Sunday, September 10, 2017

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: That's Chester

In our second post of the day, here's this month's Defunct Local Band Profile! This month's profile is the latest in our regular series spotlighting one or two local metal, hard rock, or punk bands, in order to look back on their run, material, and successes for current readers! This month's completely random selection features many familiar faces taking part across their decade+ long run, so read on for this month's Defunct Local Band Profile!
That's Chester

Genre: Classic/Hard Rock

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Members: (Members not in their last full lineup in italics. Note that the band's original lineup used stage names that all had Chester as their last name, but these are not publically available at present.)

Greg Simpson (Bone Yard, Stiffler's Mom), vocals
Gabe Tessaro (Obsession, Guitars & Tequila), guitar
Eugene Orlando (Agave Blue, Touch of Class), guitar/keyboard
Aubrey Falls (The Stumpy Coldwater Trio), bass
Ric Datson (Bone Yard, Mojo), drums

Richard Fullerton (Mothership, Trashed Taxi), vocals
Jim O'Leary (Flat Stanley, Griphook), vocals

Audio/Video: A decent amount of That's Chester cover videos survive on YouTube, though very little on the current public record focuses on their run with Jim O'Leary on vocals. Key channels to check for videos from their decade+ run include those of drummer Ric Datson, guitarist Gabe Tessaro, original singer Richard Fullerton, Sault Online's Mike Caruso, and The Sault Metal Scene, among others, while their Facebook page has scattered videos shared from personal accounts. Here's professionally shot video of That's Chester covering The Cult at Rotaryfest Stage 1 in 2013!

Info/Analysis: Active off and on from 2004-2016 (save for a brief 2012-2013 breakup), That's Chester were one of the most enduring and familiar classic rock bands of recent local memory. A frequent sight at local nightclubs (including a high number of gigs at the former Docks), That's Chester played as far away as White River during their run, and made appearances at such major events as Rotaryfest's main stage (nine times!), and such charitable events as Toystock, Ride for Sight, and the Relay For Life, among many others. That's Chester spent most of 2015 preparing for the local stage production of The Who's Tommy at The Machine Shop that November, which wrapped just three weeks prior to guitarist Eugene Orlando's sudden passing. Surviving members would ultimately play their presumed farewell show at the 2016 Rotaryfest, as joined by ex-singer Rich Fullerton and special guests.

With solid chemistry, tried and tested talent in classic rock, and a harder edge to their covers, That's Chester were always a fan favourite sight on local stages! Whether you liked their mid-2000s run with Richard, their brief late 2000s stint with Jim, or their recent successes with Greg, all three singers gave their own sound and presence to the band, as punctuated by Eugene and Gabe's strong dual guitar work. Hopefully we see the guys turn up down the road if the cards line up, but don't miss everyone in their current bands, including Greg and Ric in the country rock cover quartet Bone Yard!
I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profile! We'll head to the Sault Michigan area for the fourth time this year next month, and through 100% random selection, we have chosen inactive local metal trio Scofflaw to look at next! They were a fun band in their day, so look for that profile on or around October 10th, and stay tuned for more news and updates on the site as this week progresses! Thanks everyone!

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