Talk about great chemistry, here’s a band that studies various compositions of rock and implements them onstage.
Metal Echo revels with an amalgam of precious metal tracks. The alloy of a band will perform at thethe Fallon Cantaloupe Festival & County Fair on Friday, Aug. 24.
It’s a simple formula: Play fun, familiar metal cover songs and people will sing along and dance. Lead singer Kandy Xander explains.
“When you hear the word metal, you tend to think it will be a hard-core, screaming kind of music,” she said. “The message I want to get out there is the music we do is all-around rock music, everything from Led Zeppelin to Iron Maiden to Metallica.”
Formed about 10 years ago, Metal Echo comprises guitarists Andrew Bell and Bryan Shadel, bassist Brian Kaspar, singer Xander, keyboardist Sue McReavy and her husband Derek McReavy, a drummer who started the band.
Kandy Xander’s singing began in a school choir and she learned classic operatic technique during lunchtime sessions. After college, she lived for a decade in Chicago, where she was immersed in the rock ‘n’ roll and blues scene.
“It was really cool living back there but I just couldn’t handle the winters anymore,” she said.
How she settled in Tahoe is a story told as often as “Stairway to Heaven” is played. She intended to stay just one winter but never left.
After landing in Paradise, err, make that Tahoe City, and joining a band, why move? The band was Fire Chicken, which called its sound “psycho hippiebilly country punk.”
Years later, Metal Echo was in need of a lead singer. “Their set list was a dream list,” said Xander, who learned about 10 songs in a couple of weeks and joined the group.
The songs are covers, but the delivery is unique because instead of being sung by a male voice, such as Axel Rose, Robert Plant or Chris Cornell, they are delivered by Kandy Xander. The only female she covers is Ann Wilson of Heart.
On Aug. 16, Metal Echo made its fifth appearance at Alibi Ale Works – Truckee Public House.
“We’ve played all over Truckee but we really appreciate the way Alibi has brought itself up to a venue status with stage and sound and lighting,” she said. “It’s refreshing for us to come in and have space and play. It’s a great vibe in there.”
— Tim Parsons