Ah, the ‘80s! While many were getting their first home computer and cell phones, I was busy changing diapers and climbing the corporate ladder.
Occasionally, I’d turn on the radio to catch Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna. Music was dramatically changing from the classic rock era of the ‘70s. There were synthesizers and something called New Wave, which I never really understood.
It wasn’t until the movie “Back to the Future” that I realized the “Me Decade” (the ‘70s, according to Tom Wolfe) was dead and gone.
The “Decade That Made Us” (and my children) was a time of Duran Duran, lip synching, money and more money, break dancing, and “Where’s the beef?”
If you’re a child of the ‘80s and long for big hair, there’s a new band in town – Lazrluvr – that will take you back, like a jet-powered DeLorean.
Some of the best musicians in Western North Carolina have come together to jog your memory. Check them out this Sunday at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. It’s guaranteed to be bodacious.
How do you pronounce your band’s name, and how did you come to have it?
“Laser Lover” is how our band’s name is pronounced! Honestly, the idea just popped into our heads while we were imagining what a far-out ‘80s night to remember would look like!
Who are the members of the bands and what do they do?
Eric Congdon, guitar and vocals; Mariah Martin, vocals; Walker Astin, bass; Brad Curtioff, keyboards and synthesizer; Franklin Keel, electric cello; Sam Frame: percussion; and Boy Roca, vocals
When, how and why did this band form?
2020 was a devastating time for a lot of people, and we hoped to put a show together that would bring joy back into our community. We decided on the ‘80s because of the community and warmth in nostalgia. So, we wanted to do it right and have a collaboration for the books!
What type of music do you play?
We’re an ‘80s tribute ensemble, performing all genres of the 1980s.
Comment on: It appears that your band is made of established local musicians coming together to form a new band.
Early on we had decided that if there was going to be a post-COVID comeback, it would have to be loud and proud to get people excited to get out and enjoy the live music vibes again! So we knew we had to put something with some well-known artists together.
Brad Curtioff is the keys player for the Floyd Philharmonic, Citizen Mojo and The Mojo Blues Brothers. Eric Congdon is a widely known guitarist for several groups.
Sam Frame, drummer for Trio De Janiero, was also in Strange Avenues with our lead vocalist, Boy Roca, who was in Floyd Philharmonic with Brad Curtioff for a year.
Walker is a bassist performing with Andrew Thelston, Ross Osteen, Eric Congdon and many others.
Mariah Martin of the Blue Ridge Pistols has performed vocals in many acts and, of course, Franklin Keel of Sirius B. Upland Drive and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra was excited for the opportunity to collaborate as well!
What makes LAZRLUVR special or different from other bands?
We are unique in our song choices and commitment to the aesthetic. We made sure that we said from the beginning that, while we would play familiar songs, we would want to do the ones no one else plays.
Having committed synthesizer keys and electric cello with 4-way harmonies paired with an incredible electric drum range and powerhouse vocalists gives us a lot of versatility, and we are excited to constantly evolve.
What has been the feedback from people and venues so far?
We have only played three shows. Our first two shows brought record-breaking sales for Oklawaha Brewing and Dry Falls Brewing. At Oklawaha Brewing, we had a capacity for our debut, and were able to bring out our DeLorean, which we are happy to say will be present this Sunday as well.
Our third show was the North Carolina Apple Festival. Feedback from the venues of course has been outstanding.
The feedback from the fans has been some of the best we’ve all had the privilege to receive. We are humbled, blessed, and thankful for the success that we are seeing with this wonderful ensemble!
What is the mission or goals of the band?
Our mission is to bring joy to the community, coupled with some tasteful nostalgia and inventive sound. Our goals are to pursue our own happiness and continue to produce incredible shows for incredible people.
If someone were to not know anything about LAZRLUVR, what would they experience at one of your gigs?
We’ve been told many times about how surprised folks were by the sound. Without expectations or familiarity, we anticipate a mind-blowing nostalgic ‘80s experience!
Tell us whatever you feel is important for people to know about LAZRLUVR.
If folks are interested in booking us, we invite them to email us at [email protected] Our tribute to Jump by Van Halen is available to watch on YouTube, as well as a short clip of us performing Safety Dance by Men Without Hats.
We also invite folks to like us on Facebook and spread the word! Come out and see us, grab some T-shirts and get a picture with us and the DeLorean. It’s truly a night you will never forget!
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River
Sunday, Sept. 12, 2 p.m., Lazrluvr, ‘80s music
305 Lounge & Eatery
305 N. Main St., Hendersonville
Every Tuesday and Thursday, 1-3 p.m., Bob Sherrill, singer, songwriter, guitarist
Every first and third Friday night, 5-7 p.m., Geriatric Jukebox, husband and wife sing oldies but goodies
Every Wednesday, 1-3 p.m., Mark Fisher, classic country, southern rock, oldies rock
1898 Waverly Inn
783 N. Main St., Hendersonville
Thursday, Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m., Funeral for a Gangster, musical theatre, dinner theater, $69
Appalachian Ridge Artisan Hard Cider
749 Chestnut Gap Rd., Hendersonville
Friday, Sept. 10, 6-9 p.m., Scott Moss and the $100 Handshakes, Americana, originals
Saturday, Sept. 11, 3-6 p.m., Bill & Tad’s Excellent Duo, acoustic duo, blues to Beatles
Sunday, Sept. 12, 2:30-5:30 p.m., Sunlight Drive, acoustic duo, Americana, blues, folk, classic rock covers, originals
Blue Ghost Brewing
125 Underwood Rd., Fletcher
Saturday, Oct. 9, 1-8 p.m., Harvest Festival, live music by Hope Griffin (vocalist, 1:30-3:30 p.m.), Dirt Yard Choir (swamp roots rock, 3:30-5:30 p.m.), Knob Creek Incident (bluegrass, 5:30-7:30 p.m.)
Bold Rock Hard Cider
72 School House Rd., Mills River
Saturday, Sept. 11, 6 p.m., Karl Lauber, enhanced acoustic soloist, multiple instruments, singer
2695 Sugarloaf Rd., Hendersonville
Friday, Sept. 10, 3-6 p.m., Everydays Music, covers, originals
Saturday, Sept. 11, Grape Stomp, Wayne Taylor (bluegrass, noon-3:30 p.m.), Tom Brown (one man band, 4-7 p.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 12, 2-5 p.m., Ben Phantom, singer, songwriter, eclectic, originals, covers
D9 Brewing Company
425 N. Main St, Hendersonville
Friday, Sept. 10, 7-10 p.m., Dave Desmelik, lyrical and instrumental songster
Dry Falls Brewing Co.
425 Kanuga Rd., Hendersonville
Friday, Sept. 10, 7-10 p.m., Mojomatic, funk-a-fied rockin’ blues
Saturday, Sept. 11, 7-11 p.m., Twisted Trail, rock band
Etowah Valley Golf & Resort
470 Brickyard Rd., Etowah
Thursday, Sept. 9, Eric Levy, classic rock
Saturday, Sept. 11, Ashlie Rose, tunes from the ‘80s onward
Guidon Brewing Co.
415 8th Ave. E., Hendersonville
Friday, Sept. 10, 7-9 p.m., Sunlight Drive, acoustic duo, Americana, blues, folk, classic rock covers, originals
Saturday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m., Tribute to Elvis Presley by Bobby Ellis
Hendersonville Farmers Market
650 Maple St., Hendersonville
Saturday, Sept. 11, 9 a.m.-noon, Apple Country String Band, bluegrass
Mills River Brewing Co.
336 Banner Farm Rd., Mills River
Sunday, Sept. 12, 2 p.m., The Get Right Band, psychedelic indie rock power trio from Asheville, originals, jams
Oklawaha Brewing Company
147 1st Ave. E. Hendersonville
Friday, Sept. 10, 8-11 p.m., Ben Phantom, singer, songwriter, eclectic, originals, covers
Saturday, Sept. 11, 8-11 p.m., Blue Ridge Pistols, WNC’s classic rock
Sunday, Sept. 12, 4-7 p.m., Human Ladder, singer, guitarist, songwriter, eclectic, acoustic
4210 Brevard Rd., Horse Shoe
Saturday, Sept. 11, 5-8 p.m., Myron Hyman, soloist, singer, guitarist, eclectic
Rhythm & Brews concert series
S. Main St., between Allen and Caswell
Third Thursday of the month, 5:30-9:30 p.m., free
Sept. 16, Mike and the Moonpies, with opener Kenny George Band
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards
588 Chestnut Gap Rd., Hendersonville
Saturday, Sept. 11, 3-6 p.m., Letters to Abigail, husband and wife duo, southern, roots, originals
Sunday, Sept. 12, 2:30-5;30 p.m., Brian Ashley Jones, soloist, guitarist, classic country, blues, originals
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyard in Flat Rock
2698 C Greenville Highway, East Flat Rock
Sunday, Sept. 12, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Geriatric Jukebox, husband and wife rock nostalgia
Sawyer Springs Vineyard
124 Sandy Hill Ln., Hendersonville
Friday, Sept. 10, 5-8 p.m., Myron Hyman, soloist, singer, guitarist, eclectic
Saturday, Sept. 11, 5-8 p.m., High Sierra Trio, covers from the ‘60s to now
Southern Appalachian Brewery
822 Locust St., Ste. 100, Hendersonville
Thursday, Sept. 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Howie Johnson and Bill Mattocks, classic rock, blues
Friday, Sept. 10, 7-9 p.m., The New Rustics, fused country, folk, bluegrass, rock
Saturday, Sept. 11, 7-9 p.m., Second Souls, gritty originals, eclectic covers, rhythms and grooves
Sunday, Sept. 12, 4-6 p.m., Carver & Carmody, acoustic duo, blues, country, originals
South Rock Sports Grill
830 Greenville Hwy., Hendersonville
Saturday, Sept. 11, 8 p.m.-midnight, Fine Line, rock band, bike night
The 2nd Act Coffee, Wine and Craft Beer Bar
101 E. Allen St., Hendersonville
Friday, Sept. 10, 7-9 p.m., Christina Chandler and Sarah Easterling
Saturday, Sept. 11, 7-9 p.m., Threee (sic) Hour Tour, acoustic tunes from the ‘70s
The Dugout Sports Bar & Taphouse
430 N. Main St., Hendersonville
Thursday, Sept. 9, 8 p.m.-midnight, open jam
Friday, Sept. 10, 8 p.m.-midnight, Twisted Trail, county, rock, danceable
Saturday, Sept. 11, 8-11 p.m., Graywind, quartet, classic rock covers, originals
The Greenhouse Moto Cafe
4021 Haywood Rd. (Highway 191) Mills River
Friday, Sept. 10, 8-11 p.m., Virginia and the Slims with Sugah and Thuh Cubes, jump blues, swing, Chicago blues
Saturday, Sept. 11, 8-11 p.m., The Baggage Brothers, duo, classic/progressive jazz fusion, Americana
Sunday, Sept. 12, 3-6 p.m., Tools on Stools
The Poe House
105 1st Ave. W., Hendersonville
Sunday, Sept. 12, noon & 3 p.m., drag show, lip-syncing queens
Timber Axe Throwing
218 Duncan Hill Rd., Hendersonville
Friday, Sept. 10, 6-9 p.m., Shooting Creek Trio, country, southern rock, originals
Triskelion Brewing Company
340 7th Ave. E., Hendersonville
Thursday, Sept. 9, 7-9 p.m., open mic
Want to be included in “Live Music?” Send your information via email to Steve Wong at [email protected] by Monday at 8 a.m. for the coming Thursday-Sunday. Don’t forget to send details on your performing artist along with a good high-resolution photo.