On Friday, Oct. 8, after a long day of promoting, plugging and playing at the WCUC radio station, Ray Lanich finally made his much anticipated Clarion debut at Toby Hill Bar.
A crowd made up of mostly people in their twenties and thirties stirred up the perfect mixture for 80’s and 90’s cover songs that the crowd would be familiar with. Also, Lanich played a wide variety of his new and old songs that people seemed to really enjoy as well. Lanich took the stage a little after nine-thirty and was not scheduled to leave the stage until after midnight.
The small stage in the restaurant side of the bar held a crowd of up to more than 50 people. The dim lights set the stage for the Erie solo rocker.
When the 28 year-old took the stage around 9:45 p.m., the crowd was bear with only a few stragglers coming in and out from the bar area to check out the music.
But nevertheless, Lanich kicked off the night with a classic cover song playing “Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi. With only a few people sitting, watching and listening, Lanich played the opening part of his set as if there were hundreds of people watching.
The set list played, mostly consisting of covers and some Lanich originals, Lanich’s foot was tapping to the beat, and his long pony tail was swaying back and forth to the rhythm of each song. After every song, the Clarion crowd was polite to respond with claps and cheers. He was open for requests and even started friendly conversations with the crowd about where he is from and what he likes to play while also cracking a few jokes. It was easy to tell that this act was no fluke. Lanich has played at a countless number venues.
As the crowd grew larger throughout the night, Lanich’s energy level grew as each individual that walked into the room. More original songs and cover songs were played to please the crowd and force them to stay and listen.
“Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers was a crowd pleaser. Everybody knew what song it was, and everybody tapped their feet or sang along.
Lanich was able to mix both guitar parts and the bass part to compensate for the lack of band members. The song sounded excellent and was thoroughly impressive considering the only musician on stage was Ray Lanich himself.
As more people piled into the room, the crowd consisted of people sitting at tables having a drink, people sitting at the bar and people playing the arcade games like, ski-ball that ran alongside the walls of the room.
Lanich was not hesitant to play songs that he had written. A new song that he called “Two Planets” was a catchy, upbeat, sing-a-long type of song. The song sounded like something you would hear at a John Mayer show with a little nineties spunk to it. The crowd loved it.
Lanich also played some original hits like “Lil’ Girl,” “Screw Driver,” “Nothing on Me,” “My Jenny” and another new one called “High School.” Ray’s brother was also there with him handing out free discs to promote his music.
By 12:30, Lanich was done playing, and the show was over. Like any good bar musician, Lanich was sure to stick around, have a few drinks and mingle with the Toby Hill crowd.
Although, the crowd was not as big or successful as he may have wanted.
The show was a success from all involved, including the Toby Hill crew doing the lighting and microphone setting, the crowd of people who came to watch, and of course Lanich himself. If you want to see Ray Lanich play again, you can catch him on his current “College Town Tour”. A listing of the shows can be seen at www.myspace.com/RayLanich.