Park Forest native rocks in Another Black Hour
As people converge on Chicago for Lollapalooza, one of the biggest annual summer concerts, Park Forest native Ben Stover will be gearing up for a big show of his own.
Stover, who is the lead singer and guitarist for Another Black Hour, is slated to play the Lollapalooza After Show on Aug. 3 at the Hard Rock Cafe Chicago.
“I feel honored and excited that we’re able to be granted that opportunity. It’s tremendous,” he said.
It will not be the first time that his band has played at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Another Black Hour was part of the Hard Rock Rising battle of the bands, performing at the Chicago venue in March and coming in second on the group’s night of competition.
The band, which includes bassist Matt Moran from Naperville and drummer and vocalist Greg Young from Schaumburg, grew out of the sketch comedy group Lunchbox Voodoo at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
What started as a band playing mostly Metallica covers has been transitioning into a group that plays original music.
That transformation won’t be complete, though, until Another Black Hour (anotherblackhour.com) can solidify its lead guitarist.
In the meantime, John Janowiak, guitarist and vocalist from the alternative band Belmont Cross, will be helping Another Black Hour for the Hard Rock Cafe gig.
“Having a guy that has the tone and sound of the instrument and the feel of his note choice blending with ours is vital,” said Stover, who noted that auditions are under way to fill the lead guitarist slot.
Another Black Hour’s music is available on a four-song CD, “Vicious Prototype,” released on June 26.
“The Kickstarter campaign was something we ran in order to fund the CD,” said Stover, who graduated from Rich East High School in Park Forest in 2003.
“We funded it through our touring of the area and particularly through the generosity of our friends, family and fans who believed in us enough to give a small donation.
“They really came together and helped us to complete this thing. It’s been great to have that kind of support.”
A self-proclaimed lover of performing, Stover also works for Tinley Park-based Electric Blue Entertainment as a disc jockey for weddings, parties and corporate events.
“I teach people how to do line dances, and I wear funny hats or jackets to liven up the mood and take the pressure off people so they can have more fun,” he said.
Stover’s Electric Blue Entertainment work also sometimes has him portraying a favorite character.
“I’ve loved the ‘Blues Brothers’ since I was a kid. We played ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ in band in sixth grade, so that really got me introduced to them,” he said.
“I’ve always gotten a kick out of the movie. To be able to portray Elwood Blues is just fun for me.”
Another Black Hour also keeps the fun going for Stover, whose day job is working as a counselor.
“I want people to know we are trying to keep the hard rock vein alive in Chicago,” he said of his band, which also is slated to perform at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee on Aug. 17.
“It feels like without the hard rock radio stations, it’s something that’s being neglected and we want people to know that we’re striving to keep that going.”
Jessi Virtusio blogs about music, movies and much more at blogs.southtownstar.com/entertainment.