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UPDATED: Summer Meltdown concert rocks Golden Valley today

Trapt, Stephen Perkins, The Craze, Maxwell Smart, Renfue, highlight bill

Posted: April 15, 2009 6:33 p.m.
Updated: July 11, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Mission:Black (from left): Philip A. Beer, Dan Stone, Chris Breedlove and Chris Collier.

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The fifth annual marathon "Summer Meltdown Autism Awareness and Social Inclusion Concert" rock festival, produced by the William S. Hart Union High School District's Yes I Can students all spring semester, is an all-ages event set for Saturday, May 10 in the outdoor amphitheater at Golden Valley High School in Canyon Country.

Nearly a dozen bands will take the stage between 2:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. The headliner is Trapt, and the lineup features Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction, The Craze, Guilt by Association, Conjob, Un:armed, Mission Black, Cry Havoc, Surface Rising, Maxwell Smart, and Renfue.

Admission for the entire concert is $10 in advance at $20 at the door. Proceeds will go to cover the costs of producing the show, and anything left over will help fund the Yes I Can program throughout the school year and seed preparations for next year's event.

The Yes I Can program has made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of special-needs students, most of whom are diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome, which deeply inhibits communication and social skills, and their general education mentors.

To purchase tickets online and get complete Summer Meltdown show info, visit www.summermeltdown2008.com.

For more info about the Yes I Can program and sponsoring Summer Meltdown, contact Lieberman at (661) 298-8140 ext. 1414 or visit www.sponsorthemeltdown.com.

Here's Escape's preview of the 2008 Summer Meltdown bands (in order of appearance).

RENFUE -- 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Based in Valencia, six-piece alternative rock band Renfue (ren-few) started playing together in late 2006. In January 2008, Renfue recorded a four-song demo, and fans, labels, magazine companies, and clothing companies took notice. Now, Renfue is powering its way toward the top. Fronted by a powerful female vocalist, Renfue features Vincent (guitar), Ryam (drums), Rob (guitars), Shane (keyboards) and Sean (bass). With the help of their loyal and loved fans, the band has been able to put on very successful and energetic shows all across Southern California. This summer, Renfue plans a tour of the west including stops elsewhere in California plus Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Wyoming. Visit the band's My Space page at myspace.com/renfue or their Garage Band site at www.garageband.com/artist/renfue.

 MAXWELL SMART -- 3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
When was the last time you heard a band with a full horn section (like Pedro, Ian and Eddie) blow your socks off? Back that up with bass lines (Tristen) that make you wish you had two extra fingers, guitar riffs (by Brandon) that become embedded in your brain, and drum fills (by Eduardo) that make you want to play your air drum set. The snappy ska band from San Fernando has co-headlined with the Gin Blossoms, produced a music video for their song "Zombies," and are working on a full-length album to be released in late 2008. Check out Maxwell Smart's My Space page; search "The greatest Ska Band Ever."

SURFACE RISING -- 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
With Jesse singing lead, Fatty on bass, Gabe playing drums and Ryan on guitar, American/Canadian band Surface Rising returns to Southern California for their first Summer Meltdown appearance. Previously the group played locally at The Vu and at the Santa Clarita skate park, the latter gig sharing a bill with Smile Empty Soul. SR has also played the Derby and The Joint in Hollywood. The four members hail from Atlanta, Ga., and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and got together in 2004. The band's producer, Ron St. Germain, has worked with Tool, 311 and Soundgarden, and their debut album, "Bleed Life," is now available at SR shows and on the SR My Space site at www.myspace.com/surfacerising. A video for the group's latest single, "Resonance," is also posted there.

CRY HAVOC -- 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Already a local favorite with young fans, Cry Havoc has been featured on KROQ-FM 106.7's "Locals Only" show and have shared the stage with Pennywise/Ignite. Cry Havoc is a melodic punk-metal modern-rock rock band with catchy hooks and melodic choruses. They released their full-length album, "The Outcome of Misery," in 2004 and are working on writing new material for their next album. The band was formed in summer 2003 by a bunch of friends from El Monte, Calif., who share the passion to create music and perform it live -- Cry Havoc features Jowee (vocals) Matt (guitar), Chris (bass) Mike (drums) and Phil (screams). This will be the first time that Cry Havoc will perform at the Summer Meltdown as part of their summer 2008 tour, and they say they can't wait. For more info, visit the band's official Web site at www.cryhavocmusic.com.

MISSION:BLACK -- 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Making their debut at the Summer Meltdown, Mission:Black will be playing their third show to date. The band fuses rock and metal and tops off their hybrid sound with hook-oriented vocals. Mission:Black is the creation of Chris Collier, songwriter, lead vocalist and guitar player for the band. He wrote, performed, produced, engineered and mixed the band's debut record on his own beginning in 2005 before solidifying the lineup in January 2008. Since then Mission:Black has been in constant motion, tightening its energetic sound. The band also features Phil A. Beer on guitar, Chris Breedlove on bass and Dan Stone on drums. Mission:Black's eponymous debut CD is now available and will be available on iTunes in mid-May.

UN:ARMED: 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Three-piece indie rock band UN:ARMED began in 2006 when Douglas, formerly of Los Angeles favorite Fractional, joined with brother Derek, the former drummer and founding member of Smile Empty Soul (Lava/Atlantic Records), to create music both introspective and insightful. The brothers later added Bryan of L.A. based Diamonds Under Fire to complete the sound. With the lineup solidified, Un:Armed soon entered the studio to record their six-song EP and began hitting the L.A. club scene. The band has performed at all of the leading venues in Los Angeles including The Troubadour, Spaceland, The Echo, Key Club, Knitting Factory and Safari Sam's with some of the best bands in the city including, Nico Vega, The Valley Arena, World Wide Spies, Manic and Low vs. Diamond. The Un:Armed single "Talk Talk" has been featured on KROQ-FM's "Locals Only" show and In their short time on the scene, the band has gained a loyal fan base and critical acclaim. As LA Weekly writes, "They are armed with black, gray and white ensembles, bringing endless energy to the stage and into the audience...They play their hearts out and make you move to the march of an army of melodies and beats." Though both Douglas and Derek have played Summer Meltdown with their former bands, this will be the first appearance of UN:ARMED at this festival.

THE CRAZE -- 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Highlighting the Meltdown lineup for the third year in a row is The Craze, whose new wave rockabilly raveups were so well-received by music fans at the week-long 2008 SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, the band rocked the town five nights straight. Based in Lancaster, The Craze features Jesse on lead vocals and guitar, Giddy playing lead guitar and adding backing vocals, Rudy on bass/vocals and Ainsley behind the drums. The band records for the indie Dynatone label, and their first album, "Introducing The Craze," was released in fall 2005. After Summer Meltdown, The Craze will return to the Santa Clarita Valley Aug. 9 to play a free, all-ages "Concert in the Park" at Central Park in Saugus. Visit the band's MySpace site at www.myspace.com/thecrazetheband

GUILT BY ASSOCIATION -- 7:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Guilt by Association from Chatsworth, Calif., was established in summer 2000 by J.D. and Britney Bouck, a singer/guitarist brother and bassist sister duo tired of listening to the less-than-genuine bands that filled the airwaves. They skyrocketed to international fame with their 2004 standout performance on MTV's "Battle for Ozzfest." Since then, GBA has toured non-stop, taking what they describe as their "rockcore" sound through out the U.S. and Mexico. In late 2006 the band released their debut album, "Living in Silence," which will be re-issued this summer along with their first EP, "Trial and Error," both with bonus material and new artwork. Already available on iTunes, these albums will also be available in Japan through Pure Sound due to overwhelming demand. GBA now also features Ozzy Doniz on drums and original member Sean De La Tour, who shares guitar duties with Adrian "The Guitar Hero" Boisclare, and the new lineup is working on the next GBA album. Check the band out on the Web at www.guiltbyassociation.com and www.mergmusic.com.

CONJOB -- 8:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
A potent combination of West Coast cool, hip-hop swagger, sweet succulent melodies and big beefy beats, Conjob has become one of the top live acts in Southern California and beyond. Through non-stop touring (including top billing on the 2007 National Lampoon Spring Break Tour along with Tone Loc & Rob Base), Conjob has recently shared the stage with Jurassic 5, Alien Ant Farm, Digital Underground, Zebrahead, Unwritten Law, Mickey Avalon and many others. Recently Conjob won the $10,000 Grand Prize in the Century City Walk & Roll Festival, headlined the prestigious Amplify Independent Music Festival in Las Vegas and traveled across the country to showcase at the Millenium Music Conference in Pennsylvania. Conjob has released several music videos for tracks from their 2007 album "Everybody Be Cool" on Backbone Records (see www.myspace.com/conjob or www.youtube.com/conjob), and licensed their music to ESPN for the 2008 Winter X Games and All State Insurance for a national ad campaign. Hailed by Music Connection magazine as one of the "top unsigned acts in Los Angeles," Conjob is now recording a follow-up to "Everybody Be Cool" with legendary Orange County producer Bob Burch, slated for release later this summer.

STEPHEN PERKINS -- 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Stephen Perkins, much-lauded drummer of Jane's Addiction, will lead all the Yes I Can students plus the drummers of each Summer Meltdown band in a massive on-stage drum circle prior to headliner Trapt's festival-closing performance. Perkins will bring a large collection of bongos, drums and percussion instruments, donated by Meltdown cosponsors Remo especially for the occasion. Originally from Los Angeles, Perkins joined Jane's Addiction in 1986. Since the band's first split in 1991, he's also been a member of Infectious Grooves and Methods of Mayhem, and founded Porno for Pyros, Banyan and The Panic Channel. He has played sessions and live gigs with Rage Against the Machine, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more, and has hosted numerous drum clinics and music therapy sessions. Get more info at Perkins' My Space site -- www.myspace.com/perkinspalace.

TRAPT -- 9:30 p.m. to 10:40 p.m.
Headlining this year's Summer Meltdown is Trapt, who captured the No. 1 spot on the U.S. modern rock chart with the single "Headstrong" and will unleash "Only Through the Pain," their third full-length studio album, this summer. The single "Who's Goin' Home with You Tonight?" is already out. Known for powerful hard rock with melodies, vocal harmonies and blazing guitars, the quartet formed in 1997 in Los Gatos, Calif.. The founding members were vocalist/lyricist/guitarist Chris Brown, guitarist Simon Ormandy and bassist Peter Charell; Aaron Montgomery later joined as the drummer. After Summer Meltdown, Trapt is hitting the road on the Crue Fest 2008 tour in July and August with Motley Crue, Buckcherry, Papa Roach and Sixx.A.M. For more info, visit the Trapt website at www.trapt.com and the band's My Space page at www.myspace.com/trapt.

The author would like to thank the bands and Bret and Kevin Lieberman of Higher Level Productions (www.higherlevelshows.com) for their assistance.

The Signal is a proud Media Sponsor of Yes I Can's 2008 Summer Meltdown concert.

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