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Aerosmith tribute band to rock ballpark

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| August 11, 2009 12:00 AM

While meeting one of his guests back on July 16, talk show host Regis Philbin thought Chris Vandahl looked familiar.

Of course, Vandahl is the lead singer of Aeromyth – a tribute band to Aerosmith – and he portrays Steven Tyler. But give Philben some credit … the familiarity was not because of Vandahl’s close resemblance to Tyler.

“We tour a lot of the same casino circuits,” Vandahl said. “We’ll come into town shortly before he will and my poster will be up. He was very gracious, very cool.”

Vandahl and Aeromyth will be performing as one of the two featured bands at the Aug. 15 WOODROCK ’09 – Rockin’ the Ball Park. The Mission Mountain Wood Band will also take the stage at Lee Gehring Field in Libby.

Back Adit, Slim Young Fro and the Sheldon Mountain Boys will also perform. Gates open at 2:45 p.m. with the opening bands playing at 3:15 p.m. The featured bands will begin at 7 p.m. The event serves as a fundraiser for the American Legion ballpark, Turner Mountain Ski Area and the Libby High School Class of 1984’s Hanley Memorial Fund.

Vandahl’s appearance on “Regis and Kelly Live” was part of a nationwide look-alike contest. One of Vandahl’s fellow band members came across the contest and submitted his photo.

“I thought it was pretty funny and then I got the phone call,” Vandahl said. “They took an insane number of entries from all over the country … they flew me into New York and I spent the night at the Empire Hotel on Broadway. The next morning, I had to be at the studio at 6 a.m. and spent the morning hanging out with different people.”

The appearance on a national talk show obviously helps spread the word about the tribute band. Vandahl also made an appearance when Jay Leno was still behind the desk at the “Tonight Show.”

But has he ever had the chance to chat with the real Steven Tyler?

“As a matter of fact, I met Steven about eight months ago for the first time at a charity event,” said Vandahl, referring to an event that honored rockers Alice Cooper and Slash for their sobriety. “It was actually kind of wild because I was on the carpet outside with a friend of mine … and Steven came up and we were actually wearing the same thing.”

Tyler noticed Vandahl while he was doing a television interview.

Aeromyth’s existence goes back about six years but its current band members have been playing together for a little over two years now.

Vandahl recalled one of the band’s strangest experiences occurring down in Mexico.

 “One of the craziest things that happened, the band was in Monterrey, Mexico and nobody in the band speaks Spanish very well,” he said. “We were out walking the town and a few people started following us. It got to the point where there were 50 people following us.”

As it turned out, Aerosmith had just been featured on the cover of a local magazine. Vandahl said they tried to explain that they were not the real band but the language barrier made it difficult. People have mistaken Vandahl for Tyler on several other occasions, oftentimes in airports.

“It’s the strangest thing; it happens all the time,” Vandahl said. “Steven’s well over 20 years older than I am but people see what they want to see.”

Along with Vandahl, the rest of the band features Karim Elghobashi as Joe Perry, Neal Shelton as Brad Whitford, Sir Robert Warren as Tom Hamilton and Tommy Russo as Joey Kramer.

WOODROCK ’09:

Rockin’ the Ball Park

When: Saturday, Aug. 15. Gates open at 2:45 p.m., opening bands at 3:15 p.m., featured bands at 7 p.m.

Where: Lee Gehring Field, Libby.

Who: Mission Mountain Wood Band, Aeromyth – Aerosmith Tribute Band, Sheldon Mountain Boys, Slim Young Fro, Back Adit.

Why: Fundraiser for Legion ballpark, Turner Mountain Ski Area and the LHS Class of 1984’s Hanley Memorial Fund.

Tickets: $35 in advance, $45 at the gate.

Information: Call 293-3852 or 866-356-3852, send an e-mail to woodrock09@gmail.com or go online to www.woodrock09.net .