National touring hard rock bands to play at Les a Jim’s

National recording artist Close Your Eyes, currently on a tour of the U.S. and Canada, will make a stop in Merrill on Tuesday, Sept. 7, at Les & Jim’s Ballroom. The show will feature Signs of Hope, the support act for the current leg of the Close Your Eyes tour. Local bands on the bill include Merrill’s A Break in the Storm, along with Rival Era and As We Arose, both hard rock bands from Wausau. Close Your Eyes is a melodic heavy rock group from Texas that records on the Victory Records label. Signs of Hope is a hardcore/punk act from Connecticut.

Close Your Eyes mixes hard rock music with a positive message.

A statement from the band reads, “As a band, our desire is to give hope to the hopeless, give bread to the hungry, give love to the unloved, and give life to those who feel there is nothing left.”

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with the music starting at 5 p.m. The concert is scheduled to run until 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 at the door.

Rob Oemig, Merrill, drummer for A Break in the Storm, is promoting the show after being contacted by the bands’ booking agent.

“As a new promoter in the area, I feel this is the start of something bigger,” Oemig said. “I expect to see more and more well-known bands to come through Merrill and the surrounding areas such as Wausau and Stevens Point in the very near future. Close Your Eyes/Signs Of Hope are great dudes so please come support them and the local music scene. I guarantee you more great bands will be coming to Merrill if this proves successful, which I have faith it will be!”

While Oemig is trying his hand as a concert promoter, he and his bandmates are hard at work trying to take A Break in the Storm to the next level. The band is currently finishing up its debut album, “Metanoia,” through Turkey Vulture Records.

“There is no official release date at the moment,” Oemig said, “but we are doing everything in our power to get it to our fans as quickly as we possibly can.”

The band has also been hitting the stage hard, with more than 100 live performances under their belts thus far. They’ve shared the stage with many national acts at venues like The Rave in Milwaukee, the Rock Nightclub in Minneapolis and Abbey Pub in Chicago.

“We will undoubtedly finish 2010 with, at least, 150 total performances as a group,” Oemig said. “It has been such a great privilege to be able to go out and play music for so many people and show the kids that aspire to be traveling musicians that it is possible.”

The band has also landed endorsement deals with a number of musical equipment companies.

The current lineup of A Break in the Storm is: Casey Kleinschmidt – Vocals, Andy Immel – Guitar, Brandon Peterson – Guitar, John Sholund – Bass, and Rob Oemig – Drums.

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