Avon Dale, Cheer Up! - Gabe's330 E. Washington St. Iowa City,IA
10/16/2018 9:00 PM - 10/16/2018 11:00 PM
Avon Dale is a band consisting of Alec Heist, Conrad Polz, Andrew Allen, & Matt McCarter currently residing in Memphis, TN: www.thebandavondale.com
Avon Dale is a band that draws its influences from rock, blues and soul. The band originated with an unlikely duo. Lead vocalist and electric guitar player Conrad Polz and vocalist/acoustic guitarist Matt McCarter met as members of the wrestling team their freshman year at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Through their college years they balanced out the intensity of wrestling with jam sessions and nights spent writing songs on the roof of Polz’s college home on Avondale Avenue. Both Polz and McCarter are self taught guitarists and singers; they let the lyrics and the music flow around the theme or the aesthetic they are creating. “Both of us were new to song writing”, states McCarter, “we started writing music as a joke to entertain friends, but it slowly turned into a hobby, then a passion.”
No one in the band reads music. It’s all about the feeling.
Avon Dale drummer Alec Heist also attended U of I, where he met McCarter in the History/Education program. Heist stems from a family of drummers spanning generations, but he mostly practiced his craft in private from middle school onward. After hearing some of the solo recordings McCarter had done the previous summer, Heist dug the sound enough to haul his drum set down to school. The trio formed in September of 2012 and began to practice in a friend’s basement. Between student teaching assignments and Polz’s Division 1 wrestling schedule, band practice was a tight fit, and Avon Dale had their first show at the eclectic Green St. Café in Champaign just a few weeks after Polz wrestled in the Big Ten Finals. After graduation, the band packed up the basement gear and decided to hit the road and pursue their musical aspirations in Memphis, Tennessee. They have since settled in Memphis, working on new material, recording demos, and playing gigs in the larger Memphis and Chicago areas.
Avon Dale has played shows all around Central Illinois and the greater Chicagoland at spots including Daddio’s of Bloomington, Cowboy Monkey of Champaign, and Bally Doyle’s of Aurora. In July of 2013, Avon Dale played I Am Fest at the iconic House of Blues in Chicago, which drew a crowd of over 1,000 people. They also played in Chicago on the last night of 2013, headlining the sold-out New Year’s Eve show at The Elbo Room.
As they carve out their name in Memphis, Avon Dale has been featured on Rock 103 Memphis’ Made radio program. They also won the 2013 Beale Street Battle of the Bands at the New Daisy Theatre and were the winners of the King Sound Studios Fall 2013 Demo Competition. Avon Dale was honored to have the opportunity to record a short demo with Mike Wilson at the historic Ardent studios, which has cut records for legends like B.B King, Led Zeppelin, the White Stripes, and Bob Dylan. The band also recorded their recent single, “OMG” at King Sound Studio in Paducah, KY with Rick King. In March 2014, Avon Dale added bassist Andrew Allen, and they are soon heading out on tour.