FANWOOD, NJ -- Fanwood resident Craig Kiell has played many local gigs with his U2 tribute band Unforgettable Fire, including headlining the 2018 Fan Jam Music Festival in LaGrande Park, but the show he will perform at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair this Saturday, Jan 11, at 7:00 p.m., has special meaning.
It will be the first time that Kiell, who has played bass (and somewhat resembles U2 bassist Adam Clayton) in Unforgettable Fire, will play with his sons, Adam and Dylan, professionally. Adam plays drums in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School marching band. He and his colleagues were invited to play as guests at the Wellmont Theater show after Kiell cleared it with high school band leaders Durand Thomas and John Gillick, as well as the SPFK12 Board of Education. (The BOE approved the performance at its last meeting of 2019.)
"After watching the SPF marching band, I wanted to give them an opportunity to show off their talent. They work so hard, and they sound great. They have such a bond which I can appreciate," said Craig Kiell in an interview with TAPintoSPF. "The teachers are so dedicated and give up so much of their time."
Kiell says that the Wellmont Theater is a great venue and that his band picked the perfect song to showcase the high school musicians.
"They will have everybody’s attention. I also wanted them to have bit of fun and a taste of a rock and roll experience complete with soundcheck, a dressing room, sound and light techs running around and, of course, a pre-performance pizza," Kiell said.
Kiell was unsure how the school district would respond to his invitation.
"I sent it to Mr. Gillick anyway," he said. "I can only imagine what kind of strings he pulled to get the school board to agree to let their students perform with a rock band on a Saturday night, but it turns out he was as excited as I was, and he made it happen!"
The show is a double bill with Fix You, a tribute to Coldplay, taking the stage at 8:00 p.m. and Unforgettable Fire headlining at 9:00 p.m.
“I think the opportunity is excellent.We get to promote the music at the school district, and it's not every day that you get to perform at an actual concert with a legitimate band and share the stage with my dad,” said Adam Kiell, who is a sophomore at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School this year.
Unforgettable Fire and special guests from the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Marching Band (percussion section)
5 Seymour Street
Montclair, NJ 07042
Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020
Doors open: 7:00 p.m.
Fix You, a tribute to Coldplay: 8:00 p.m.
Unforgettable Fire: 9:00 p.m.