Three Rivers Commercial News | Robert Tomlinson, Staff Writer
THREE RIVERS — The Hipposonics, a classic rock and R&B band from the South Bend/Elkhart area, will be performing at the Riviera Theatre in three Rivers Saturday, Dec. 7.
The show begins at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased on the Riviera Theatre’s website.
The Hipposonics were formed in 2011 by a group of musicians that have worked together on various musical projects over the past 20 to 30 years. Jerry Opdycke, the band’s bassist, said in an interview with the Commercial-News, the band wanted to stand out from other bands with the music they played.
“We put this project together about seven years ago, just to try and do some of the songs other groups never play. We’re doing the fun stuff that we enjoy,” Opdycke said. “So many bands that are out there performing at casinos, they all play the same type of stuff unless they’re a straight-ahead concert band.”
The band consists of Opdycke, singer/flautist/electronic wind instrumentalist Rick Kalil, drummer Jim Bollero and guitarist Dave Denlinger. Opdycke said they sometimes have “one or two guests” from times to time as well.
Opdycke said that band has a wide variety of mterial they perform at every concert, all from different genres.
“We mix it up with a little bit of everything,” Opdycke said. “We do some R&B and classic rock. Sometimes, it’s tunes people haven’t heard for a while that we arrange, and we do in our own style.”
That kind of style, Opdycke said, is “a little bit different.”
“We put a twist on everything and we do kind of our own thing,” Opdycke said. “Almost all of us have records now, so everybody’s kind of done different stuff. When we pulled this together, we picked the most talented people we could find that we worked with over the years. “
Each of the band members, Opdycke said, are musically inspired by many things and come from many different backgrounds, including jazz, pop, and classical.
“We’ve all had favorite bands over the years and most of us played in different projects over the years,” Opdycke said. “We all come from different areas, so it’s quite a mix. I think that’s one of our strong points. The continuity between the performers, we have a chemistry you don’t find in every band.”
Opdycke said the band has performed at casinos, such as the Blue Chip Casino and Four Winds Casino, as well as different clubs in the area, but this will be the first time they will perform at the Riviera.
Opdycke said the band is looking forward to performing at the historic theatre.
“We heard about it, and because I live in Sturgis, I’m not too far from there, I drive by it once in a while, and thought it would be an interesting place to play,” Opdycke said. “Everybody I talk to, all the guys in the band, this is all new for them. We’ve done Four Winds and that type of stuff, so we’re looking forward to this.”
Audiences to their concert on Saturday, Opdycke said, can expect a wide variety of songs they may just recognize.
“There will be some things they’ll recognize and a few tunes they’ll think, ‘oh, what is that, I think I know that,” and there will be a few that probably they haven’t heard of in years, and there will be some they maybe don’t recognize,” Opdycke said. “The stuff we do ranges from modern stuff to classics, so it’s a good bit of material.”