The night, Saturday, September 22, 1979, was electric.
The students from the University of Illinois were back in town after summer vacation and wanted to have a great time. The Rave, famous in the Champaign music scene after opening for the Ramones the year before, planned this gig to the hilt. Rock radio station WPGU promoted their appearance heavily with The Rave's own hilarious, self-produced radio ads. The Rave roadies plastered Campustown with posters announcing the event-this eventually prompted an anti-handbill ordinance. The night was videotaped and recorded on a high-quality TASCAM multi-track recorder. Eager fans lined up outside to get the best seats and to sneak a listen of the sound check.
The Rave hit the stage at exactly 9:00 p.m. and the club exploded with excitement as drummer Tommy Domino and rhythm guitarist Herbert "Herbie" Tareyton broke loose with the first few bars of the Rave original, Is That Your Mother. They were soon joined by lead vocalist/bassist Lyle Diamond and lead guitarist Garrett Oostdyk in an outburst of sound, which, as you'll witness in the faithful recording, was mesmerizingly powerful. The crowd was there to rock-out and responded to the experience with cheers of approval.
The energy of the night was thrilling and that unquestionably comes out on this CD. Each song transitions into the next, taking the listener to another level. A mixture of clever Rave originals and some very interesting covers (Talking Heads, Elvis Costello) combine to transcend the labels of "Power Pop" or even "New Wave." The Rave's performance that night in 1979 was beyond any description. Crank it up, strap in, and listen to The Rave: Live at the Red Lion. You'll be exhilarated.
The Rave burned new ground on the prairies of Illinois with their cynical look at the world and then current musical trends (disco). Though they appeared on the scene when new wave and punk rock were picking up steam, The Rave was more of a "good times" yet formidable rock and roll band. They crafted hard driving songs that often had an air of sarcasm about them and were melodic and memorable. Some of their original music is popular in Europe and appears on compilations there.
The band's "Odd Fellow" entourage was a powerful joining of musicians from extremely diversified backgrounds both musical and logistical. The Rave's originators had worked together in Chicago as well as Champaign prior to forming the band. Garrett Oostdyk had been lead guitar player for the famed Finchley Boys, and Lyle Diamond, from Nebraska, had written the material and sang lead for several groups in the Chicago area including country rock group Jesse. Percussionist Tommy Domino had provided the beat for many Champaign bands and went on to become a member of The Last Gentlemen. Oostdyk and Diamond found guitar player/singer/front-man Herbert Tareyton to be a natural to round out the group. An attempt at describing the group visually would take more than a few sentences, but suffice it to say that The Rave were as interesting visually as they were musically -- a genuine diamond in the rough in the history of rock.