You can’t see them in person, but Huntsville super group Retro Rock Revival is pulling in for its first-ever Montgomery show Saturday.
“I used to come down there (to Montgomery) to see bands play back in the day,” said Jeff Goebel, RRR band member and general manager.
“I decided to do this tribute thing, and I thought these guys are all great singers” Goebel said. “Me and the drummer and bass player have been playing together for more than a decade. We’re kind of like the core band.”
They’re here for a 7 p.m. livestream concert thanks to Goebel’s longtime music friend Earl Baumgardner, owner of Warehouse231 in downtown Montgomery. Almost 30 years ago, Baumgardner was in the Alexander City heavy metal band 4 a.m. Goebel and Baumgardner’s bands used to play in the same clubs.
“I’ve known Earl since I was a kid,” Goebel said.
Flash forward to 2020, and entertainment venues across the state remain closed to the public because of coronavirus restrictions. Livestreaming concerts has become the new norm for artists, and Warehouse231 has stepped up as a premiere venue for that in Montgomery.
“Since the virus came on, everybody started streaming,” Baumgardner said. “We had been looking at streaming before any of this, trying to think of some different ways to get the music out there.”
Baumgardner said he learned to livestream through family activities, doing multi-camera video of high school football and basketball games.
“We’re kind of learning as we go,” Baumgardner said.
Baumgardner said it takes a minimum of four people behind the scenes to run one of Warehouse231's livestream concerts - sound, lights and two people running cameras. While it can be a little odd for the band without a physical audience, fans watching from home are treated to a show with clear sound, professional lighting and background video effects.
“Earl’s setup kind of matched what we do normally,” Goebel said.
Retro Rock Revival usually does about a dozen shows a year. They’re a tribute band that’s heavy into the ’80s, with a touch of ’70s and ’90s. Expect to hear a bunch of top 10 hits from Def Leppard, Journey, Queen, Bon Jovi, Van Halen and much, much more.
“This particular show, I think we’re going to play right in the middle zone where everybody will know everything,” Goebel said. “These are our big ones.”
Warehouse231 kicked their livestream efforts off in a big way a couple of weeks ago with one of Montgomery’s favorite bands Outside The Inside (OTI). That hour and 20 minute live stream featured a mix of covers and OTI originals.
“We were blown away with the sheer size of the stage and the professional lighting and effects,” said OTI member Neil Young, who rocked it with band members Mark DePlanche and Steve Wingard. “There is no place in this area that even comes close to the level of technology. The Warehouse231 crew is a great bunch and they really put forth a huge effort to make us sound and look good. We have had over 14,000 views, which is unreal to me.”
That show caught Goebel’s eye, and is a large part of the reason Retro Rock Revival is coming to Montgomery.
“I saw Earl’s video with his first band, and thought this is what we would want to do if we were going to stream as a band,” Goebel said.
Retro Rock Revival’s show will take another step up for Warehouse231 livestreams, with the addition of a show host.
“We present it like I used to in the early ‘80s,” Goebel said.
More livestreams are on the way, including a return for OTI.
“It was outstanding, a great venue,” Wingard said. “We had a wonderful time and are planning to be back there May 8 for another live show."
Several other bands have been interested in doing livestreams from Warehouse231, and Baumgardner is hoping to schedule at least four concerts in May.
When the virus threat passes and audiences are allowed back inside, Baumgardner said they’d likely livestream those shows as well.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel at [email protected]