Williamsport High senior's band will open for KISS

Justin Parks, of Dean Cramer's SO LOW, to perform with bandmates Saturday

August 19, 2010|By TIFFANY ARNOLD
  • Dean Cramer's SO LOW band members are pictured, from left, bassist Edmund Allan Brown, lead vocalist and guitarist Dean Cramer, drummer Murray Gornall and guitarist Justin Parks.
Photo courtesy of Joni Rice,

While most students were getting ready for the first day of school, Williamsport High School senior Justin Parks was preparing for the biggest concert of his career -- opening for the rock band KISS.

On Saturday, Parks and his bandmates from Dean Cramer's SO LOW will perform before KISS at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Va., as part the "Hottest Show on Earth" tour.

"I love KISS. I've always been a fan," said Parks, 18, of Halfway. "My favorite song as a kid was 'Shout it Out Loud.'"

The band landed the gig by winning an online contest coordinated by KISS and Guitar Center, a national vendor of guitars and other music-related merchandise. Guitar Center spokesman Chris Macowski said SO LOW earned the most web votes and was named the winner by representatives of Guitar Center and KISS.

Justin Parks' father, Rik Parks -- who's also the band's manager -- entered SO LOW in the contest in June and was notified that the band won the contest in an e-mail dated Aug. 11.


"Not a single one of them believed me," Rik Parks said.

The other SO LOW members are lead vocalist Dean Cramer, who lives near Leesburg, Va.; bassist Edmund Allan Brown of Frederick, Md.; and drummer Murray Gornall of Cumberland, Md.

"It's pretty satisfying to think anyone likes what you do," said Cramer, the band's chief songwriter.

Cramer said the band plans to play originals "So You Like," "It's all right" and "Loose."

Justin Parks said he's been too busy preparing for the show to be nervous.

"It will probably sink in once I get back stage," he said.

According to contest rules, bands have until Sept. 1 to enter original songs and a video for a chance to perform at one of KISS's 22 concerts nationwide.

The contest began June 1.

At the end of the tour, KISS will pick a single winner from the 22 bands to receive a $10,000 shopping spree from Guitar Center, Macowski said.

As of 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Macowski said 3,711 bands had entered the contest. He said the data for the specific number of entrants for the Virginia show was unavailable.

If you go ...

WHAT: Dean Cramer's SO LOW opens for KISS

WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Saturday

WHERE: Jiffy Lube Live (formerly Nissan Pavilion), 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va.

COST: Tickets range from $36.50 to $149.50 and do not include online transaction fees. Tickets are available at or by calling the box office at 703-754-6400.

MORE: To learn more about the band, go to

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