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Bon Jovi tribute band wanted — preferably live

Contributing Writer

Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 22:09

slippery when wet

Lauren Holliday/Central Florida Future

Background music pulsed through the air as random people passed, jumping up and down and screaming along to the music. Audience members bobbed their heads as Slippery When Wet - The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute took the stage and began their night of rocking out at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney.

The Slippery When Wet performance took place at the House of Blues Sept. 8 to the excitement of die-hard Bon Jovi fans and rock appreciators alike. Performing with a set list of more than 20 songs, including popular hits like "Wanted Dead or Alive," "Runaway," and "Have A Nice Day," as well as some more unfamiliar hits such as "Wild in the Streets," Slippery When Wet did their best to represent Bon Jovi throughout his musical career.

For more photos, view the gallery here.

Lead singer of Slippery When Wet and Bon Jovi look-alike, Jason Morey, described the difficult process of creating and maintaining the set list for their performances.

"It gets sticky putting the set list together because all the random people want to hear the big, big hits, but you also have all these people coming show after show," Morey said in a DIS Unplugged interview in June. "We've got to mix it up."

Morey also helps audiences gain an inside glimpse as to what a performance by the legendary singer would look and feel like. Living up to the infamous image with his wild hair, Bon Jovi mannerisms, and even arm-snaking tattoos, Morey put on a show that was unforgettable.

For some, however, it was a local band that piqued their interest. Dirty Shannon has been performing since 2004, playing at venues like the Hard Rock in Jacksonville and donating their time for such upcoming rock-charity events as "Rock by the Sea" in St. Petersburg on Sept. 18. The band's unique name originated from guitarist Paul Schick's home, Shannon Road, where the band's first rehearsals took place.

Dirty Shannon opened for Slippery When Wet on Sept. 8 with a 40-minute set list that included their hits "Lost or Found" and "Whatever You Love." Known for their laid-back rock music, Dirty Shannon is currently in the process of transitioning to more southern rock and country tunes with eight new tracks not yet released.

Drummer and newcomer to the band Mike Whitaker described his hopes for the band's future in a more rock-country avenue.

"You have to make a name for yourself," Whitaker said. "People have to know that you're a reliable band that can play and know that when you're there you represent yourself. We're really concentrating more on getting the new music going [right now], and hopefully from there, we'll be able to play bigger venues."

Lead singer Victor Scott explained that even though the band was excited for the chance to perform at the House of Blues, one of the biggest venues it's played so far, it was a last-minute decision.

"A few weeks ago we get a call [asking] if we could play House of Blues," Scott said. "We got three practices in before we played House of Blues with [a substitute bassist], Jordan [Ensminger], because our bassist was out of town and couldn't make the show. It was extremely last minute."

Both Whitaker and Scott attested to the band's "easygoing" attitude, where band practices were more of a chance to sit back, hang out with friends and enjoy a cold beer instead of a strict practice session to cover and reinforce the material. With friendly mocking and band pranks a norm, Dirty Shannon is a band that still enjoys making music just for the sake of performing.

Scott found it hard to relate to Slippery When Wet's overly professional attitude.

"We don't take ourselves very seriously at all. The demeanor of [Slippery When Wet] was very professional, so serious," Scott said. "Don't get me wrong, they were super nice. Maybe they were just trying to get their sound down. [Dirty Shannon] is so different because we're an entirely original band; we don't have to live up to people's expectations like [the Tribute Band] does."

Fans of Slippery When Wet can follow them at their website, while those interested in finding out more about Dirty Shannon can like their Facebook page for general band information and sample songs.

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