The British invaded America in the 1700s, and now they’re doing it again in State College this weekend.
The State Theater is hosting a benefit concert with the Bestwick Foundation on Saturday, July 28 at 7 p.m.
Sponsored by Monster Energy, the Westside Stadium Bar & Grill, and the Leitzell Family, “The British Invasion: Then and Now…” is a concert featuring local bands who cover some of the best artists and hits, past and present, from across the pond.
Local bands set to appear are: Ted and the Hi-Fi’s, Screaming Ducks, Pure Cane Sugar, Jason McIntyre & Junior Tutwiler, Tommy Wareham, Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats, Vic Rizzo, Ginger Woolridge & Billy Bucha, Bishop and Wilgus, and Harold Taddy.
The British Invasion is part of a series of benefit concerts that take the talents of local bands and center performances around a given theme. Covers include the hits by the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and more.
Ford DeCastro (senior-bioengineering and music technology), a State Theatre employee, said the British Invasion show will be a fun event that fans can enjoy.
“[Executive Director] Rich Biever and the people upstairs wanted a fun and appropriate thing for State College,” DeCastro said. “For [local bands] to get together and raise money for charity, it can’t get better than that.”
The general reaction to the concerts has been positive.
“For those that enjoy [British music], they have a wonderful time,” DeCastro said.
Zach Panos (freshman-education) said the event sounded “really cool.”
“I think that the bands are going to do great,” he said, “especially since they’re covering hit songs.”
Ted and the Hi-Fi’s is a band led by Ted McCloskey. They have had several albums since 2003, with the most recent one being “The Last of the Pin-Up Girls.”
The Screaming Ducks is a town favorite, playing classic rock ‘n’ roll in bars across State College.
Pure Cane Sugar, an all-female band, will also be taking the stage. The three singers, Kate Twoey, Molly Countermine and Natalie Berrena, have performed at the Arts Festival in previous years.
Jason McIntyre and Junior Tutwiler are also performing. The two were part of a band called “The Rustlanders,” which was formed in 2004.
Tommy Wareham, “The Original Piano Man,” has been around Centre County for 25 years, entertaining audiences at the American Ale House with his piano performances.
Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats, a band infused with the sounds of New Orleans will take the stage.
“I think it’ll be fun,” said Mark Ross, the general manager and guitarist for Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats. “That [theme] concept seems to be catching on.”
The bluesy group got involved with the British Invasion concert through Jamie Bestwick, the founder of the Bestwick Foundation.
“We did the Neil Young concert and [Jamie] heard us play and asked the promoter to book us,” Ross said. “It’s a little bit of a challenge, but I’m happy to do it.”
Harold Taddy, Vic Rizzo, Ginger Woolridge & Billy Bucha and Bishop and Wilgus will also perform.
Proceeds from the concert go to the local Bestwick Foundation and the State Theatre.
The Bestwick Foundation is a local charity that is for families living in State College receiving cancer treatment. It was founded by Jamie Bestwick, an X-Games champion, who lost both sets of grandparents to cancer and has seen families and friends affected by cancer, according to its websites.
Tickets range from $25 to $100, depending on seating.