On Stage: The Patriot Tour comes to Philadelphia

By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times

Marcus Lutrell

While various activities around the country may or may not show disrespect for the country, there are many activities bolstering patriotism – events such as Veterans’ Day parades and Flag Day events.

On October 20, the Kimmel Center will host an event that is 100 per cent respectful and even more patriotic – the Patriot Tour.

The Patriot Tour features Marcus Luttrell, retired Navy SEAL and author of “Lone Survivor,” which recounts the heroic sacrifices of fellow SEAL Team members assigned to Operation Red Wing.

Born and raised in Texas, Luttrell and his twin brother, Morgan, attended Sam Houston State University. They began training for the SEALs at age 14 with former United States Army soldier, Billy Shelton, who lived nearby. As kids, they loved to hunt and fish and wrestle alligators.

Luttrell joined the United States Navy in March 1999. He began Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training with Class 226 in Coronado, California. He graduated with Class 228 after suffering a fractured femur early in his training. Marcus graduated 18 Delta in 2001, making him a team Medic.

On June 28, 2005, Luttrell and three other SEALs were assigned to Operation Red Wing, a mission to kill or capture Ahmad Shah (Mohammad Ismail), a high-ranking Taliban leader responsible for killings in eastern Afghanistan and the Hindu-Kush mountains. The SEAL team was made up of Luttrell, Michael P. Murphy, Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson.

A group of goat herders stumbled upon the SEALs, and the four SEALs immediately took control of the situation and discussed what to do with the herders. The herders were subsequently released and disappeared over the mountain ridge.

Luttrell believed they immediately betrayed the team’s location to local Taliban forces and within an hour, the SEALs were engaged in an intense gun battle. In the ensuing battle, the rest of the SEAL team members were killed.

An MH-47 Chinook helicopter was dispatched with a force consisting of SEALs and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment “Nightstalkers” to rescue the team, but the helicopter was shot down by an RPG.

All 16 men on the Chinook were killed. Luttrell was the only survivor. Badly wounded, he managed to walk and crawl seven miles to evade capture.

He was given shelter by an Afghan tribe, who alerted the Americans of his presence, and American forces finally rescued him six days after the gun battle.

Following his physical recovery from Operation Redwing, Luttrell returned and completed one more tour before being medically retired.

He wrote the book, “Lone Survivor,” to share the amazing story of his brothers who paid the ultimate sacrifice. In 2013, “Lone Survivor” became a major motion picture starring Marc Wahlberg. Luttrell’s second book, “Service,” answers questions remaining from “Lone Survivor” and gives honor and praise to other members of the military.

“I was never close to breaking,” said Luttrell, during a recent phone interview from his ranch in Texas. “I thought I was going to die but never thought about quitting. With the SEALS, we never plan to lose or die.”

Today, Luttrell is married to the woman of his dreams, Melanie. The couple has a son Axe, who is named after Matthew Axelson, and a daughter, Addie.

“A while back, I had been out a year,” said Luttrell “I came back to my ranch in Texas to be with my kids and wife – and to be with my animals.

“I wrote my first book in 2008 when I was still in the military. It wasn’t my idea to write the book but I knew it would be a good thing. In the hospital, we had so many guys die.

“There were classified things about what went on in the war that the Navy decided to de-classify. Families had already been debriefed.

“I was in Iraq when the book came out. After recovering from my wounds in Afghanistan, I got injured again in Iraq. They brought me back. My name got on the book. Two weeks later, I was on the Tonight Show.”

Luttrell continues to give.

In 2010, Luttrell established the Lone Survivor Foundation for veterans and their families. He is also deeply involved in The Boot Campaign, a charitable organization that focuses on military personnel and the hardships resulting from their service.

Now, he is taking his patriotism-inducing story to theaters around the United States.

“The first show was in 2013 in Houston,” said Luttrell. “It went better than I had expected.”

A formal show was definitely unexpected.

“We didn’t know what we had but we liked hanging out with each other,” said Luttrell. “We’d get together and start telling stories.

“It got to a point where they were asking us to do a show. The first year, we did five shows, the second year 10 and the third year 20. It really took off in 2016.

“Everybody still has other projects but the demand for the shows kept coming in. We try to hit all the cities. Then, we got offers from New York and Philly. Everyone on the tam was fired up for it. Everyone is saddled up and ready to go.”

The Patriot Tour also features Taya Kyle author of “American Wife” and wife of the late Chris Kyle, “American Sniper,” Navy SEAL, New York Times Best Selling author, and perhaps the deadliest man to ever peer through the scope of a military rifle.

Since Chris Kyle’s tragic death in February of 2013, his wife has focused on keeping the spirit of his service alive.

“My wife is real close with Taya and they were one of the first ones to talk about doing something,” said Luttrell. “It’s grown exponentially right from the very beginning. The response just keeps growing.

“I’m excited about coming to Philadelphia. I’m a Texas boy and I have a lot of fun when I come to Philly. On one of my visits, I rode around the city with a Philadelphia police officer on duty so I got really familiar with the city.”

The Patriot Tour brings together the best things in life — family, service, sacrifice and community — featuring heartfelt speakers each sharing their stories of perseverance and each embodying the fight for freedom, the fight for team and the fight for a rich and vibrant life.

Born of the desire to serve and to bring hope and change, the Patriot Tour is bringing together communities who embody the spirit of Luttrell and Team Never Quit.

The tour also features retired U.S. Army Capt. Chad Fleming; and retired Navy SEAL and ultra-marathon runner David Goggins.

Video link for The Patriot Tour – https://youtu.be/B5m9CMT_1bU.

The Patriot Tour Featuring Marcus Luttrell will be presented by the Kimmel Center on October 20 at7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45, $65 and $85.


Toadies, who will headline a show on October 19 at Theatre of the Living Arts (334 South Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1011, http://www.lnphilly.com), are a resilient band – and a band that knows how to keep its fans.

Formed in 1989 in Fort Worth, Texas, Toadies’ classic line-up featured founding members Vaden Todd Lewis on vocals/guitar and Lisa Umbarger on bass, along with Mark Reznicek on drums and Darrel Herbert on guitar.

The band’s current line-up features Lewis (Vocals, Guitar), Reznicek (Drums), Clark Vogeler (Guitar), and Doni Blair (Bass).

Through lineup changes, shelved albums, member departures, band break-ups, one-off reunions and full-on reformations, Toadies are an act that has experienced nearly everything.
After a national breakthrough with their “Rubberneck” album, their signature single “Possum Kingdom,” the successful follow-up single “Away” and the immense fan favorite “Tyler,” Toadies returned to the studio in 1998 with the pressure of trying to match their first album’s success.

The result was an LP called “Feeler,” an album Interscope Records was supposed to release in 1998 but decided to shelve despite the band’s protests. Disappointed and dejected, the band dissolved.
In 2008, Toadies fully re-formed and released the “No Deliverance” album for Dallas’ Kirtland Records and welcomed new member bassist Doni Blair.

“I’ve been with the band about 10 years already,” said Blair, during a phone interview Wednesday evening prior to the band’s concert at the Gramercy Theater in New York.

“I joined in the middle of the band’s making the ‘No Deliverance’ album. They did the ‘Feeler’ album by themselves, Vader wanted to close that chapter of the band with just the three of them.”

The last time Toadies played the area was two years ago at the Ardmore Music Hall on an album release tour for a just-released album titled “Heretics.”

The album was Toadies stripped-down and distilled. The idea to do a deconstructed record was born at the band’s annual “Dia De Los Toadies Festival” in the band’s hometown of Fort Worth.

Now, Toadies are touring in support of their new album “The Lower Side Of Uptown.”

The “Lower Side Of Uptown” is a return to form for Toadies. It is an album of roots Toadies music filled with impressive riffs and interesting time changes – a total shift from the stripped-down and mostly acoustic sound on “Heretics.”

“We had gotten a lot out of our system with ‘Heretics,’” said Blair, during a phone interview Wednesday evening prior to the band’s concert at the Gramercy Theater in New York.

“Heading into ‘Lower Side of Uptown,’ we knew it would be a gamble,” SAID Blair. “In our brains, we were going to combine a rock record with the sound from ‘Heretics’ – like ‘Led Zeppelin 3.’

“But, we never got to the quiet part of ‘Led Zep 3.’ We got in the studio and laid down 16 songs in 13 days. The enthusiasm was high. Everyone was in a really positive mood.”

Toadies were ready to make an album to perk up listeners’ ears.

“We had most of the songs written before we went in the studio,” said Blair. “It was very much a riff-heavy recording session. One day, Vader brought in a riff on the song ‘Sentimental’ and we nailed it in one day.

“A week before, we went in and wrote three songs in one day. Vader is really trusting on the rest of us. He knows we have his back. It’s very rare that he’ll come up with something we can’t do.”

Fans will get to hear a lot of the songs from “Lower Side of Uptown” at the show.

“Six songs from the 15-song set are from the new record,” said Blair. “A lot of bands don’t do that because they don’t want to ali4enate fans.

“We know that they’ll be ready for the new songs. And, we play all the old favorites like ‘I Come from the Water,’ and ‘Tyler’ – and a couple songs from ‘Heretics’ too. We try to throw in a song from every record.”

In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, the band will have donation boxes set up at their merch tables for Houston SPCA and Music Cares.

A release from the band stated, “We’re heartbroken by the news and footage of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey on our fellow Texans. Among the victims of this horrific natural disaster are the many animals and pets displaced by the catastrophic floods. We will be accepting donations on behalf of the SPCA.

“We’ve seen innumerable pictures and videos of people helping people deal with this disaster.  But we’ve also seen that there are many little critters that have been displaced from their homes and need our help as well.

“So, in addition to our contributions to Music Cares, we’ve decided to contribute donations to the Houston SPCA and encourage you to help out wherever you see fit.”

Video link for Toadies – https://youtu.be/Avv6TSlPiMU.

The show at TLA, which has Local H opening, will start at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $22.50.

Other upcoming shows at TLA are Moon Taxi on October 20, Judah & the Lion on October 21, Andy Minio on October 22, Lacrae on October 24 and Amine on October 25.

10 Years

On October 19, the Chameleon Club (223 North Water Street, Lancaster, 717-299-9684, http://www.chameleonclub.net) will host 10 Years, a band that went through some line-up changes in recent years and met with mixed success.

“We have a new album coming out on October 27,” said guitarist/drummer Brian Vodinh, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon form a tour stop in Poughkeepsie, New York.

“When we were making our previous album ‘From Birth to Burial,’ the band dynamic was so unhealthy and toxic for us. I didn’t expect the band to keep going.

“Then, we got a good record deal with Mascot Records, a label from Europe. We knew a line-up change was necessary.

“We let one member go and brought back our original guitarist Matt Wantland. I had been on hiatus and I came back. The line-up is finally right.”

The current line-up for 10 Years features Jesse Hasek, leasd vocals; Matt Wantland, guitar; Brian Vodinh, guitar; Chad Huff, bass; and Kyle Mayer, drums.

“Myself, Jesse and Matt are three of the band’s original members,” said Vodinh. “All the band members were raised in Knoxville and three of us still live in Knoxville.

“I started the band in high school in 1998. I dreamed of being a rock star. I started as a guitarist. Then, I got suckered into playing drums for one gig and it lasted 15 years. Now, I do all the studio drumming but I play guitar live.’

Sometimes when band members reunite, it’s as if no time has passed and nothing has changed. That couldn’t be further from the truth for 10 Years.

When Vodinh and Wantland returned to the Knoxville, Tennessee alt-metal/post-grunge band for their eighth album and Mascot Records debut, “(how to live) AS GHOSTS.”

According to Hasek, “It’s funny. I named our last record, ‘From Birth to Burial,’ because I thought it was our final record because it just didn’t feel like 10 Years without Brian and Matt.

“But having them back is really a reunion of the core writing team and this new record actually feels like a real rebirth for the band.”

“Writing for this album was the easiest for any record since our first one years ago,” said Vodinh. “We started writing the songs in summer 2016 and spent about eight months on it.

“We all wrote it pretty much together which is rare because in the past it was mostly Jesse and I doing the writing. This time, all the band members could write together without it being unhealthy.”

The sixth collaborator was Grammy award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz (Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, Deftones).

“When we started working with Nick, we were sending him demos,” said Vodinh. “He had a vision. We’re a production-heavy band.

“He wanted us to not have as many layers. He wanted to stick with meat and potatoes. He wanted us to focus on what we sounded like as a live band. He made us step outside our comfort zone.”
The result is 10 Years’ most dynamic and multi-dimensional record to date.

Raskulinecz encouraged the band to strip away some of the vocal production it had grown accustomed to in order to reveal a more intimate side of Hasek.

“Nick knew what he was doing,” said Vodinh. “Right now, we’re playing three of the new songs in our live set. Since the fans don’t know the album yet, we’ll wait until we play more of the new songs live.”

Video link for 10 Years — https://youtu.be/1glGnGOpf6c.

The show at the Chameleon, which also featured Red and Otherwise, will start at 6 p.m. Tickets are $23.

Ikebe Shakedown

If you’re listening to Ikebe Shakedown – live or on record – and you hear a music style you’re not crazy about, don’t worry because something different will be coming on the next song.

Ikebe Shakedown, which is performing on October 19 at the World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com), has refined a sound that defies genre.

The band’s music is a blend of ’70s soul, raw funk, and cinematic Western soundtracks featuring heavy grooves and soaring melodies.

Over the past 10 years, Ikebe Shakedown has cemented a reputation as one of New York City’s boldest, most creative instrumental bands – a musical group with a style all its own.

Each song is anchored in the deep-pocketed pulse of its four-man rhythm section (Barnaby Alter, drums; Dave Bourla, percussion; Vince Chiarito, bass; Robin Schmidt, guitar) and driven by one of the tightest horn trios on the East Coast (Mike Buckley, tenor/baritone sax; Jason Colby, trumpet; Nadav Nirenberg, trombone), with tunes ranging from dance-floor burners to lush, captivating scores.

“The hardest thing about Ikebe Shakedown is trying to classify what it’s all about – so many genres,” said Bourla, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from his place in Brooklyn.

“The music is broader than any one thing – funk, world, instrumental soul, western, jazz and classical. Everyone in the band has studied music. As a result, our music comes from a real place.

Ikebe Shakedown found its correct formation right from the start.
“We’ve always been a seven-piece band,” said Bourla. “We have had people play extra percussion now and then but it is and always has been the seven of us.
“Barnaby, Robin and Vince went to school together at Bard College and then all moved to New York. I was already in New York.

“Later, Vince and I played together in a Latin soul boogaloo band. Nadav has amazing style and we knew he’d be good for the band. And, Nadav knew Jason. We found Mike because he was in another band with Vince. Our first gig was in February 2009.”
The band first came on the scene with 2009’s debut EP, “Hard Steppin’” on Colemine Records. One review described the EP as “the perfect soundtrack for the unwritten Tarantino movie of your imagination.”

Ikebe Shakedown’s first full-length LP came out on Ubiquity Records in 2011. The self-titled album was recorded at Killion Sound in L.A. with Orgone’s Sergio Rios and at Dunham Studios in Brooklyn with noted producer Tom Brenneck.

Having toured the record throughout the U.S. and Canada, Ikebe Shakedown went to Daptone Studio in 2014 and made its “Stone by Stone” album.

Ikebe Shakedown now playing live shows to celebrate its new album “The Way Home,” which is scheduled for an October 20 release on Colemine Records.

“We cut the new album over a period of years at our own studio — Hive Mind Recordings,” said Bourla. “We started making tracks in 2015 and built on them through 2016. The last instrument to tape was in December 2016.

“We’re at a point where everyone contributes to the songwriting. Everyone has at least one songwriting credit. We get together and rehearse every Monday and we’re writing more as a band now.”

Video link for Ikebe Shakedown – https://youtu.be/00veBDDT08o.

The show at the World Café Live, which also features Kat H, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $14.

Other upcoming shows at the World Café Live are Martin Sexton Trio on October 20, Transistor Radio on October 21, Noah Gundsersen on October 22, All Strung Up on October 22, Nahko – My Name Is Bear on October 23, and James McMurtry on October 24.

Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) will have Nicely, Smith and Hawkins along with Lucky Brown with E.B. Hawkins on October 20; Crossroads (Dennis Melton, Billy Penn Burger, Michael Melton, Tommy Geddes, Bob Beach) on October 21;

The Rocky Horror Picture Show — Live Performance and Film Screening on October 22; and District 97 + Dave Kerzner – Static Vaults Tour on October 25.

The Steel City Coffee House (203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610-933-4043, www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com) will host Lili Anel and Scott Kollman on October 20, and House of Hamill on October 21.

The Colonial Theatre (Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610- 917-1228, www.thecolonialtheatre.com) will present Al Stewart with The Empty Pockets on October 21.

Chaplin’s (66 North Main Street, Spring City, 610-792-4110, http://chaplinslive.com) will host Sh’Bang and The Climaxers on October 20.

The Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com) will host The Wailers with special guest Yellow Dubmarine on October 19; Splintered Sunlight (Grateful Dead tribute) + Peter Rowan on October 20; and Breakwater + Clip Payne’s 420 Funk Mob (feat. members of Parliament/Funkadelic and friends) on October 21.

Burlap & Bean Coffeehouse (204 South Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, 484-427-4547, www.burlapandbean.com) will present Katherine Rondeau and The Show with Chikabiddy on October 20, JD Malone with Cliff Hillis on October 21, and Vilebred on October 25.

The Keswick Theater (291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com) presents America on October 21.

The Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) will present Lisa Loeb and Julia Othmer on October 20, The Capitol Steps on October 21, The Amazing Kreskin on October 22, Magic Dick (of J Geils Band) & Shun Ng October 22, and David Archuleta on October 25.

The Grand Opera House (818 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-652-5577, www.thegrandwilmington.org) will have Colin Hay on October 20, and Pink Martini on October 22.

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