by Jeff Switzer
The Northshore YMCA has been enjoying huge successes with its youth nights in the Sorenson gym, packing in crowds of more than 100 to hear bands from the local high schools.
This Saturday, Mar. 23, should be no different, when Umma Gumma, Fireball Brady, Bunk Foss and Guests, and Dagobah System will play in the Sorenson Gym behind City Hall, 13203 NE 175th St. in Woodinville, from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Cost is $3.
Umma Gumma, a three-piece band playing "psychedelic funky alternative stuff," has T.J. Berry (a 1992 Bothell High graduate) on guitar, vocals, and saxophone; Kevin Sawka (a senior at Bothell High) on drums; and Jeremy Lightfoot (also a senior at Bothell High) on bass.
"We hope that Pink Floyd sues us so we can meet them," said Berry of their name Umma Gumma, named after an early Floyd album.
Berry, Sawka, and Lightfoot have been together for about 12 gigs, playing at the Ballard Firehouse, Club Broadway in Everett, the Colorbox, Jimmy Z's, Metropolis, the China Club, and Sorenson. This will be their third show with Fireball Brady.
Fireball Brady is a five-piece band playing what they call "deep green funk." They sound a lot like the Beastie Boys and are described by Umma Gumma's Berry as "really funky, all-out dance music, really tight and really clean."
FBB is Zadok A. (BHS '94) on vocals; Aaron the Bruce (WHS '95) on bass, Eddie Gulberg (BHS '95) on percussion; John (BHS junior) on guitar; and Brian Hyder (WHS '93) on drums. This will be FFB's third Sorenson show.
Bunk Foss and Guests are a three-piece rock and funk group. Ian plays bass, Aaron plays drums, and Matt plays guitar and sings.
Dagobah System is another three-piece band from Woodinville High, along with Bothell High's Ryan Meeks, who play some mellower rock.
YMCA programs advance with the times
"It's not your typical YMCA program," said Maurita Colburn, director of youth development with the YMCA. "The 'Y' is known for sports, summer camps, and daycare."
Colburn said the Sorenson nights draw kids from all over depending on what band is playing. Inglemoor High organized a six-band concert on Mar. 9 with poetry and acoustic guitar between bands which pulled in 175 kids.
The proceeds from the shows are going towards buying a P.A. for the bands and possibly a stage in the future. For the time being, the bands stand on the same level as the audience.
Sorenson band nights run three out of four Saturdays each month, and because the gym is school property, there is no smoking, moshing, slam dancing, or body passing, and staff and an off-duty police officer are on hand for security.