Spare Change leaves nothing out during Summer Sounds Concert Series

By: By Chrysta Carroll -

ELIZABETHTOWN — In the days of mash-ups and playlists, diversity reigns. The LaGrange-based band Spare Change must know this all too well, and they were kings of the eclectic at Thursday night’s Summer Sounds Concert Series at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market.

When introducing the band, Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dawn Maynard said, “People have been asking me for two weeks what kind of music they play, and I’ve been telling them I don’t know what they can’t play.”

As the sweltering daytime temperatures slowly began to drop, Spare Change made sure things remained hot.

The high-energy show started with a Hootie and the Blowfish favorite, “I Only Want to Be With You,” followed by “Footloose.” Not to stick too long with one genre, however, those two songs were followed quickly by a country medley of “Cotton-Eye Joe” and “Rocky Top.”

Singer Veronica Welch, the lone female in the six-member group, demonstrated why her inclusion in the band is necessary when she took the lead on “Every Time I Roll the Dice,” belting it out in her alto, rocker-style voice, reminiscent of singers like Melissa Ethridge.

Maynard had previously called the band’s fiddle player “amazing,” and he didn’t disappoint, either. He channeled his inner rocker — tattoo sleeve, mohawk, man-bun, and all — jumping up and down in his red hightops, waving his bow at the crowd to encourage participation, and showing off his mad skills on classic rock songs like “I’m Going to Rock and Roll All Night,” “If You Want to Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle In the Band), and a crowd favorite, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

One particular highlight from the show was a medley of the songs “Some Nights” and “We Are Young.” The medley started off a-capella, highlighting the group’s harmonizing skills as a whole and in particular bass guitarist Chris Morden’s — who, lead singer Jordan Rouse said to call Q.P. because he’s a “cutie patootie”— pleasant bass voice. The medley also included syncopation, rounds, and numerous changes in tempo, showing that the band not only has good voices and can sing across genres, but they’ve also mastered difficult musical skills.

Throughout the night, the band played a little rock, classic rock, country, beach, and funk, and even threw in a little rap.

Larry Yoder, who brought his three grandchildren, said, “I like them — they’re different.”

With temperatures still hovering in the mid-90s at 8 p.m., most attendees kept to their chairs, sun-shielding umbrellas, and fans instead of the dance floor, but the band was the star of the show anyway, and their energy provided plenty of entertainment.

“We’re not dancing as much as we normally do,” said Melinda Williamson, “but they’re really nice to listen to.”

“This is great,” said Lynn Ackerman. “I’m from Charlotte and have been coming to White Lake since I was 7, and we came (to the Summer Sounds Concert Series) last year and heard North Tower, so we thought we’d come back this year. I’m glad we did — the band is great.”

The next Summer Sounds concert will take place on Aug. 11, when Rivermist Band will be performing.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

By Chrysta Carroll