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Piebald pleases fans at local show, previews new album
“I hope people can still listen to our records when (we’re done) and go on a musical adventure. Whether they’re sad, happy, or anything, at least they feel something,” said Travis Shettel, the lead singer of Piebald, before playing to a packed house at the Wallingford American Legion on Sept. 23.
Piebald consists of frontman Travis Shettel, guitarist Aaron Stuart, bassist Andy Bonner and drummer Luke Garro. Though they are a relatively unknown band originally from Andover, Mass., the hall was filled with fans.
The show was one of the last times fans had the chance to see Piebald play in such an intimate setting. The band will begin touring this month with the band Say Anything, who sold out WQAQ’s 2005 annual spring concert, and mewithoutYou.
“I’m pretty excited (about the tour),” Shettel said. He went on to say that Say Anything and mewithoutYou are “bands that are better than a lot of stuff that is out there right now. I really appreciate them asking us to go on tour with them.”
Besides playing with two bands they have never toured with before, what else is Piebald looking forward to on the upcoming tour?
“Promoting the new record and just getting the word out there about it,” Shettel said.
The tour kicks off Oct. 11 at Irving Plaza in New York. The last stop will be Nov. 25 at Shettel’s favorite venue, the Middle East in Cambridge, Mass., “because of the territory that comes with it.”
Not only does Piebald promote its music while touring, the band also supports the environmental cause “Grease not Gas.” The band converted one of its vans to run on vegetable oil only, devoted a cross-country tour to it and saved thousands of dollars.
Shettel said the “Grease not Gas” tour “was great because we had an alternative purpose besides music to tour.”
The tiny venue Piebald performed in Sept. 23 allowed the band to better connect with its fans. Many people in the front and second rows stood face-to-face with the band because there was neither a raised stage nor barricades in the small hall.
Though the band plays in a series of different venues, large and small, Shettel prefers something more in the middle.
“In smaller venues the energy is great but the sound is bad,” Shettel said, “but if you play at too large of a venue, you lose the connection with your fans.”
Jerome Palmeri, a junior media production major and co-music director for WQAQ, was in attendance for his fourth Piebald show.
“Piebald was having a good time so the energy and atmosphere was all right,” he said. “It was like seeing a band from your town playing in someone’s basement (with) jokes, requests, (and) fun music.”
Piebald played a variety of music during its set. The band played many fan favorites including “American Hearts” and “Grace Kelly with Wings.” In addition, the band gave fans something to look forward to by playing some songs off of the upcoming CD, “Accidental Gentleman,” which will be released in January 2007.
Piebald also covered a song by The Kinks called “Strangers,” which will be featured on the new record.
“It’s a lot of fun to play,” said Shettel about covering a song. “I don’t exactly know how, but it makes you think differently about the song and its structure.”
Palmeri also enjoyed Piebald’s version of the song.
“I’m not a big Kinks fan, but it was a solid cover and very much sounded like a Piebald song,” Palmeri said.
Of the new CD, “Accidental Gentlemen” (Sideonedummy), Shettel says “it is different, but I don’t know what to tell the listeners to expect.”