Chicago band to perform its ‘Abbotsford’ song at Corral
By Kevin O’Brien
The Chicago band that released the song “Abbotsford” earlier this year is coming back to the small town that inspired its debut song this weekend for a performance at the Corral Bar.
Sherri Leu, owner of the Corral, said she contacted the band, Fight Nice, via e-mail and was able to arrange a concert for Saturday night, starting at 8 p.m.
“I hope a lot of people come out and see them,” Leu said. “Not everyone writes a song about Abbotsford.”
Tim Wanish, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, is stoked.
“It’s the coolest thing being invited to play in Abbotsford; we hope that people will come to the show and say hello,” he said in an e-mail. “We have been rehearsing extra for this show; we want to make a good impression with our music.”
Wanish said they have been asked to play two sets of their original material, and he expects the show to last about an hour and a half.
“It’s always fantastic when a club opens their doors for your own original songs, because we write and record our own material, which is a true passion for each of the three of us,” he wrote.
Besides Wanish on vocals and guitar, Fight Nice includes Brian Lerch on drums and Dean Dunakin on bass.
From the moment the band formed in the fall of 2011, Wanish said they have been “serious about trying to write great songs and bring them to life.”
“We know it can be challenging as a new band playing songs that people haven’t necessarily heard before,” he wrote. “But audiences at our shows have been really kind to us, listening to our songs and getting to know us better.”
Wanish said Fight Nice doesn’t have any other gigs lined up in Wisconsin, so he sees this a “dedicated road trip” to play in Abbotsford.
“It’s something we have all been looking forward to, since we are proud of the song, and have had so much fun with people we have met since the song got put ‘out there’,” he said.
For those thinking about attending the show, Wanish said they can expect “very melodic and catchy songs, with a great rhythm section to tap your foot to.” He also says the band puts special emphasis on its lyrics.
“The song lyrics are a big part of the tunes, and the tunes tend to be the kind that might stick in your head the next day,” he said. “That’s the kind of songs that we like, and listen to. And we definitely try to play songs that sound almost familiar to you already, with a catchy riff or hook. The coolest compliment we can get is when people tell us that one of our songs is stuck in their brain!”
Wanish said they try to make their songs sound instantly familiar with a catchy riff or hook to draw in the crowd.
The song “Abbotsford” was itself inspired by Wanish’s family road trips up STH 13 to visit relatives in northern Wisconsin. Hawkeye Dairy was a mandatory pit stop for Tim and his siblings, who would all stop fighting so they could earn an ice cream cone.
Wanish said hi and his band mates and friends will definitely be stopping by Hawkeye so he could show them firsthand what inspited the title of their debut song.
“We love the big ice cream cone outside and we plan to take plenty of photos of it,” he said.
Enjoying an ice cream cone from Hawkeye is one of the “little things in life” that Wanish and Fight Nice like to incorporate into their songs.
“And ice cream is simple, but most people love it, so that means something,” he said.
Wanish said the band itself, which is less than a year old, is playing a steady stream of gigs and trying to fine-tune their live sound. In addition to playing in their home base of Chicago, they have also performed in Madison, Indianapolis, and Cleveland.
“We have had some cool shows where the fans have been really good to us, with energetic responses and lots of clapping! That means so much when you’re just a new band that nobody knows,” he said.
Wanish said they also spend a lot of time writing new songs, which is one of their favorite activities as musicians. He and his tow band mates put a great deal of effort into creating just the right melody line, drum beats and bass lines — and then putting them all together.
Their latest song writing has been more collaborative, he said, as the three of them become more comfortable playing together and develop an almost “telepathic” connection with their instruments.
Overall, though, he said they’re just three normal guys who have a shared interest in creating music that they themselves would like to listen to.
“If people want to get a quick feel for what our music is all about, our website fightniceband.com has songs that are free to listen to or to download,” he said. “We have a whole crop of new songs that we’re really proud of, and we can’t wait to plug in and play them this weekend.”
From the Tribune-Phonograph