Have a blast on the beach this weekend

Peter Greco of The Lounge Puppets
Peter Greco of The Lounge Puppets
Find more things to do in McHenry County at Planit NorthwestPlanit Northwest's Guide to Summer Festivals

Pete Greco imagines he’ll still be listening to the music of Iron Maiden, Motley Crue and Bon Jovi when he’s in his 80s.

And, as long as the fans still come, he’ll be playing it, too. 

Greco has provided vocals for the 80s tribute band The Lounge Puppets for the past 12 years. He’s joined by Jason Sochacki on drums, Bill Dixon on bass and Marty Craven on guitar.

A top drawing band in the Chicago area for the past decade, The Lounge Puppets began as a tribute to ’80s hair bands and since has branched off into classic rock as well, Greco said.

“We don’t knock the era,” he said. “We take it seriously, and try to recreate it the best we can. That involved a light show, confetti cannons. It involves dressing the part.

“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had people come up and tell us we sound better than the artists we’re covering.”

The band will perform as part of the Crystal Lake Park District’s Blast on the Beach. The Lounge Puppets take the stage at 6:30 p.m. 

The event also includes a kids fun fair and arts and craft fair, a treasure hunt, a bags tournament, food vendors, a beer and wine garden and live entertainment by Circus Boy.

Molly J. from Star 105.5 will broadcast live from the event.

As Circus Boy, Bobby Hunt’s performance features stunts and physical comedy and has been featured on “Ripley’s Believe it Or Not.”

Sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, the free event serves as one last celebration of summer as the season comes to an end and school gets back in session, organizers say.

“It is at our beautiful Main Beach location, so the scenery alone makes for a breathtaking view and a wonderful way to spend any Saturday enjoying the meany activities provided by the fun fair vendors, food vendors, craft fair vendors and music,” said Connie Cook, special events coordinator for the Crystal Lake Park District.

In its third year, the Blast on the Beach features The Lounge Puppets for the first time.

The band’s music not only provides a bit of nostalgia for those who grew up listening to it, but also appeals to younger generations, Greco said.

“It was all over the radio. It was all the rage. A lot of those artists still make a living doing what they’re doing,” he said. “The reason it transcends into the younger generation is because the younger generation grows up listening to that music through their parents.”

The band’s members all pursued careers as artists and songwriters and were pursued by major record labels, he said.

“We just didn’t have what they wanted at the time,” he said.

“What were we supposed to do? Hang up our cleats and give up? Put down our instruments? No, you go out. It’s a release, and it’s a trip back in time,” he said. “We love playing for the people. The fans are the reason we’ve lasted this long. They’re so dedicated. They’re so loyal. The only reason we’re doing it is because of them.

“We love doing it as much as they love coming to the show. As long as they keep coming, we’ll keep doing it until we’re old and grey.”

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