Faithfully."

What do you guys do to really give your audience the Journey experience?

Giusti: A Midnight Run show is filled with energy and soul, whether it's the driving beat of "Any Way You Want It" or the tender ballad "When You Love a Woman." Our commitment to the Journey sound is our main driver -- those who hear our music savor memories and appreciate the music of Journey all over again. We aren't going through the motions. We're dedicated to capturing the sounds as best we can.'

Aside from the upcoming Roe show, where should people expect to see Midnight Run coming up?

De Vivo: Aside from private and corporate events, Midnight Run will be headlining Sudz in the City at Chukchansi Park in May and Thunder in the Park this June. We also have gigs being lined up for Las Vegas and Reno at the end of 2009/beginning of 2010.

For music and more: Go to myspace.com/midnightrunbandnet

Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda, mosegueda@fresnobee.com.

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