Rock Piqua! launches this weekend

Courtesy photo Columbus-based band Truslow will headline the first concert of the Rock Piqua! Riverfront Concert Series on Saturday in Lock 9 Park. Opening acts will be Forgery at Best of New Bremen, and Shapes & Colors from Detroit. Admission is free, with donations accepted.

PIQUA — There’s electric in the air, and it’s not feedback from the speakers going up. On Saturday, Lock 9 Park will once again be transformed into one of the premier concert venues in Miami County as Rock Piqua! kicks off their Riverfront Concert Series for 2015. This year’s series once again features three dates and a variety of regional talent.

“The feedback from last year was great. People were demanding more and a more diverse lineup, so we’re trying to deliver,” Mainstreet Piqua Executive Director Lorna Swisher explained.

Rock Piqua!, an event brought to Piqua by Mainstreet Piqua and the Piqua Arts Council started last year with a little different direction than most area festivals and outdoor concerts.

“I’ve attended most of the area festivals with my friends and I noticed that all of them seemed to focus on cover bands. We really wanted something different to set Piqua apart and so we want to focus on original music and bands that are about to break out,” said Piqua Arts Council’s Executive Director Jordan Knepper.

“We really accomplished that last year with Nashville Crush and Clark Mason. They both played some covers, but they also did their own original songs and both of them have enjoyed great success since being at Rock Piqua! last year.”

Knepper is referring to Clark Manson playing at the CMT Music Festival and Nashville Crush recently winning a contest and opening for ZZ Top at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

This year’s concerts start with Truslow from Columbus headlining, with New Bremen-based Forgery at Best and Michigan’s Shapes & Colors opening for them. Forgery at Best is an alternative rock band that has had success lately opening for various bands as they tour the region. Their song, “Blank Page” caught the attention of Knepper and the entertainment committee for Rock Piqua!

“They have a really mature sound for a band that formed in 2012. We’re really fortunate to have found them and get them booked before their second song, ‘Catastrophe’ came out. I’m certain they won’t available next year,” proclaimed Knepper. He added, “It’s really only a matter of time before they’re discovered by a record company.”

Formed in 2011, Shapes & Colors is a rising rock band from Detroit. The band features Travis Bobier on vocals, Bob Allers on bass, Mike Morris on guitar, Kyle Labuta also on guitar and Scott Solomon on drums. Knepper said they played in Sidney and once they were on the committee’s radar, they knew they had to have them.

“We heard over and over that people wanted more rock music, so we’re trying to fill that request with high quality bands that will have a broad appeal. Shapes & Colors can really get things going. I hope people bring a few extra dollars to the concert because once they hear them, they’re going to want to pick up at least one of their CD’s,” Knepper said.

The first Rock Piqua! Riverfront Series concert will be closed out by Columbus-based, Truslow. An alternative, pop and rock band. they released their second EP, “Hurricane,” in July 2014. Their loyal following has been growing ever since in response to the new material. They reached #1 on local radio with their single, “ADHD,” sold out a handful of headlining shows, toured with the band, Twenty One Pilots, and built a successful regional base.

The Rock Piqua! Riverfront Concert Series brought to you by Mainstreet Piqua and Piqua Arts Council is free to attend through the generous community support from businesses like Francis Cricket Wireless, Mullenbrock & Associates Ameriprise Financial, Polysource, Inc., Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance, Piqua Pizza Supply Co., French Oil, Mill, Machinery Co., Positively Promotin Piqua, Midwest Maintenance, and Hartzell Industries.

The July concert will feature Ashley Martin and Atlanta-based, The Southern Gothic. TheAugust show will open with You vs Yesterday and The Weekend Classic, with The Orphan, The Poet headlining. More information about Rock Piqua! can be found at