Steppin’ Out at Anthony’s

Steppin’ Out knows how to rock. The band consists of Phil Passero, Benny Sloyan, Mark Passero, Rich Coogan, and Pete Sanson. Steppin’ Out is local to my area, and although they’re a cover band through and through, don’t let that turn you off. These guys are great. I had seen them a few times before I realized this fact, mostly because up until last year I had never specifically payed attention when they were playing since I had only ever seen the band at a local bar. They played after a comedy show at Anthony’s Banquet Hall last April, however, and it was then that I realized just how much I enjoy their music. So, when my sister emailed me about another comedy show followed by a concert by Steppin’ Out on April 23rd at Anthony’s this year, I had no hesitation in deciding that — potentially unfunny comedy routines and all — I would have to attend, if only to see the band. And so I did.

I really love classic rock (who says you can’t love both Debussy and Zeppelin?) and Steppin’ Out makes the songs of that category come alive in all their due glory. The musicianship is great, too, and Steppin’ Out is one heck of a band to see live. No other band could make me get into a cover of “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)” like Steppin’ Out can — or at all, for that matter — and you know what? I’m not even ashamed to admit that I enjoyed the band’s cover of that song. Steppin’ Out also played slow songs, and covered a wide assortment of artists’ music. A lot of couples took to the dance floor during the slow numbers, while during the up-tempo tunes the floor became a dance party. Between the stiff drinks that Anthony’s serves up and the dim lights, everyone let loose a little. The band’s music has the power to do that too though, even without those insinuating circumstances. The music fuels smiles, more so than any of the comedians’ jokes did. Steppin’ Out’s music makes people feel good and it’s nice to see a band that can do that (my own face bore a silly grin for the duration of their two sets). Most importantly, they enjoy what they do — that’s evident by the smiles that lit their faces throughout the show. Although I consider myself somewhat of a music purist, Steppin’ Out makes me give up that title with delight. I never knew I could love a cover band so much. While on the topic of being a purist, I love Lynyrd Skynyrd — the original members, thank you very much — and can’t stand most of the newer music the band has released. Well, Steppin’ Out played a cover of “Sweet Home Alabama” and I absolutely loved it. It had all the components that make the song great and, although Steppin’ Out didn’t differ tremendously from the way Skynyrd themselves used to play it, they infused the song with their own energy. Have a listen to the band’s rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama” and other songs on their website.

Steppin’ Out is tight, both in their music and friendships with one another, and you can tell. They love playing music together (and playing music in general), and the joy they exude is infectious. On top of the joy the band members bring to their shows, they also have the skills to back it up. The combination of both is dynamic, and that’s exactly what Steppin’ Out is — dynamic. Forget the comedy show, seeing Steppin’ Out was the easiest and most gleeful fun I’ve had in a while. After hearing the band I felt both relaxed and invigorated. Steppin’ Out lifts ones spirits, enough so that one doesn’t need actual wine and spirits (although, as mentioned, there is a plethora of both at Anthony’s). The band produces unquestionably good music, and I was even more excited to see them than last time. At the rate the band is going by moving up my mental list of favorites, I might just be tempted to hire them for some event myself. I wonder if they offer discounts to music bloggers…

Videos from the show:

867-5309/Jenny

I Get Knocked Down

Sweet Home Alabama

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