Sound Scene Express

Grand Piano Throws a Dance Party, Releases First LP

Photos and Review by Randy Jarosz
Concert Posters by Joe Mruk

There was nothing unlucky about Grand Piano, who released their 1st full length album, “Leap Year,” Friday the 13th under Wild Kindness Records. Playing to a packed house, at south side’s Rex Theater, the 6 piece band called on support from other local Pittsburgh favorites Morgan Erina, Roger Harvey and the Wildlife and Chet Vincent and the Big Bend.

Grand Piano is a unique band, starting with their front man Zak Kane. He is an interesting personality that can work a crowd in his own way. Some may say he is “out there,” others have described him as a “genius.” There is definitely nothing wrong with being both. “Lets rock and roll, let’s party, let’s do awesome stuff,” says Kane before opening their 60 minute set with “California.” The same tune that opens their 11 track LP.

Also setting these guys apart from the pack is their horn section. Led by Ryan Booth on tenor and baritone saxophone and Bob Kircher on trumpet. The duo isn’t overbearing and really compliments the rock tracks like “Punk Rocker,” and takes center stage on instrumentals like, “Debt March.”

Thomas Cippolone plays guitar, pedal steel, baritone guitar and takes over lead vocal duties on “Horse.” Wes Conroy works the bass, sticking mostly in the background, but is probably the most energetic on stage, head banging to the heavier tracks. Nick DeAngelo holds down percussion duties and shines on “February Blues.”

Grand Piano had fans swaying along with “Train Hound,” from their 2013 EP, “America’s America.” They slowed things down once, with new song, “The Sun,” prompting Kane to apologize for the weeper. “This song is about a weirdo, a couple blocks away, I wish he was with us tonight,” says Kane before the instrumental “John Brady Broke.” Kane let go of his guitar for the classic tune “Jumping the Line (Shake, Señora),” where he admitted he was scared to death to sing. The band finished off the night with a two song encore with the instrumental “Golden Boy,” and “Cockroaches.”

Nothing strange happened with there being a full moon, just a rocking band, throwing a great party, doing some awesome stuff. Be sure to catch Grand Piano July 12 at Deutchtown Music Festival, July 25 at Schenley Plaza and Flood City Music Festival August 2, you will not regret it.

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