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Audience 'Under Siege'

June 23, 2006|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN

The music started first, prompting the crowd to move to the bluesy beat.

"Make some noise!" a backup singer yelled, as he commanded people to get up and clap their hands.

Moments later, screams filled The Maryland Theatre Thursday night as actor and musician Steven Seagal walked on stage with a guitar clinging to his chest.

The music continued, and so did the crowd, which stood and danced along in their seats.

Seagal, wearing blue jeans and a bright yellow sleeveless shirt exposing the muscles his movie fans have become familiar with, and his band, Thunderbox, didn't take to the stage until nearly 10 p.m., but the crowd didn't seem to care.

Cheers of affirmation could be heard as the blues band played its first number.

"That's what I'm talking about," Seagal said amid shouts from the crowd as the opening song ended.

"It's hot up here, y'all, and it's only going to get hotter!" Seagal encouraged the crowd.

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Seagal is on tour promoting the May release of his album, "Mojo Priest." Song titles on the album include "Gunfire in the Juke Joint," "She Dat Pretty" and "Slow Boat to China."

Dave Schober of Union Bridge, Md., knew Seagal was in a blues band, but he never had heard him play until Thursday.

"I know he's also a big collector of guitars, like me," Schober said.

Schober said he attended the concert for a night out on the town.

The Stonebergers, of Hagerstown, are fans of Seagal's movies, saying they have seen nearly all of them.

While Sandy Stoneberger joked that she and her husband have wondered how many people Seagal would beat up within the first 30 minutes of a movie, she said they had no idea he was a musician.

"We didn't know he had a band until we saw it in the newspaper," Sandy Stoneberger said before Seagal performed.

So, they decided to come out and see their action hero in person.

Bill Stoneberger said he thought Seagal's music would be good even before the show started.

"I just think he has the voice, and the way he carries himself, he's going to be good," Stoneberger said.

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