Josie presents :
Hometown, Lehigh Valley
Larry Warner- guitar and lead vocalist
Joe Cenchitz - Bass and vocals
Shane Stoneback – Lead guitar and vocals
Dave Parfitt – Drums and vocals
Photo credit - John Millington
There are plenty of cover bands in the area and to be one of the most popular ones is quite an accomplishment. Without a doubt, Social Call is one of those bands. Here’s my take on the situation.
First of all, let me admit, that I went to the Social Call show literally looking for something negative to report. Why? Because they are so well-liked in the area, and so well discussed that people HAD to be missing something. No cover band is THAT good, I figured. So, I went to the show looking for the needle in the haystack. Guess what, no needle. I couldn’t find a viable reason to dislike them-and as much as I hate agreeing with the masses, this time, I have no choice.
That disclaimer aside, I went to the show and considered the things I always do when reviewing a cover band. I listen for musical talent, vocal similarity to the original, audience engagement, and overall performance value. Social Call had stellar marks for all categories, and I had a great time. The four man band is comprised guitar-playing-crowd-pleasing-front man-vocalist and local celebrity, Larry Warner (who is shockingly good at all of those adjectives), gig-booking-bass-thumping sometime-vocalist that sports the biker-look without the tough guy attitude, Joe Cenchitz, long-haired, introspective, wind-machine-loving lead guitarist, Shane Stonebeck and fun-loving, rhythmically-gifted, always-smiling drummer Dave Parfitt’ The band has great chemistry and the fans eat it up. It doesn’t hurt that they are easy on the eyes either!
Social Call does music I like to call danceable rock and roll. Their set includes songs by The Toadies as well as AC/DC-which works itself into a great combination actually. Their sound is meant to be identical to the originals and is close enough that you don’t think they are doing someone else’s song. Everyone in the band sings on occasion, even if just backups, and it’s nice to have that type of variety available. Larry and Joe are the big crowd-pleasers as they do most of the interacting while Shane and Dave focus on their musical contributions. But don’t get me wrong, all four men have their own crowd of fans. When you put all those fans together, you get sold out venues and bookings a year out!
Social Call wasn’t the first venture of these seasoned musicians, so don’t think they are new to the stage, or to marketing, or to crowd-pleasing stunts. Prime example is the nightly “social” where the audience participates by responding “Social” to the bands “1,2,3”chant and everyone takes a swig of their drink in unison-toasting to each other, to the band, to the night. It’s a nice way to make sure everyone feels like part of the show.
They regularly stand for pictures with fans after the shows and you can find any of the members out supporting other local music when they aren’t working themselves. The key to their success is simple, they are a bunch of great guys who mastered the art of music. Carry on Social Call, I raise my glass to you! (one..two…three...SOCIAL)