NEPA Scene Staff

The Pietasters headline free Carve 4 Cancer Winter Festival at Montage Mountain in Scranton on Feb. 8

The Pietasters headline free Carve 4 Cancer Winter Festival at Montage Mountain in Scranton on Feb. 8
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From a press release:

The Carve 4 Cancer Winter Festival is coming back to where the first festival took place, Montage Mountain in Scranton, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever with a banked slalom course, rail jam, après ski party, beer release, drink specials, and free live music all day, along with games, vendors, and a massive raffle on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Today, the full band lineup was announced. Longtime ska band The Pietasters will headline the seventh annual event with a variety of local and regional acts, including Sophistafunk, Gentleman East, Jordan Ramirez & The Tribe, Nikki Nailbomb & the Amorphous Blob Orchestra, SUZE, Indigo Moon Brass Band, The Dishonest Fiddlers, Chuck Treece, Dan Kassel, Butter N’ Onions Trio, and DJ Dre Ovalle.

Held at several locations over the years, the charity festival will run from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. at Montage Mountain Resorts (1000 Montage Mountain Rd, Scranton) and is free to attend.

Registrations for the banked slalom contest and rail jam, which are $7 in advance or $10 on the mountain, can be made now at carve4cancer.com. Cash prizes and gear will be up for grabs.

Carve 4 Cancer is dedicated to the mission of “shredding blood cancers through action sports events and fundraisers.” Founded by East Coast shredder and blood cancer warrior Brent P. Evans, the nonprofit Carve for Cancer has been putting on the region’s premiere winter charity events for nearly a decade. All funds raised go directly to cancer research and patients battling blood cancer.

In 2010, Evans was diagnosed with stage IV non-hodgkins lymphoma when he envisioned an epic snowboarding event to raise funds to shred cancer while being treated at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. By 2012, the first grassroots fundraiser was underway in the Pocono Mountains. Fast forward to 2016, Carve for Cancer Inc. is now a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and the organization’s main event has become the Poconos’ premier free-ride snowboard/ski festival. Each year, the event brings thousands to the mountains to enjoy live music, art demos, intense competition, and a whole lot more. C4C is raising 10s of thousands of dollars while spreading awareness and funding lifesaving research.

Unfortunately, Evans’ cancer came back in 2016, and he ultimately passed away due to complications with the disease in 2017. This is a brutal reminder about how important Carve for Cancer’s mission really is. Today, his spirit lives on as the team works to raise more money than ever.

Back in 1990, a bunch of friends started a band with no pretensions: the idea was to make music for house parties, not to make a career out of music. More than a quarter century, six studio albums, and countless live shows later, The Pietasters continue to deliver world-class performances of their style of ska, rock, and soul – sing-along songs and dance-through-your-socks rhythms played by friends who remain true to their roots.

What started innocently enough in the Washington, D.C. area quickly took on a life of its own. Playing on weekends and during the summer, The Pietasters slowly expanded their touring area, made new friends, and gained the notice of music fans up and down the East Coast.

After releasing a self-titled album in 1993, they hit the road in an old school bus and headed west. Relentless touring through the early ’90s got them friends all over the country. Moon Records took notice, and the band released two albums, “Oolooloo” and “Strapped Live,” on that storied label during the magic days of third wave ska, alongside bands like Hepcat, The Slackers, The Toasters, etc.

In 1997, Hellcat/Epitaph Records signed the band to a two-album deal, which resulted in “Willis” and “Awesome Mix Tape #6.” Both albums benefited from the direction of legendary producer Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion).

At that same time, ska blew up. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, No Doubt, and Sublime ruled the airwaves. The Pietasters were lucky enough to tour extensively with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, which introduced the group to Europe and beyond.

From that point on, the band established itself as one of the best live shows money could buy. From the circus that is the Warped Tour to a once-in-a-lifetime support slot with Joe Strummer, The Pietasters have crisscrossed the world, leaving the dance floor covered in blood, sweat, and beer.

After the 2002 release of “Turbo” on Fueled by Raman, their hard work was rewarded with more good luck. In 2003, The Pietasters were chosen to back James Brown at the WHFS Holiday Nutcracker Ball at Washington, D.C.’s MCI Center (now the Capital One Arena). This was no support slot – they played as his band for the night. This was the start of a friendship with the Godfather of Soul that lasted until his passing.

All of these influences, events, and memories were distilled in the band’s 2007 release “All Day.” The album showcases how the band grew from playing sweaty house parties and nightclubs to sharing the stage with some of the world’s best musical talents. While playing live, they can’t get away with not including most of “Oolooloo” in the set, but they try to slip in as many cuts from “All Day” as they can. The Pietasters continue to deliver a world-class performance of their style of ska, rock, and soul – sing-along songs and dance-through-your-socks rhythms played by friends who remain true to their roots. A new album is in the works, and in recent years, they’ve played at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains and the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre.