By DAVE DELUCA - For the Star Beacon
Fans of the immortal rock and roll band AC/DC are in for a rare treat this Nov. 15. Night Prowler, one of Ohio’s better known AC/DC tribute bands, is doing a free show at the Cove nightclub in Geneva-on-the-Lake. The 9 p.m. performance includes all the visual and special effects extras that have made Night Prowler popular with AC/DC buffs, like full character development and costumes, cannons and a loud bell.
Night Prowler is a northeast Ohio band, with members hailing from Cleveland, Parma, Barberton, Youngstown and Canton. They’ve been playing together since 2011. Since then they’ve built a following in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia by being faithful to AC/DC’s music and stage presence.
“We started the band almost three years ago out of a mutual appreciation of AC/DC’s music,” lead singer Ryan Cornell said. “It’s simple music, yet expertly written and played. It’s pretty much the definition of rock and roll.”
Night Prowler’s lineup consists of Dan Wessman on lead guitar as Angus Young, vocalist Ryan Cornell as Bon Scott and Brian Johnson, Randy Stillman on bass as Cliff Williams, rhythm guitarist Jay Albert as Malcom Young and drummer George Elliot as Phil Rudd.
Bass player Randy Stillman said the band evolved quickly after establishing a lineup. They got together through a combination of classified ads and referrals through friends.
“Some of us played with other tribute bands,” Stillman said. “A musician friend gave me the band’s number over two years ago because he knew I was looking for something like this, and here we are.”
“The Ohio musician network is strong,” lead singer Ryan Cornell said
Cornell said it’s difficult to put a finger on why people love Night Prowler.
“For some it’s like stepping back in and seeing a great band that hasn’t played in years,” he said. “It’s history and music culture all rolled up into one great show. Who doesn’t like to do that?”
Night Prowler is busy almost every week. They’ve played the entirety of Ohio, as well as much of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
“We’ve done the summer festivals and outdoor shows,” Cornell said. “Some are pretty big venues. We played the Lorain County Music Festival and the Wadstock Music Fest in support of Relay For Life. These events always draw big crowds.”
Cornell said the show usually starts with Rock and Roll Train from AC/DC’s last album, then explores all the tunes from AC/DC’s over thirty year history.
“We mix in songs like Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Back In Black, Highway To Hell and Thunderstruck,” Cornell said. “We mix in songs from the Bon Scott era like Down Payment Blues and Squealer. Lately we’ve been closing with Ride On.”
Night Prowler is looking forward to playing at the Cove. There are hundreds of thousands of followers of AC/DC and AC/DC tribute bands across the country and Ashtabula County can count plenty among them. Cornell, a journalist in his day gig, said the band has been regularly playing this month. He is hoping for a good turnout for the Cove performance. Cornell said the show should ‘shake them all night long.’
“People get to see and hear the full AC/DC experience,” Cornell said. “Their music has rocked crowds for over 30 years, and audiences enjoy getting to see what AC/DC was all about. People of different generations get together and trip back in time.”
Bass player Stillman agreed.
“It’s a truly rockin’ show,” he said.