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Vestascension on rise

Band to play well-known New York nightclub

Band to play well-known New York nightclub

December 23, 2005|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

tiffanya@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Vestascension, a local hard rock band, has landed a New Year's Eve gig at CBGB - the New York City venue music critics call the birthplace of American punk rock.

The five-piece band with members from Hagerstown, Greencastle, Pa., Frederick, Md., and Baltimore is the last act scheduled to perform at CBGB, the same place that popularized The Ramones, Blondie and The Talking Heads.

The band will share the stage with five other bands: Black Market Radio, High Speed Chase, Crewman # Six, Butterspy and End of October. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., with the last performance scheduled for 1 a.m.

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"I can't believe it," drummer Mike Chubb said. "It's such an honor to be able to play there."

Accounts of how they got the show sounded a lot like fate - especially since it could be the club's last New Year's Eve show.

CBGB is involved in a rental dispute with its landlord and could close next year, according to the club's Web site.

Chubb said being added to the CBGB show on New Year's was kind of a fluke. Vestascension was scheduled to play at a Baltimore club that night.

"But that was kind of a small show and we were really trying to get out of it," said guitarist Justin Gosnell, 24, of Frederick.

The problem resolved itself, band members said.

"When we got the CBGB gig, we were thinking, 'Wow, how are we going to tell them?'" said Chubb, 29, of Baltimore. "But then we got an e-mail saying that (the Baltimore club) were going out of business."

Vestascension's sound comfortably fits somewhere between the hard rock and heavy metal genres, according to David Manning, the band's lead singer and lyricist.

Manning, of Frederick, said many of his lyrics came from his own journal entries.

"The world would be such a better place if people could share their experiences, both good things and bad things together," Manning said. "To me, that gives me a sense of liberation."

Unlike heavy metal, their songs are built around intricate melodies and harmony, said guitarist Josh Morningstar, 22, of Greencastle.

Since the band isn't signed, they've been using their own money to pay for recording time.

But Gosnell said having complete artistic freedom was worth it.

"There aren't very many real bands out there," Gosnell said. "If we were signed to a major label, they'd probably try to put make-up on us or make us play acoustic ballads or something stupid like that."

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