Rich Howells

ARCHIVES: Scranton pop rock band The Great Party’s school (bus) of rock

ARCHIVES: Scranton pop rock band The Great Party’s school (bus) of rock
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You may have rode on a party bus before, but certainly not one like this.

Scranton’s favorite Ameri-pop act, The Great Party, is returning to their favorite Philadelphia venue, The Legendary Dobbs (304 South St., Philadelphia), and this time, they’re taking the Electric City with them in a big yellow school bus.

For only $35, fans can get picked up at the Greenridge Plaza (1600 Green Ridge St., Scranton) in the Giant Food Store parking lot on Saturday, Jan. 12 and will given a ride there and back; as a bonus, The Great Party will be playing with cyber art rock band Starwood, which is comprised of some former members of Felix Sarco and Alien Red, also from Scranton.

We talked to the band to prepare for the epic 21+ journey, which is likely the only time we won’t get detention for bringing adult beverages on the bus.

From the Archives reprints articles written by NEPA Scene founder Rich Howells before this website was established and backdates them to their original publication date.

NEPA SCENE: What has the group been up to lately? Have you been working on any new material?

THE GREAT PARTY: New material is exactly what we’ve been up to lately! We’re currently recording a bunch of tunes we’ve had for awhile, which is already more than we need for a full-length release. And we’re constantly coming up with new stuff, so we’ve been very busy with that. Otherwise we’ve all become enthralled with succulent meats.

NS: Where did you guys get the idea to rent a bus for your next show?

GP: We wanted to do a bus for our show at Pianos in New York City, but they ended up changing our show time, so it never happened. Dobbs is a really fun place to play, and this time, we’re playing with our friends in Starwood. Plus it’s [guitarist/vocalist] Mike Eastman’s birthday, so it just seemed like the perfect storm for a bus trip.

NS: What was the best school bus trip you ever took as a kid?

GP: [Vocalist/keyboardist] Rose went to the Crayola Factory, (drummer) Matt Thomas saw Bobby McFerrin, and Mike Eastman had a college trip to “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” [Keyboardist/guitarist] Mike Nordberg saw “Phantom of the Opera,” and [bassist] Matt Mang met Kramer at an art museum in New York.

NS: What about the worst?

GP: We all went to different schools, but a few of us actually had bus field trips to the garbage dump, which resulted in people throwing up and passing out. It also ruined Rose’s Fun Dip snack for the day.

NS: What makes a school bus better than a typical party bus?

GP: A school bus is more nostalgic, like you’re going on a trip with your friends back in school ,and plus it’s more adventurous without bathrooms.

NS: What kind of partying can be expected on the way down to the show?

GP: Succulent meat-eating contests.

NS: What should people bring to this mobile party?

GP: Everyone needs a note from their parents. If you can’t provide one, you have to bribe us with donuts and shrubbery. Otherwise, beverages and warm clothes should do it. We’ll provide the succulent meat.

NS: You’ve played The Legendary Dobbs before. What was that first show there like?

GP: This will be our third time there. We’ve had a blast both previous times. All of the employees are very professional and the crowd is a lot of fun. It made us feel welcome very quickly.

NS: Who is Starwood, and why might we be interested in their alien ways?

GP: If you like your robotic-themed synth rock with lots of energy and dramatics, this is the band for you.

NS: How do you feel The Great Party and Starwood are a good match musically for this show?

GP: We overlap a bit through synths and energy without being redundant with our sounds. They have a song “Love Your Lawnmower” – we have “Robots in Love.” Very different songs with similar themes.

NS: How can people secure a spot on the bus?

GP: Give us money! Find us on Facebook and send us a message. There’re just a couple seats left, and they’ll go to whoever pays up first.

NS: What are you most looking forward to?

GP: Singing “99 Bottles of Beer” on the bus with our friends.

The Great Party Bus
Saturday, Jan. 12
Bus leaves Greenridge Plaza (1600 Green Ridge St., Scranton) and Giant Food Store parking lot at 2 p.m.; bus leaves Philadelphia at 1 a.m.
Tickets: $35, includes ride and admission to show