Pittsburgh's homegrown band, The Clarks, served up a generous helping of their extensive repertoire at Gullifty's Underground in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, October 16, 2003. The prolific band performed 23 titles during their marathon set.

The talented quartet that constitutes The Clarks are Scott Blasey on guitar and vocals, Greg Joseph on bass and vocals, Robert James on lead guitar and vocals, and David Minarik on drums. The crowd congregated before the group in standing room fashion to enjoy the music.

The Clarks launched the evening with "Snowman". Blasey delivered a robust vocal and played acoustic guitar on the power-pop number. "Blue" kicked with a fierce introduction and featured a melodic drumbeat from Minarik and solid bass notes from Joseph.

Following the power pop-rocker "Better Day", Blasey called out, "Enjoying the new material? Everything going o.k.?". Five tracks from their latest studio effort, Another Happy Ending released in 2002, were showcased during their Camp Hill concert.

For "Cigarette", The Clarks brandished a country-flavored swagger. Blasey sang sans guitar for the cool groove. Joseph provided a walking bass line, and James chimed in with a lead solo and cliché guitar effects. The group segued into a loose jam before climaxing in a crescendo.

James embellished the mellow "Penny On The Floor" on mandolin before he switched over to electric guitar. The Clarks shifted into overdrive with "Help Me Out", a thumping rocker highlighted by Joseph's galloping bass lines and harmony vocals by Blasey and James.

Joseph stepped forward and sang lead vocals on the cool country-influenced rocker "Butterflies And Airplanes", which motivated the crowd to move together on the dance floor. "Let It Go" generated a final swelling of fans to press forward on the dance floor before the band made their exit.

The Clarks returned for their encore with "Chasin' Girls", empowered by Minarik's driving drums. They closed with "Boys Lie", one of their` new tunes, propelled by a melodic bass line and grungy guitar work. The SRO crowd swayed to the pop-current, clamoring for more as The Clarks thanked the audience.

The Clarks Live documents the band on stage from a date in 1998. The disc was reissued in 2001 with three bonus live tracks recorded in 2000. Mark this group on your social calendar, and make it a point to catch this fierce foursome in the future on their next tour.

Camp Hill setlist: Snowman * Highwire * Blue * Maybe * Gypsy Lounge * She Says * Born Too Late * Hey You * Better Day * Wait A Minute * Rise And Fall * Cigarette * Penny On The Floor * Shimmy Low * On Saturday * You Know Every * Better Off Without You * Superstar * Help Me Out * Butterflies And Airplanes * Let It Go * Encore: Chasin' Girls * Boys Lie

The Clarks website

RockonTour   Issue #26
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Working the crowd underneath
The Clarks crank up the tunes

by Timothy Tilghman