Thursday, Sept. 12 at CEDIA Expo 2019 will be a busy day. Not only will CE Pro magazine unveil the winners of its BEST Awards for 2019, but it will also relaunch the CE Pro All Star Band.
The Best Awards are scheduled to take place at 4 p.m., and Jason Knott, chief content officer, CE Pro, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and Integration, and Campus Safety, will serve as master of ceremonies during the event.
Immediately following the BEST Awards, the CE Pro All Star Band will bring together some of the most talented people in the custom installation industry for a 90-minute live music showcase.
Many of the people participating in the band have spent many years in the industry, and these pros include Tim Bigoness from D-Tools, Jim Garrett from Harman Luxury Audio, Mitch Klein from Z-Wave, Dave Silkin from DSG Distributors, Kevin Kent from Harman Luxury Audio, Geoff Meads from Presto AV, Vince Luciani from SurgeX, Ethan Kaplan and Camila Ballario from Leon Speakers; Bret Jacob from Nortek Security and Control and integrator Jason Barth from the Midwest-based company Premier Group.
Behind the Scenes of the CE Pro All Star Band Setlist
Arguably the toughest part once the CE Pro All Star Band members agree to take part in the event is choosing the songs the band will perform.
Some of the factors that need to be considered with putting the setlist together include the fact that the band will have one rehearsal together to iron out any issues in playing these songs.
Essentially what this means is that if anyone (yours truly) wanted to play some Rush or Metallica for example, there simply isn’t enough time to work out the arrangements of these bands’ songs.
Just as importantly, the vocalists need to be comfortable singing the songs. This means that just because AC/DC is a great rock band, the expectation that anyone could emulate Brian Johnson’s vocals is unfair.
The songs also need to be appropriate for the environment too.
As great as it would be to jam on Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” most of the audience would probably walk out the door.
Using the above mentioned points of consideration, Bigoness and Ballario put most of the legwork in on the setlist. Joining these two on vocals for a few songs will be Meads and together the trio of singers will enable the band to cover a range of material.
After several lengthy discussions Bigoness, Ballario, Meads, along with Silkin, Klein and the rest of the band, the industry group came up with an 18-song setlist that mixes classic rock and modern country.
Here is a look at the songs the band will be performing during the show:
- “Soul Man” by The Blues Brothers
- “Domino” by Van Morrison
- “Come Together” by The Beatles (also covered by Aerosmith)
- “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
- “Broken Halos” by Chris Stapleton
- “Exs and Ohs” by Ellie King
- “Free Falling” by Tom Petty
- “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” by Tom Petty
- “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker
- “Hand in my Pocket” by Alanis Morissette
- “My Church” by Maren Morris
- “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” by The Georgia Satellites
- “When it Rains it Pours” by Luke Combs
- “All Right Now” by Free
- “Back in the U.S.S.R.” by The Beatles
- “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf
- “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry
Working with the band, CE Pro’s Ray Lyons and Knott, have also cooked up a couple of surprises that will be announced sometime this summer.
CE Pro All Star Band Features Lots of Talent and Diverse Backgrounds
After the setlist is chosen there's the issue of playing the songs. Thankfully this group of industry pros are also excellent musicians.
Bigoness is a veteran musician who regularly gigs in the San Francisco Bay area. Ballario and Meads also gig regularly and through their experience, along with Silkin and Klein who cut their teeth in the New York and Boston live music scenes respectively, the band will bring to the stage plenty of professional-grade chops.
Moreover, Harman's Garrett also has extensive experience playing live, and SurgeX's Luciani often performs at open-mic jam nights and takes music lessons whenever possible.
In addition, Barth’s music background is impressive. Using his classical training Barth, which he began when he was young, Barth and some friends formed a band: “Push Down & Turn.” Touring and recording for 12 years, Barth has played more than 2,000 shows produced four albums and an EP.
Barth points out that while on the road his band has performed with the Counting Crowes, Neil Young, the BoDeans, the Smithereens, and many other established acts.
Some of the highlights of the setlist include the first two songs, which will feature Jacob playing the songs’ horn parts, and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” where Bigoness will give the show a Dave Grohl moment by stepping out from his normal drumming duties to the front of the stage by grabbing a guitar.
As for the setlist, each member of the band has a song they are excited about playing.
Klein says that he is looking forward to playing the Darius Rucker song.
“It’s hard to pick just one, but ‘Wagon Wheel’ will be the most fun to play and it should get the crowd moving – maybe even line dancing! It will be hard not to at least get those toes tapping for sure,” states Klein.
Barth is excited to play “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac.
“The drums and bass just chug along. It has an absolutely mesmerizing lead vocal and yet plenty of space for some really tasty guitar and keyboard parts that move in and out and swirl around the vocal,” comments Barth.
“And those emotional drum fills with the hard cymbal accents … I love it.”
Luciani reiterates Barth’s thoughts and adds they he looks forward to meeting the industry members that are new to the CE Pro All Star Band.
“This is an eclectic set, which is understandable when you get players from across the country and with different musical tastes together for a one-off gig,” notes Luciani.
“All the rock tunes are great, but I have to admit, I don’t really know the country tunes. I am with Jason [Barth]—I like to jam so I am hoping there will be some room in ‘Dreams’ and other tunes to let loose. I am looking forward to reconnecting with the original gang [band members] and meeting all the new members.”