Stonewall, Desolate jam for local audience

On Friday night, there was finally something to do in Craig according to local teens.

About 100 music fans shelled out $5 each to see local bands Stonewall and Desolate perform at the Moffat County Fairgrounds pavilion.

Many audience members said they were happy to have somewhere entertaining to go on a Friday evening.

While waiting for the concert to begin, Sarah Coyner and Michelle Doolin said that they usually sat at a coffee shop on Friday nights, or else they "raised hell."

Some teens said they often find themselves sitting at home on a Friday night with nothing to do.

And then there are the stereotypical things teens do at night.

"There's nothing to do around here, but get in trouble and drink," said Sam Doolin, who graduated from Moffat County High School last year.

Doolin said he thought the proposed recreation center, funding for which was voted down in November's election, would have made a fine place for kids to hang out in the evenings. He said it was great that kids were motivated enough to create their own weekend entertainment.

"That's why we did it," said Desolate band member Andy Snow. "To show people our stuff and to give people something to do on Thanksgiving besides party."

Stonewall and Desolate, heavy metal bands formed by Moffat County High School Students, papered Craig with more than 300 flyers advertising their performance. They rented the pavilion for $800, including a $500 deposit, rented amplifiers and speakers, and hired a sound guy so that the performances would sound professional.

It was the first well-organized performance for both bands.

The show was scheduled to start at 7 p.m., but Stonewall held off on opening for about 45 minutes, waiting for more people to arrive. Waiting audience members, some clad in baggy black pants, many sporting chains attached to their wallets, sat on chairs along the wall or milled about in groups in the center of the room. Some smoked. Others drank soda.

When Stonewall took the stage, everyone gravitated toward them. Big guys in silk-screened T-shirts that said security on the front and featured Desolate's D logo on the back, positioned themselves between the crowd and the band. The security guards proved to be unnecessary, but their presence deterred would-be problems.

As Stonewall began to play, the audience cheered as loudly as they would for any act they could see at Red Rocks.

Indeed, their enthusiasm for the cover band was impressive, as the audience joined in to sing the verse to Marilyn Manson's "Sweet Dreams," and to mosh to head banging numbers penned by rockers Godsmack and Disturbed. The band closed with a tight rendition of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train."

Sarah Coyner said she enjoys Stonewall "because they're awesome and have good guitars."

Then Desolate took the stage. The four-piece band has been together since they were in seventh grade. Now, as seniors in high school, this was their moment to shine.

Just as they began to perform their play list of original songs, more people arrived, many of these high school graduates home for the holiday weekend coming out to see old friends.

"They take what's already known and make it their own," fan Jori Hollenbeck said.

The steady rhythm of the beating drums, the throb of the base and the sharp edge of the guitar, layered under lyrics as unintelligible as any quality heavy metal band's, would remind anyone of the angry music they may have listened to in their malcontent youth.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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