Youth differentiates Westmoreland band Safety Last
Classic rock cover bands are a staple at bars and clubs throughout the Pittsburgh area, so a cover band with some unique features has a better chance of standing out.
For Safety Last, that feature is every member of the band being in eighth grade.
The group was formed by guitarists Tommy McLaughlin and Caleb Andrykovitch, both of North Huntingdon, when the two were in fifth grade.
“I went into my dad's office and found his old guitar,” said McLaughlin of the group's beginnings. “I was curious about it.”
Now, McLaughlin has a room full of acoustic and electric guitars, and later this month, the band will play Rivertowne Brewing in Murrysville.
For bassist Cadin Anlauf, 14, of North Huntingdon, it's a chance to make music that is a little more down-to-earth than what he typically hears on modern radio. The group's repertoire ranges from Green Day and the Ramones to the Kinks and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
“I think we all like the style, how original it is and not computer-made, like nowadays,” Anlauf said.
“Anyone can relate to a lot of those songs,” said drummer Jake Devlin, 14, of Penn Township, who joined the group in December. “They get me excited and pumped up and I'm always ready to play them.”
Andrykovitch said his favorite covers are tunes from the 1990s.
“That's what I got into first,” he said.
Since their first gig at a local public pool, the band has performed at venues in the Irwin area as well as Keynote Café in Jeannette, Penn Township's Fall Festival and Altar Bar in Pittsburgh.
McLaughlin's mother Roseena said she enjoys watching the boys pursue their passion.
“It's just really great to watch them enjoy music, because it's such a big part of their lives,” she said. “They're really blessed by how supportive people in the local music industry have been.”
For Anlauf, it's a chance to do something he loves and be with friends.
“I just like being with all the guys and hanging out every weekend,” he said.
Safety Last will perform from 7 to 10 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, May 26, at Rivertowne Brewing, 5578 Old William Penn Highway in Murrysville.