Raleigh rock band Jack The Radio is accustomed to performing at small, dimly lit bars, but on Monday night, it will take to one of the biggest stages in the city.
The band has a coveted gig opening for George Thorogood and the Destroyers at Memorial Auditorium – by far the biggest audience Jack The Radio has ever had.
Frontman George Hage said a friend at the Raleigh Convention Center – which operates Memorial – submitted the band’s music, and they’ll be warming up the crowd for Thorogood’s hits like “Bad To The Bone” and “Who Do You Love?”
Opening for Thorogood would serve as a musical pinnacle for many local bands, but for Jack The Radio it’s a warm-up for an even bigger stage: Walnut Creek Amphitheater, where they’ll play to thousands at a Hall and Oates concert in May.
“Our biggest hope is catching the ear of some of these artists and some of their fans with the ultimate goal of putting out another record,” Hage said.
The Hall and Oates opening slot is Jack The Radio’s prize for winning the Last Band Standing competition at the Lincoln Theatre earlier this month. Hage said his group typically avoids the “battle of the bands” format, but they agreed to play at Last Band Standing because the event was a fundraiser for Communities In Schools of Durham and Wake counties.
“This event raised money for kids – that drew us in and made us really want to play the event,” he said.
To help win over the panel of judges, Jack The Radio, billed as a “Southern indie-rock band,” added a horn section to its usual five-man lineup of Hage, who plays multiple instruments; A.C. Hill (vocals), Brent Francese (drums), Chris Sayles (bass) and Danny Johnson (also multi-instrument). Still, Hage said his group was surprised to wind up with the oversized $3,500 pot at the end of the night, because the competition was strong.
And even as they land high-profile gigs, the band is already working on its next CD, months after releasing an acoustic live album last summer. The goal is to record about 18 songs and then cut the CD down to 10 or 12.
“We’re joking that it’s going to be heard to beat the first quarter of this year,” Hage said.