Insatiable starts a run of reunion shows beginning at O.P. Rockwell
Local ska band loves Park City
January 3, 2017
The local music scene was filled with unique sounds back in 1991.
Rock and metal found themselves in transition, which opened things up for punk, grunge and ska.
Ska, what some describe as a a hyper-active form of reggae, was a huge movement in Salt Lake City.
Ska bands, both local and national, played to standing-room audiences in clubs, at art festivals and special events throughout the state and region.
One of the stand-out bands was Insatiable, which will play a string of reunion shows starting with the Unity in Ska show with Chris Murray and Gringo at O.P. Rockwell on Jan. 7.
The band, featuring trombonist Reed Chadwick, guitarist Zach Craigle, saxophonist Lou Lodefink, bassist Scott Terry, drummer Shaun Thomas, trumpeter Chris Taylor and keyboardist Jeff Evans, performed anywhere it could including loads of shows in Park City. Insatiable has appeared during the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, up and down Main Street, a number World Cup Skiing events and multiple concerts presented by the nonprofit now known as Mountain Town Music.
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After opening for the English Beat at the Depot in 2014, Insatiable took a hiatus so band members could focus on families and other careers.
As the years past, Evans, the band's founder, knew if the members ever got back together, the first show needed to be in Park City because of all the support from fans on the Wasatch Back.
"This was important for me to do this right," Evans told The Park Record.
Not only does Insatiable have happy memories of performing in Park City, a couple of the band's key members — Zach Craigle and Chris Taylor — have Park City ties.
"Zach grew up in Park City," Evans said. "And we're super proud of Chris, the director of bands at Park City High School, who was just recently awarded Utah Music Educator of the Year."
The O.P. Rockwell show will also feature another Park City staple, drummer Thomas Sienko.
"Due to scheduling conflicts, Thomas will replace Shaun," Evans said. "And many people in Park City will recognize Thomas because he plays in Park City a lot."
The Insatiable reunion is a personal matter, Evans said with a laugh.
"The show is on Jan. 7 and then I turn 50 on the following Tuesday," he said. "So, I made it a birthday present for myself to do these shows and celebrate 50 years on this planet."
The reunion is part of Evans' New Year's resolution to play more music.
"I also want to visit places in the Western United States where the band did so well back in the day," he said.
Other things also inspired Evan to think about getting the band together again.
"Some of the bands we toured with in the past have started up again," he said. "We criss-crossed the country with MU330 from St. Louis many times and they're back out on the road. In fact, the band's front man Dan Potthast is also opening a lot of shows for Streetlight Manifesto."
In addition, Mustard Plug and the Pie Tasters are touring as well and King Apparatus' Chris Murray is doing some shows.
"We're actually bringing Chris in from L.A. for the Park City show," Evans said. "There seems to be a theme developing for all of us old farts."
Evans admitted his nervousness when he approached his former bandmates to do a reunion.
"Many people would have said, 'Yeah, that was fun, but it's over now,' but I thought 'Why not?'" he said. "So, I asked and other than Thomas, the band is the original factory model."
Revisiting the songs from the band's four albums was a trip through memory lane.
"There was a lot to go through and we went through the entire catalog," Evans said. "Then a couple of us sat down and put together a master list of 25 songs. A majority, maybe 22, were originals and the rest were a sprinkling of covers."
After a few rehearsals, the band pared that list down to 15 or 16 songs.
"We're playing songs off of all the albums," Evans said. "We'll play the songs that people are used to hearing and we'll chuck in a couple that we haven't played for at least 10 years.
"It was surprising how many of the songs came back to us," he said. "It was also surprising at how fast we played back then. There were times during recent rehearsals when I had to stop to catch my breath."
Evans was originally drawn to ska while he was playing saxophone at Murray High School in the early 1980s.
"I was in all the high school bands and got a scholarship to the University of Utah for my playing," he said. "But I really wanted to be in a band, even though I didn't play guitar, drums or bass."
One of his favorite bands was the Police.
"They had that ska, off-beat, reggae sound in their music, and I liked that," Evans said. "Soon after, I got turned on to the Specials and Madness, and decided that a ska band would be the type of band that I could put together and perform in because I play horn."
With that in mind, Evans contacted some music directors of local high schools, and that's how he met Lodefink.
"I meet Lou at Olympus High School," Evans said. "Back then there was no Internet at the time, so we would ask band directors who their best horn player was and contact that player. That's how we did it and got the band together."
Insatiable's run in the early 1990s, was a great adventure for Evans.
"Every town had its own vibe and the people were so welcoming," he said.
Evans also enjoyed the supportive network of ska bands that spanned across the country.
"I remember a time when we were in St. Louis and MU330 let us stay at their house although they were on tour," he said. "The other day, my daughter, who is now 22, reminded me that when she was a kid going to school she had to step over ska bands who were sleeping on our floor.
"These were all bands who were heading cross country to the West Coast," Evans said. "They always knew they had a crash pad where they could get a meal, do their laundry and get a shower in Murray."
The idea to cut back on touring was Evans' decision.
"I was young and married at 21 and my wife had gotten pregnant with our first child, so I decided to tour more regionally," he said. "I let the touring lifestyle and getting that big record deal slide."
Still, Evans has no regrets.
"Doing all the stuff we did back in the day makes coming back to do these reunion shows as relevant as it has ever been," he said. "After becoming a dad and raising my kids, I'm living in Empty Nestville. It seems that everyone is in the same situation and have been freed up from the responsibilities of the last couple of decades. So, why not do this?"
The reunion shows aren't just a one-time thing for the band, Evans said.
"We're also committed to writing more songs this year," he said. "So, we may have a new album coming out."
Insatiable will perform its first reunion concert, Unity in Ska, with Chris Murray and Gringo at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, at O.P. Rockwell, 268 Main St. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://www.oprockwell.com. For more information about Insatiable, visit http://www.facebook.com/pg/InsatiableSka.