In the News
A peek inside the District Center for the Arts in Taunton
Featured in the Taunton Daily Gazette, Jon Haglof, 02/25/2022
The District Center for the Performing Arts in Taunton hosted the Rose Wharf Band's 25th Anniversary Show on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Rose Wharf Band is a Grateful Dead tribute band based in Taunton. For the 25th anniversary, they performed the Grateful Dead's historic triple live album, Europe '72.
Inside the quirky, thriving world of tribute bands at Tauton's District Center
Featured in the Taunton Daily Gazette, Jon Haglof 02/25/2022
TAUNTON - The District Center for the Arts is on the COVID rebound and ready for the rush.
On Saturday night, Taunton's own Rose Wharf Band played their 25th anniversary show for a sold out crowd, an indication to venue founder Alex Stylos things are getting back to normal.
Before COVID, and the shutdown and many months of restrictions and confusion, the District Center had sold out 16 of 17 shows.
"We were only a year and a half old. We were on our way," Stylos said.
Then, just like that.
"Setback, reinvent, start over. We weathered that storm, like other venues. And that's really the biggest challenge right now, is hoping we can get back to where we once were,", he said.
Since opening in 2018, the District Center has become known for hosting tribute acts and the 2022 schedule is packed with tributes.
So far this year, the District Center has seen tribute acts covering AC/DC (Who Made Who), Earth, Wind & Fire (Earth Wind & Fire Tribute Band w/ Chicago Total Access), Lynyrd Skynrd (Barefoot Rebel) and David Bowie (The Young Americans).
Rose Wharf Band celebrates 25 years with fans
On Saturday night it was the Grateful Dead, with Rose Wharf Band taking on the Dead's classic live triple-album set, Europe '72, and the reproduction did not disappoint.
"Each year when we have our anniversary show, we try to pick a theme, try to do an album or series of albums by the Grateful Dead", said Rose Wharf guitarist Fran Fenton. "About 90% of the music we play when we play out is Grateful Dead music. That's just what we do. We've stayed true to the music that we love and we're still having fun with it 25 years later.
"We stay pretty true to the '72 album," Fenton said of that evening's undertaking. "It's just a classic album, just the epitome of wonderful live albums. It's beautiful music."
"Tonight is special," Stylos said, "because it's a real Taunton-centric crowd. Rose Wharf has played here before - this is maybe their fourth time - that's a lot for us. But we're happy to produce shows that have a special meaning to the locals, and this one certainly does."
Rose Wharf Band got started in 1995 and played its first shows at the Captains Quarter Deck on Scadding Street in Taunton. Today, Taunton resident Fenton, guitarist Tom Arieta and bassist Gregg Fitzgerald are the remaining original members. Keyboard player Greg Lee and drummer Greg Motta round out the lineup.