Bruce Springsteen tribute band plays at Kent Stage


Photo provided by Kent Stage.

Kate Kelly

Jersey, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band, rocked the Kent Stage Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.

The band consists of eight musicians: Dave Shoop, Joe Hill, Rik Williger, Dave Finkenthal, Robert Myers, Joe Pietrolungo, Andy Hinkle and Jerry Falcone.

“It’s like going to see Bruce Springsteen without having to get a loan,” said Tom Simpson, director of the Kent Stage.

The band has been performing together during the last five years. Jersey performs all over Northeast Ohio, and has traveled to New York and Pennsylvania. Saturday wasn’t the first time the band has performed at the Kent Stage.

“They do real well, and it’s always a Bruce Springsteen party,” Simpson said. “Last summer we did an event called the ‘Rockin Rib Fest’ and they played. It was so much fun.”

Dave Shoop is the lead singer of Jersey and is a Kent State alumnus.

“What I really love about performing is because of all the people that are very strong Springsteen fans,” Shoop said. “They tell me their Springsteen stories, like how they have seen him over 30 times. All crazy stories. Everyone talks about seeing ‘The Boss.’ I love that people feel like we do justice to the music.”

Shoop’s love for Springsteen started in 1974. Although he was a fan of Joe Walsh from The Eagles, he saw Bruce Springsteen at the Kent Student Center Ballroom.

“The drummer of the band actually got me to come with him to see him,” Shoop said. “That day when I saw him here in Kent, I became a fan.”

Shoop started playing in cover bands from college until about five years ago when he decided to play for a tribute to Springsteen. He said guys in the band are the most talented Springsteen artists, and he got them to sign on to contribute.

“I am excited to come to the Kent Stage again because the fact that some of us went to college here,” Shoop said before the show. “It was a happening place for music back when I went to Kent [State].”

Shoop said his favorite part about covering Springsteen it is the fan base he touches.

“Springsteen has such a broad demographic from college students to their parents,” he said. “My son, who recently graduated from Ohio University, and his friends come see me all the time.”

The band plans to return to the Kent Stage in August.

Contact Kate Kelly at [email protected].