In The Pocket: Escalator of Life
I lived on the outskirts of Philadelphia for a good portion of my life. The best things about the city are not their cool neighborhood bars, not their cheese steaks nor soft pretzels – nope it was their vibrant and passionate local rock music scene.
As a young adult, I saw all of the bands, and got to know a bunch of the musicians. Bands like The Hooters, Beru Revue, The A’s, Smash Palace, Tommy Conwell and The Chasers were killing it on the local scene. A few of those bands made it to the national stage (but not enough). But the first band of my era to make any national noise was Robert Hazard and the Heroes, with their synth driven hit “Escalator of Life.” It was 1982, the beginning of new wave, and Hazard had “It.”
Now back to the Philly rock scene. It is today still a beautiful, organic thing, spearheaded by David Uosikkinen, the drummer from The Hooters. He put together In the Pocket, a rotating band of Philadelphia rock royalty, to reimagine different hits spanning the entire Philadelphia rock era. Over the past years, they’ve released a few gems, but this week, they delivered my favorite yet.
This version of “Escalator of Life” would have made Hazard happy. Richard Bush’s vocals are sweetly nostalgic, and he gives the song a nice new vibe. John Ferenzik (Todd Rundgren) magically recreates the iconic keyboards, and it was a nice treat to hear Michael Pilla from the Heroes and John Lilly (Hooters and Robert Hazard) still killing it on guitar. Kudos to producers Phil Nicolo and Uosikkinen, and Eric Bazilian who mixed the song. Their work truly shines on this one. Keep reading below the video for information on the group’s upcoming show
Uosikkinen shared his thoughts: “I’ve come to appreciate the gifted wordsmith and songwriter, Robert Hazard. He knew how to pick a band, too! The Heroes were amazing!”
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Uosikkinen’s revolving lineup of Philadelphia’s most celebrated musicians will take the stage with a non-stop, rock ‘n roll revue featuring members of The Hooters, The Heroes, Soul Survivors, Richard Bush, Tommy Conwell, Beru Revue, Kenn Kweder, Zou Zou Mansour and more!
Tickets for David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Doors open at 8:15pm. Showtime is 9:00pm. Tickets can be purchased at ardmoremusichall.com.