Firefall honored to play Egyptian Theatre celebration | ParkRecord.com

Firefall honored to play Egyptian Theatre celebration

Firefall bassist and vocalist Mark Andes said the band is honored to perform for the 35th anniversary of the Egyptian Theatre's reopening in 1981.

"This is a wonderful blessing," Andes told The Park Record during a phone call from his home just outside of Magnolia, Texas. "I love that they thought of including us in this. It's very nice."

Firefall — featuring original band members Andes, Jock Bartley and David Muse, along with longtime drummer Sandy Ficca and newcomer Gary Jones — will play the Egyptian Theatre on Oct. 10.

The show will be a mix of hits — including "You Are the Woman," "Strange Way" and
"Just Remember I Love You" — and other songs from bands that Firefall had ties with including the Byrds, Spirit and the Marshall Tucker Band, to name a few, Andes explained.

"The avenue that we're exploring now is like a family tree," he said.

Firefall's ties with the Byrds' Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke and Andes' connection with Spirit, helped flesh out the set list.

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"I had a conversation with Jock and he was open to this, as well as playing a couple of Spirit songs and a Byrds' song," Andes said. "This makes the sets refreshing to us, and hopefully for the audience."

Still, Firefall's 40-year career speaks for itself with two platinum albums and three gold albums.

"You know, I don't think we thought about going 40 years, or 10 at that," Andes said. "I know there are some people who think about longevity and have the skills to keep something lasting long term, but it's difficult, because I really don't know if there is a sense of permanence with any band or ensemble deal."

Andes speaks from experience. He left Firefall in 1980 to pursue other musical outlets, including playing with Heart and playing in Austin, Texas.

"I needed to make a change for myself," he said.

When Andes did return to Firefall, the band had established some solid goals.

"We want to be respectful of the music and give people a really good show," he said. "It's not like we want to keep the '70s alive, because it's more organic than that."

The strength of the songs alone have inspired band members to continue the tours.

"These songs have evolved, at least in the way we approach them," Andes said. "The guys who are doing Firefall now really enjoy working with the music so the songs have more impact. That said, I don't think we stray too far from the original intent, but it's fun."

Andes said he is enjoying being in the band again.

"That's why I'm still doing it," he said. "There's the enjoyment of playing the songs for people and to hang out with the band. The guys all play so well. And the songs sound good, so it's win-win."

That enjoyment multiplies when the audience gets involved.

"This is family entertainment, which is funny in a way, because of how naughty we were," Andes said with a laugh. "The fans are so wonderful because we have all lived a full life and we still play for the people who make it a point to come see us. They share their stories with us, and that is very nice and very rewarding."

The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., will celebrate the 35th anniversary of its restoration this week with a concert by Firefall on Monday, Oct. 10, at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $39 to $65 and can be purchased by visiting http://www.parkcityshows.com.

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