Soundcheck! Who’s got a hat for tips? Where’s the band? Model Stranger began their Imitation Act Tour in the Quad Cities, kicking off their ten-stop tour on the River Music Experience Community at Falbo Bros Pizzeria in Davenport. While it was a small crowd, the people were happy to see the band on Feb. 19.
Model Stranger hails from Chicago, where the band formed in December of 2009. They classify themselves as psychedelic grunge/rock, which becomes clear when listening to their songs. Even though they were short-staffed that night, their music was superb. The band played mostly original songs from both their new CD and previous records.
Lead vocalist Stephen Francis regaled the audience with a tale from that night, telling of how they had lost an electric guitar off the van while driving through downtown Davenport without their lights on. “Everyone give a round of applause for the City of Davenport police not doing their job,” he said at the end of that story, laughter and clapping ensuing.
At one point between songs, Steven went around the room and asked the names of all the audience; since I was closest to the stage I was the first. He pointed at me and asked, and I gestured to myself and raised my eyebrows in confusion. Towards the middle of the set one of the waiters at Falbos produced a wicker basket for tips, which Stephen balanced on his head.
“Do you think I could balance this for a whole song?” He asked the crowd. He quickly decided against the attempt, however, setting it on the stage between himself and the other guitarist Kevin James. In the middle of a song, I got up to put money in the basket, and at the end of the song both Stephen and Kevin said, “Thanks, Anna.”
When deciding to include the long instrumental exit for “Monster” Stephen said, “This tour is not yet rated.”
If you decide to go to one of the upcoming events, try to stay after to talk with the band and ask Stephen to tell you his Des Moines story.
You can check out their website at modelstranger.com to buy music such as their new EP Imitation Act or merchandise such as hoodies, t-shirts, posters, or ladies’ hot shorts. Imitation Act is available as a free download on their website, though it is suggested you pay something to help support local talent.