With summer officially here, that only means one thing and that is the return of my annual "Bands of Summer" shirtless photo special! The annual feature has grown immensely over the years, and is designed to show a different side of bands that we never thought we'd see, and has evolved to help promote body positivity and provide for some comic relief as well. This year's special features a plethora of artists including Tobi Duncan from U.K. emo-rock outfit Trash Boat, Dick Rubin from the Philly based funk group Minka, Pat McCloskey from the San Francisco indie dance pop group First In Flight, plus a return appearance from drummer Emmett Ceglia who made an appearance in the very first edition. Without further ado, here is this year's spread:
Pat McCloskey (First In Flight)
Starting things off with Pat McCloskey, frontman for the San Francisco based indie dance pop outfit First in Flight. The band has a defined, high energy vibe to their sound that gets the audience involved amidst a sea of people vibing and dancing along to their smooth wavelengths. Pat and the guys definitely work up a sweat, and that is clearly evident towards the end of the set as Pat has regularly gotten into the habit of taking off his shirt, much to the delight of the crowd. You can clearly see how much Pat enjoys the attention and being part of the action, and making sure the audience members are being well taken care of too.
Tobi Duncan (Trash Boat)
Making a return appearance on this year's special is Tobi Duncan, frontman for the St. Albans, UK based emo-rock outfit Trash Boat. The lads have slowly been gaining traction in recent years with their electric shows that are bringing back the spirit of early 00's emo-rock but with a more modern twist thrown in that seems to have made an impact on listeners all around the globe. Tobi knows how to ratchet up the energy levels, and along with that the heat goes up which usually results in Tobi shedding off his shirt much to the roaring approval of the crowd. Clearly, Tobi knows how to take care of his body with his chiseled appearance that amps up the sex appeal, and makes the band adored by even more fans from all the world over.
Dick Rubin (Minka)
A saucy entry in this year's spread comes from Dick Rubin, frontman for the Philly based funk rock outfit Minka. The band are known for crafting some dance infused melodies alongside a hypnotic stage set that involves alot of moving around, and getting the audience involved in the action alsoi. One thing that Dick has a penchant for doing is wearing the least amount of clothes possible, including this photo taken from a photo shoot promoting his latest album "Oops All Bangers!" that shows some strategically placed balloons alongside his beautiful beard that just oozes sex appeal, and makes the band as a whole stand out from a performance perspective.
Ben Squires (Delights)
Continuing to heat things up with Ben Squires, lead guitarist for the Liverpool, UK based indie-pop group Delights. The group have a knack for crafting summer ready anthems coupled with a high energy exuberance that comes across evidently in their music. The band are a big deal with their shows in and around the UK, and during a recent stop fans were quite "delighted" (no pun intended) to see Ben performing on stage without a shirt. When the crowd is really receptive to your music, it's always nice to give the audience a reason to stick around and reward them too.
Making a return appearance on this year's special is drummer Emmett Ceglia, who appeared in the very first "Bands of Summer" feature back in 2014. Back then, Emmett was drummer for the punk rock outfit Manic Pixi who frequently played in the Boston area, and had absolutely mind blowing sets that required audience participation. One thing that was omnipresent at every show was Emmett performing without a shirt, allowing him to go wild on the drums at his convenience amidst a pool of sweat. Emmett still keeps active at the kit with various bands today, and still keeps his shirt off to this day much to the delight of the concertgoers.
Marlon Rishondala (Sterling Press)
Closing us out is Marlon Rishondala, bassist/vocalist for the London based alt-rock group Sterling Press. The band formed in Spring 2020 just as the pandemic began, and the lads used that downtime to mold their sound, and get started on writing and recording tracks for the masses to perform live when it was time to do so. As soon as live shows resumed, the band took advantage of that and hit the ground running and played as many shows as they could. It gets really hot at concerts as most people know, and that resulted in Marlon taking off his shirt much to the enthusiasm and enjoyment of the crowd, and made things that much more enjoyable for all in attendance there that night.