Doors: 07:00 PM Starts: 09:00 PM - $7 cover
Few bands of this age can legitimately claim a sound all their own, but Central Pennsylvania’s enigma the Illuminati manages to do just that. One of the last original rock acts, the band transcends the boundaries of modern music classification. Their unique collage of sonic intensity bends genres and purifies obscenities.
“If at first you don’t get it, listen again to realize its depth.” — John Kerig (OSH Radio)
The Illuminati is the vision of front-man, Stephen Musti (vocals/guitar/keys). His unpredictable writing style is simultaneously unique and familiar, uncomfortable and intriguing. The band formed in late 2001 when Steve joined forces with fellow songsmith, Mark Higgins (vocals/keys), and long-time band mate and drummer, Dana DeLong (formerly of Alien Sphinx). Aaron Hoke served as the original bassist for the band.
The Illuminati launched in 2003 with the EP, “Because.” The five-song teaser contains the radio-friendly reggae/rock hit “Final Fight” as well as heavily layered arrangements such as “The Winds” and Higgins’ somber ballad “Tired.” In 2005, Aaron was relocated to guitar and Mathew Boyer (also of Alien Sphinx) joined the act on. In support of “Because,” the band graced the stages of venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Through their scorching live performances, the Illuminati captivated many and consistently grew their fan base.
After a year in the studio, their debut full-length, “Love and War,” was released in 2006. The album succinctly displays the band’s penchant for instantly identifiable tracks and a wide range of emotions. Highlights include Higgins’s intensely beautiful “Hello World” and “Snooze Bar” as well as Musti’s funk-twinged numbers such as “Crazy,” “Movin’ On,” and “Lie, Lie, Lie.” Downloads of the stripped version of “Universal Soldier” took off.
In 2007, Mark Higgins departed and the band was forced to morph yet again.
Upon completion of their Pennsylvania studio in 2008, the Illuminati began recording their most recent masterpiece, 2011′s “Stars Align.” No other album comes close to capturing the full breadth of the band as does this compilation. The self-produced collection features the satirically haunting lead track, “Every Body Luvs U” and abruptly blazes through the punk title “Dying Young.” Again, emotions range far — from the mellow psychedelia of “Holiday” to the tortured meandering agony of the closer, “Dark Salsa.” But perhaps no two songs can capitulate the essence of the Illuminati better so than the straight-forward rocker, “Floozy” and the jazzy rock fusion of “Far Removed.” In completely different feels, the sleazy guitars, sexy organs, and greasy pianos accurately convey the oozing passion and intensity that the Illuminati inherently possess.
“Like nothing and everything you’ve ever heard.” — Liz Koch, (Notorius Productions)
By borrowing from the past and stealing from the future, the Illuminati is able to create something new and original.