NEPA rock band Underground Saints play rare reunion show at Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre on June 15
The popular Northeastern Pennsylvania alternative rock band only played two gigs in 2017 since reuniting for the first time in years at the F.M. Kirby Center in late 2016, so next Friday, June 15 will mark their first (and possibly only) concert this year. Wilkes-Barre soul rock band Half Dollar and Carbondale blues rock trio Static in the Attic are also on the bill.
Doors at Karl Hall (57B N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre) open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. The event is BYOB.
Formed in 2007, the Underground Saints – lead vocalist/guitarist John Smith, lead guitarist/vocalist Pat Flynn, bassist Mark Keisinger, and drummer AJ Jump – released their only album, “Broken Machines,” in 2010 and opened for Kings of Leon at Montage Mountain in Scranton that same year.
Influenced by The Who, Pearl Jam, U2, The Smiths, The Doors, and Radiohead, they also covered those bands often, most memorably when they played the latter’s hit record “OK Computer” in its entirety at a special Radiohead tribute show at the end of 2010.
“The mission was to recreate ‘OK Computer’ start to finish, and we did. We did just that. We had three other people that we asked to join us…because that album is very, very dense. There are a ton of parts,” Jump recalled in a 2013 interview.
“That was a really cool thing to do just because it’s not easy. It’s one thing to do a cover show and cover a group, but it’s another thing to specifically cover an album note for note, verbatim, and that’s what that was. And we had a great time.”
Before playing what was billed as their “final” show at the now-defunct Rattler in Pittston in 2013, they traveled to Ireland with fellow local band Farley for a short but memorable tour.
“We got to go over there and play for a totally different set of people that didn’t know us, didn’t know who we were, and they completely embraced us and accepted us like they’d see us for years. Some of our friends here knew Mark, Pat, and John from Bent Blue or knew Pat and Mark from the Mere Mortals days, and then we go over there and these people embraced us like that. It was pretty awesome,” Jump noted.
Jump and Kiesinger later went on to perform in Brooklyn rock band King Radio before that group dissolved in 2016.
“I just really love playing with this band, through and though, and I’ll always remember it. I’ll always talk about this band… It’s like moving on from an old girlfriend,” Jump said of the Underground Saints just before they parted ways.
“We never phoned it in, and it never felt like we were doing a job, ever. There was something about the chemistry with this band that we always talk about. It’s undeniable.
“We really enjoyed playing with each other – there’s no doubt about that.”
Learn more about Jump and what he is doing now with Karl Hall in Episode 52 of the NEPA Scene Podcast: