North Bend theater hosts a Kaleidoscope of rock bands
March 12, 2013
By Sebastian Moraga
Fall City’s Nick Mardon — bass player, guitar player and drummer — splits his time between Zero Side Effects (his rock band), Bad Idea (his metal band) and his school’s jazz band.
Oh, and at some point in the next 12 months, he plans to turn 13.
Mardon and Zero Side Effects will participate in a summit of rock bands from Issaquah’s Kaleidoscope School of Music at the North Bend Theatre.
Zero Side Effects has zero middle schoolers other than Mardon. The rest of the group is high schoolers.
“They treat me the same most of the time,” Mardon said. “I get a little slack sometimes. Like if I mess up, it doesn’t really matter as much as when someone else messes up.”
Charles McCrone, director of the music school on Issaquah’s Front Street, gives his pupil more credit than Mardon lends himself.
“One of the high school bands has a 12-year-old bass player,” McCrone said. “He’s that good.”
The five bands at the summit have a mix of ages, with some ranging between 11 and 13 years old, some ranging from 12-14 years old. The oldest musician is 20, McCrone said.
“This is our first showcase of the year. It’s like their debut, the start of a process. They have five more shows through August,” McCrone said.
If you go
Kaleidoscope band showcase
4:30 p.m. March 17
Doors open 30 minutes earlier
North Bend Theatre
125 Bendigo Blvd. N., North Bend
It’s the second time the North Bend Theatre is hosting such a summit. The first time was in 2011, when 125 people showed up. More than 400 people have been invited to this year’s show, McCrone said.
McCrone put together the bands, and no musicians are beginners, he said. It can be challenging, as many more people play guitar than drums, for example.
Mardon said he chose to be Zero Side Effects’ bassist because it needed a bass player.
Mardon and many other members of Kaleidoscope dream of being professional musicians. Perhaps surprisingly, the idea of being rock stars is less appealing than just being a professional musician.
“I want to do session work where I can do different styles,” Mardon said.
Sixteen-year-old Claire Burg, from Kirkland, is the lead singer for Between The Lines, another one of the five featured bands. She wants to be a pro musician or a music journalist when she grows up.
“Dreams have to be somewhat realistic,” she said.
Burg has been the lead singer for Between The Lines for six years. The group plays all kinds of genres and music, which suits her fine. Burg said she has been singing for as long as she has been talking.
“I have always been a performer and I love being the center of attention,” she said. “Just having the spotlight up onstage has always given me fulfillment.”
The summit will help the bands show off all the work they have done since autumn, Burg said, and show off all the talent living on the Eastside.
These cats aren’t the typical three-chord rock musicians, McCrone said. They read music and they command a variety of styles, from pop to jazz to hard rock. The tunes they have learned are a far cry from “Louie, Louie,” he noted.
“‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘Hotel California,’ ‘Magic Man,’” he said. “They started out playing three-chord rock, and it’s amazing to see them now playing “Carry On My Wayward Son.”
Above all, McCrone supports his students’ dreams, the more realistic the better.
“If you develop good musical skills, it’s more under your control than it is being a huge star,” he said. “It’s less glorious, but it gives you more options.”