Oktoberfest bands promise music for everyone News

Whether you want to listen to authentic traditional German polka music; Sing along with the dueling piano; Groove to smoky, soulful original music; Or enjoy standard rock ‘n’ roll cover songs, Oktoberfest has you covered.

Four bands will be highlighted at this year’s German festival, September 16-18, with two stages of music offering something for everyone to enjoy.

The King Guys Oktoberfest Brass Band from Orlando will open the weekend in the fest tent on Friday with the “authentic sounds of Munich’s beer halls.”

Performing a repertoire of traditional polkas, waltzes, marches and more, the seven-piece band will be dressed in lederhosen in true biergarten spirit.

Music director Jim Luce said the band consists of two trumpet players, a trombonist, an alto horn player, a tuba player and a drummer, all of whom have worked as musicians at Walt Disney World either now or in the past.

The band has played German festivals around the country, Luce said, but this will be their first performance at Redstone Arsenal.

Flying Ivories Dueling Piano is, as the name suggests, two piano players who play singalong rock music in an informal “all requests” format.

Flying Ivories representative Adam Knaus said the pianists coming to Oktoberfest are from New Orleans and Nashville and don’t have a set list.

“It’s an all-request show, so the guests choose the set, and so every show is different,” he said. “Anything popular on the radio for the past 60 years is fair game – rock, country, pop, hip-hop, TV themes, Disney songs; the sky’s the limit. We’ll have the crowd singing along, clapping and having the time of their lives.”

Flying Ivories will perform on the Craft Biergarten stage on Friday and at the festival on Saturday night.

On the Craft Biergarten Stage, two North Alabama acts will perform both nights.

Buck’d Up, a three-piece rock band based in Huntsville, plays a variety of musical genres, said singer and bass player Alexander Merciaca.

“Our music is very diverse,” he said, adding that the band covers artists such as Metallica, Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Pink Floyd, Charlie Daniels, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Buffett.

“Country, rock, rap, metal, R&B. We do it well and stay true to the style of music we play. People think we’re a country band, then they think we’re a metal band, then they think we’re dance music. We’re a band,” said Mercy.

Rob Aldridge and the Proponents, a Muscle Shoals-based band, will provide original smoky soul, blues and rock music both Friday and Saturday nights.

In a recent al.com article about local music, writer Matt Wake described the band as “in the tradition of American rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest ‘n’ bands,” such as Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

The band also echoes the sound of the Drive-By Truckers, with Wake noting that proponents lead guitar player Rob Malone was once a part of that band, as was Florence music icon Jason Isbell.

Saturday will be a “Battle of the DJs” featuring three popular regional disc jockeys on the Craft Biergarten stage.

Oktoberfest will be held September 16-18 at Activity Field on Aerobee Road and is open to the general public.

The three-day festival, featuring a ferris wheel and other carnival rides, German food and beer, craft beer and live entertainment, was held in person this year for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic.

Admission is $15 per person (including parking and entertainment) or $25 per person (for parking, entertainment and unlimited carnival rides), with additional charges for food, beer and other beverages, all on a “cash only” basis.

Festival-goers who do not have access to Redstone Arsenal are asked to enter via Gate 10 on Patton Road by 4:30pm on Friday and be ready to show proof of identification, car insurance and registration.

Hours are Friday 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight, and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

For more information on Oktoberfest, visit redstonemwr.com.

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