They started kicking out the jams more than 30 years ago and still boast the original lineup that first came together as starry-eyed teens in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood. They aspired to follow in the footsteps of an older neighborhood band called Styx.
M&R Rush performs performs the final show of its 2014 “Livin’ for the Music” tour at the Beverly Arts Center on Saturday, which is also the official release party for a new live concert DVD. Tickets: $11 & $13. A VIP package includes a show ticket, the new DVD and a pre-show meet ‘n’ greet with the band members.
“Being that we are the original members who played your high schools in the '70s, we feel blessed to be able to continue to make music for all our fans and friends. We are ‘Livin’ for the Music’ and look forward to seeing everyone again next summer,” said the band’s drummer and co-founder Marty Mardirosian.
“We had a passion for music and decided to form our own band and chase the dream,” recalled Mardirosian. After winning a few local “battle of the band” events and playing a plethora of high school dances and backyard parties, the lads graduated to the night club circuit and soon packed venues throughout the greater Midwest.
In 1980, WLUP “The Loop" radio in Chicago chose M&R Rush original song "Rock & Roll Chicago” for their hometown album. Their song became the most requested from the album and became a local rock anthem, prompting the band to record and release its debut EP, "Reach For The Stars."
Soon they were opening shows for their hometown heroes Styx along with groups like Humble Pie, Survivor, Sammy Hagar, Judas Priest, Black Oak Arkansas, Head East, the Go Go's and more.
After taking a hiatus in 1987, M&R Rush reunited in 2002 to re-issue the songs from that debut EP as an enhanced and expanded CD for the first time – titled “Rock And Roll Chicago” – which they promoted with a summer tour that has since become an annual event. Several more albums have been released since – 2004’s “Thrill Of The Chase,” 2007’s “Keep On Rockin’,” and 2011’s “Alpha.”
The original band members -- Mardirosian (the “M” in M&R Rush) on drums; Roger Hirtz (the “R”) on bass; John McFarland, Jeff Luif, and Paul Martin on guitar; and Carl Moszur on keyboards – all contribute to the writing process and all remain dedicated to keeping the group’s name alive on the region scene. “We still have the passion,” Mardirosian said. “It’s still a blast getting up on stage together and playing our songs.” More: mandrrush.com.
• Long-running regional vocal group Harbor Lights has a line-up change in the works. “First tenor Fernando Rodriguez recently relocated to Las Vegas, and second tenor Jim Calinski will exit the group in January,’ reported group co-founder George Carl.
Jason Andrews, of the local classic rock cover band Mr. Funnyman, will temporarily fill Rodriguez’ shoes. In January, David Blixt and Mike Aponte (both former members of the local acappella group Five O’Clock Shadow) will become permanent members of Harbor Lights. The group next performs at Theatre at the Center, (1040 Ridge Rd.) in Munster on Oct. 26. Show times are: 2:30 and 7 p.m. More: (219) 836-3255, or visit TheatreAtTheCenter.com.
• Northwest Indiana original rockers Nomad Planets celebrate the release of their brand new five-song EP -- "Corrugated Smile" -- at The 18th Street Brewery (5725 Miller Ave.) in Miller at 7:30 p.m. Friday. “We're right proud of this collection of tunes,” said the band’s Mark Mybeck. “CDs will be available that night at the low cost of $5 each.” More: nomadplanets.com.