Run Side Down
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Run Side Down

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Run Side Down @ The Lazy Dog

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Run Side Down @ First Street Pub

Nederland, Colorado, USA

Nederland, Colorado, USA

Run Side Down @ Quixote's

Denver, Colorado, USA

Denver, Colorado, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



After finishing my smoke I went inside to find Run Side Down had taken the stage and were already off and rockin'. I had an opportunity to check these guys out once when they came to Des Moines a few months ago. I was impressed then and last night didn't disappoint either. It was a great way to end another excellent night of music.
-Jay Moreau, Wakarusa -

Run Side Down will finish up their fall tour with a 3 date run in mid December. The band has been on the road for most of the fall season hitting many of their favorite haunts, as well as some new venues around the Midwest. After New Years Eve, the band will take most of January off to write and record material for their upcoming studio debut. The first studio cut from the band is available for review/download on My Space.
12.31.06 Mr. Robert's - Madison
New Years Eve Party
11pm - Late
Special Guests: The Grasshoppers 10-11pm - The Isthmus -

Run Side Down is eclectic musically. The music could be called "Jam Band" or it could be called "Progressive Rock", or it could be called "Good Time" music. They love to play long and hard sets with both original songs and a host of Rock N' Roll covers from band's like The Who, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Phish, Buddy Miles, Frank Zappa, just to name a few. Mike met Vince during college at UWSP in 1998. They both graduated with BA degrees on their respective instruments. Vince moved to Indiana, and Mike headed for Madison, WI. Mike started a band called Space Camp with Dan and Jon. A phone call brought Vince to Madison to sleep on Mike's couch for a month of rehersals before their first tour began. After almost being sued by NASA for useing "Space Camp" as a name, Run Side Down was chosen as the new handle. -

I've been a jam band fan for over 30 years and these guys have what it
takes to turn a tune into a groove! Whether it's an awesome cover of
Phish's " Punch You in the Eye" or their own highly catchy originals,
you can count on Run Side Down to turn an ordinary show into a party!
If you like good music and great times, don't miss Run Side Down!

I love my job. One thing I get to do is go to see a lot of live music. About 2 years ago, I went to the Stage Door to see a Phish tribute band. ( of course I did! ) Anyway, I'm pretty excited to hear some live Phish, even if it was performed by someone else, so I didn't really pay much attention to the opening act, Run Side Down.
At least, not at first. After a song or two, I whisper to my companion, " Is it just me, or are these guys really good?"

Well, they were really good, and between acts, I introduce myself to Mike the guitar player and tell him how much I liked their set. We stayed in touch over the years. The band lived right down the road from me.

Now they have a CD out and are headlining at the Barrymore Friday night with another great Madison band, Baghdad Scuba Review. I can''t wait to put on my hippie costume for the Grateful Dead influenced " Night of the Dead'. Yeah, I found my costume in my closet. So what? - Gabby Parsons - Music Director

How many bands do you know have been sued by the federal government?

Madison-based jam band Run Side Down begins each press kit it sends out to prospective venues in this fashion because of its previous name, Space Camp.

NASA’s summer camp for children interested in space exploration, also called Space Camp, wasn’t too pleased with the band’s choice in name. So their law firm sent the band a 14-page cease-and-desist, one month after the band had completed its first album “America Must Dine.”

Plourde and the band were amused and surprised that a government agency would be interested in his “small-time” band. Ironically, the NASA incident helped the band gain the fresh start that many of the band members wanted with a new roster and sound.

“Honestly, we were ready for a change,” Plourde said. “So it wasn’t the biggest deal to us. It was funny more than anything. But I think at the same time it gave us a reason to rebirth ourselves and start fresh.”

The unusual series of events with NASA caught media attention and helped Run Side Down rise to success when it hit the scene in 2005.

They played its first show as Run Side Down in July of 2005 in Niles, Mich. The band began to do house gigs in Madison every Wednesday at The Portal Music Café and The King Club in 2005 and the beginning of 2006.

The name Run Side Down comes from an old audio term that band members like to use when joking about old recording equipment.

“Three of the four members were in school heavily for music production and audio work,” Plourde said.

Run Side Down’s bio describes the group as a jam band that mixes rock with reggae or funk with fusion creating a sound that is “versatile and authentic.” The band’s sets are a mixture of their own songs and cover songs from artists such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Phish, and Frank Zappa.

The band’s unusual beginning and music style have caught the interest of many venues in Wisconsin. Brad Knapp, who handles booking at Cranky Pat’s Pizza in Neenah, described the band as a “psychedelic jam band” that is unique in the way they pursue their music.

“They’re very hardworking, which a lot of musicians have a hard time with that,” Knapp said. “But these guys are persistent, they’re hardworking and they’re really building a name for themselves.”

Bass player Dan Plourde said the band tries to be original, while at the same time groups themselves into the jam band community.

“For us, the biggest thing is that we tend to stay towards rock and heavier musical styles. We like to rock and rock and roll,” Plourde said. “I think that jam band is a term that ends up being an easy way out of it, too recognizable. We try to keep ourselves grouped with them so that we can progress. There’s a [jam band] community out there…..everybody tries to share and help each other.”

For guitarist Mike Scieszinski, the jam band community and the band are similar to a family.

“Run Side Down is more to me than a band, it’s a family,” Scieszinski said. “We love each other very much. I’m not just talking about the band itself, but the larger group of folks who we coexist with.”

In order to grow, the band knows that they need to keep on practicing, writing and, most importantly, touring. Last year they had over 100 tour dates, playing with such regional and national bands such as Tea Leaf Green, The Smoking Bandits and Melvin Seals with the Jerry Garcia Band.

“It’s absolutely paramount…..If you’re in the summer festival circuit, you’re starting to make it as a band,” Plourde said. “In order to get there, you have to make friends in all these little towns that come out to see you twice a semester, which is the schedule we try to follow.”

He said that the band doesn’t want to sound like just another band on the radio.

“We don’t play towards an audience that wants to hear music on the radio,” Plourde said.

Despite this fact, the band still wants to build their fan base by touring.

“[What we want is] over the years turning 10 people to 30 people into 100 people – we want to make it happen faster,” he said.

Plourde said the band needs to keep realistic goals and be patient with this process.

“It’s about balancing your desires with a sense of realism because you can want things very badly, and this is a tough business so you have to be very patient,” Plourde said.

They have already attracted a large audience, getting spotlighted in such publications such as The Onion, The Wisconsin State Journal and The Isthmus.

Knapp encourages students to come to see one of the next big acts playing in the perfect environment for music.

“They’re one of the up-and-coming bands in the state right now, so you’ll get to hear one of the next big bands in an intimate environment,” said Knapp. “The room is great for live music.”

Gabby Parsons, Music Director at 105.5 Triple M radio station in Madison, said concertgoers should be ready for a party when they go see the band.

“I’ve been a j - Joshua Miller, of the Advance Titan UW-Oshkosh

Two years ago, a band called Space Camp set out to create funky grooves at jam sessions and woo audiences into subservience at crowded shows.

NASA had other plans. In objection to the band's name, NASA sent the musicians a 14-page document warning them to change it - or else. Apparently, the North American Space Association is the rightful owner of the copyright to Space Camp. Bummer. But what could have spelled disaster for some became a gateway to success for this Madison-based band.

"We couldn't afford a lawyer, we had to change our name and just go with it," said Dan Plourde, bassist, vocalist and manager of the band. The conflict over the Midwest jam band's name produced the biggest publicity-payoff a little-known band could have hoped for, said Ploude. As soon as the press got wind of NASA's gripes, the story was printed all over, and word of the band spread far and wide.

A new name, two members down and one keyboardist later, Run Side Down was born.

"It produced a rejuvenated outlook on music," said Plourde. "We started fresh with a whole new band, whole new name."

The band's eclectic sound is sprinkled with periods of psychedelic guitar solos, reminiscent of Phish.

"We definitely pull from a general rock-and-roll fence," said Plourde. "We grew up on classic rock."

The band's music is heavy-laden with colorful instrumentation, a collection of restrained, laid-back groove periods contrasted with progressive, energetic drum-set segments.

"We try to infuse the styles we've learned over the years: jazz, funk, fusion," said Plourde. "What you're going to get is a rock-and-roll core which can be funky and a little jazzy."

The music is triumphed by a voice whose dynamic intonation brings the music from a laid-back state of happy reflection to a more delirious, kinetic high. Run Side Down's music may call to mind big-names like moe or Widespread Panic, said Plourde.

"We like to promote the atmosphere of a party," said Plourde. "Fun for everybody.

"No two shows are the same," he added. "We don't want to get bored and we don't want the fans to get bored."

Sophomore Brendon Hertz said of the band: "I would say their sound changes from night to night, but it revolves around a bluesy-funk with some catchy elements."

The band pulls from classic writing like that of Led Zeppelin, said Plourde. With lyrics such as, "When can I retire and just watch the big rat race?" and "'Cause I don't have the knowledge or a pocket with a dime," the band tends to promote a worry-free attitude.

"Ultimately, we write songs and try to convey a sort of message or feeling which is decorated by our styles of funk and jazz," Plourde said. "It's a sharing of energy between the band and the fans."

Hertz told about a time he had gotten a chance to talk with guitarist Mike Scieszinski in Madison.

"He's a really down-to-Earth guy," said Hertz. "He had recently changed some stuff in his setup looking for that new sound. These guys know what they're doing when it comes down to details and creating original music, but they also know how to have a good time and improvise."

Run Side Down's drummer, Chicago-native John Reed, was once a member of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps before moving to Madison for college.

Bassist Dan Plourde is a Madison native who attended school in Ann Arbor, Mich., for engineering. He returned home after graduating.

Guitarist Mike Scieszinski grew up in Sturgeon Bay and later studied the jazz guitar at UW-Stevens Point.

Vince Faris, the band's keyboardist, was originally from Green Bay and studied music at UW-Stevens Point. Each band member contributes to vocals.

"These guys are serious musicians," Hertz said. "Their tight sound is an indicator of the passion they have for music."

As all four members hold full-time jobs during the week, gigs have become the weekend bread-and-butter, which have also been known to rake in some sweet jam.

Run Side Down will perform for the sixth time at 10 p.m. on Friday at the Mousetrap Bar, 311 S. Barstow Street.

"People should want to come and check out local music," said Plourde. "Wisconsin has a great music scene that's often under-appreciated. We encourage people to come out and give it a shot."
- Tara Bannow - UW Eau Claire "The Spectator"

Perhaps astrophysicists dig a good jam every now and again. That’s one possible explanation for why NASA became hip to the Midwest band Space Camp.

The band kicked off in 2004, and, after playing for three months, received a 14-page letter from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, demanding that it change its name, guitarist Mike Scieszinski said.

“NASA’s got a lot of money and a lot of lawyers,” he said.

Scieszinski, along with bassist Dan Plourde and drummer Jon Reed, consulted an attorney of their own, who insisted that NASA could not copyright the term “space camp.”

Nevertheless, the musicians decided to make a change. The band was undergoing changes of its own — their keyboardist was heading off to Europe — and Scieszinski had never been crazy about the name.

Looking for a replacement keyboardist, he immediately thought of Vince Faris, an old music-major friend from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Unhappy with life in Indiana, he packed up and moved to Madison, Wis., where the band has its headquarters.

“He slept on my couch for quite a time,” Scieszinski said.

The foursome began practicing and touring under the new name Run Side Down. Scieszinski said the new title stemmed from an inside joke, the details of which he’s not about to share.

“We can’t divulge that information,” he said with a laugh.

The band starts with a basis of improvisational rock ‘n’ roll and incorporates jazz, funk, reggae and other influences from there, he said.

“We each have our own personal stuff that we like,” he said.

In a sense, Run Side Down is a jam band, although members are hesitant to define themselves by that category.

“The jam band genre really took hold of us,” Scieszinski said. “But we’re not a Grateful Dead tribute band.”

The term “jam band” has almost become a dirty word with some groups, he said. It’s only one way of understanding the music they play.

“It describes more the nature of the fans that enjoy us,” he added.

Scieszinski said the band’s shows are ever-changing, taking advantage of their large repertoire of songs. They mix original tunes with covers from Bob Dylan, Phish, Led Zeppelin, The Band and other industry heavyweights.

“We have to keep it fresh for us too,” he said, adding that the band performs more than 100 shows a year.

Primarily a college band, Run Side Down plays cities across the Midwest, namely Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Des Moines and the Quad-Cities. Scieszinski said they’ve found their favorite venues at each stop, with good acoustics their first priority in choosing where to play.

“We’re really sound-obsessed,” he said.

A studio album is in the works, but it’s been difficult to find time to record while spending so many days on the road, he said. Nevertheless, they’re anticipating a release in May, before summer touring begins.

No matter where they’re playing — and whatever name they’re performing under — Scieszinski said the band simply hopes to entertain audiences.

“The whole reason we do what we do is to help people have a good time,” he said. “That’s what I’m really in it for. The fame and the glory are for movies and fairytales.”
- Quad City Times - By Katie Vaughn

One of Madison's preeminent jam bands, Run Side Down's first claim to fame is its previous moniker. Originally named Space Camp, the band members changed their name in June of 2005 following legal threats, and has since taken off running with their fusion of funk, jazz and rock. Here's how the band describes itself in its registry description:

Run Side Down is quickly emerging as one of the Midwest's hottest up and coming jam bands. Innovation meets inspiration to produce an ever-evolving style that has been dubbed "eclectic bliss."
The group comes highly approved by one of its peers, which describes them as arguably "the best Jam act in Madison area," one with a not-to-miss live show. Plenty of their music is available online for listening for a preview. Four Run Side Down songs are featured on its MySpace page: "Level 4," "Patches," "Freedom," and "A Quick Story." More information about the band is available at, as well as at the old Madison Music Project profile for Space Camp.

They are a hard-touring band, and proud of it. As described in their registry biography:

Run Side Down is a touring act throughout the Midwest as well as Madison natives. Their touring in 2005 hit more than 30 Midwest cities, over 100+ shows. 2006 has seen even more touring, with breaks to work on an up coming studio effort.
The group's recent schedule has been appropriately busy. The last few weeks have seen Madison shows at the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival on the UW Library Mall at the beginning of the month, as well as at the High Noon Saloon. They're just getting started, though.

Run Side Down's next show is set for Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the King Club, where they will be performing with Marvin's Gardens. This will be followed two days later by a show at Club Tavern in Middleton, where the band will be performing with Four Below. Just two weeks later, Run Side Down will take the stage at Mr. Roberts, which is serving as an after-party for the second of two Madison shows by Umphrey's McGee at the Barrymore. Run Side Down will then be hitting the road, playing a number of shows in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois before year's end. - The Isthmus -

Run Side Down was known as Space Camp until NASA lowered the hammer on them, forcing a name change. That event probably did more for the band than any promotion could have. They don't need any sensationalism; however as Run Side Down is arguably the best jam band in the Madison area.

The band is led by guitarist/vocalist Mike Scieszinski, who is a talented player in the mold of Trey Anastasio and with just as many chops. Vince Faris's keyboards also play an important role in the band's sound, giving them that one-two punch. Run Side Down also benefits for a sterling rhythm section in drummer Jon Reed and bassist Dan Plourde.

They have released a few live recordings and are heading into Smart Studios in January to begin tracking their first studio CD, set for a spring 2007 release. One of these live Eps was recorded at the now defunct Portal Music Café is June of 2005. For a live-to-DAT recording essentially mixed to stereo on the fly, the sound quality is surprisingly good. Another show they've released was recorded at the Stone's Throw in Eau Claire. That one, recorded in March of 2006, shows a clear progression in their improvisation skills although the sound quality is not as good. A third live disc is available on the band's website and was recorded in September of this year. Culled from several shows across the Midwest, logic would dictate that this one is even better.

Run Side Down does recall Phish, especially in a lyrical manner but also in the song construction. On "Patches" they sing, "I got patches on my jacket / To cover holes in my soul / I got a new job, better than the old job / Of selling lies to closed eyes." In Phish fashion, these are the only words in the nearly six-minute track, the band jamming madly on the central riff while Scieszinski tosses in some very tasty guitar licks. "Shoes" from America Must Dine, exists in the same vein, with sentiments no deeper than, "I've got soles on my walkin' shoes / Shoes got souls of their own." The band segues into "Fake Diamonds" on the Stone's Throw disc, one of their performance staples, then return to "Shoes." They fittingly use the ">" symbol in the Dead/Phish fashion. "Word" is a nifty instrumental track that again allows Scieszinski to blaze. "Endless Sky," also from America Must Dine, reveals the band's ability to play the easy-going ballad, stretching it to nearly twelve minutes by throwing Spencer Davis's "I'm a Man" into the middle jam sections.

You needn't be a Phish-head fan to appreciate Run Side Down, just a fan of Music and especially good guitar playing and solid improvisation. They make for a great night out, tossing in the unexpected cover tune as the mood suits. Run Side Down inspires good times, a reason that club-owners and fans alike love to have them around.
- Rick's Cafe - Rick Tvedt

Local music can sometimes be great, and sometimes be not so great. Run Side Down’s new EP, “Run Side Live EP”, is one of the greats.

The music included in the live album, recorded at a local café, is wildly diverse in style, which makes the entire album fresh and unique. It’s far too difficult for me to recommend this to fans of specific artists, only because this album oversteps so many precedents and breaks so many musical barriers.

Run Side Down opens this album to a wide audience by presenting the listener with influence from many different styles of music ranging from blues, to rock, to reggae. These genre fusions can often be disastrous, but the band pulls it together smoothly and makes it work well, especially with the numerous unique solos presented in most of the songs.

The lyrical melody is less than perfect, but with its catchy rhythms nobody will really mind. The fact that this is a local band is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it doesn’t have the shine and polish of big label bands, but on the other hand, a in exchange the band has more space for the innovation and musical freedom that is presented in their live album. “Run Side Live EP” is a great collection of unique music that music fans of any type should find worth listening to.
- The Madison Observer


In the Sawdust - 2007

A host of live recordings circulate through the bands fan base and attract new listeners.



Run Side Down has been evolving in the midwest music scene since 2005. Starting as a five piece jam band, Run Side Down is now a trio featuring Joe Burbach on keyboards, Dan Plourde on bass, and Jon Reed on the drum Kit. The massive sounds produced by these three musicians can easily be mistaken as four or five people, while never losing the musical clarity desired by fans.

Upon the departure of guitarist Mike Scieszinski in early 2008, the remainder of Run Side Down was left to decide whether or not they would continue to play and tour. After some much needed rest and personal soul-searching, all three remaining members decided the music must go on. Now only a few months old, the new Run Side Down trio sounds like a polished, touring band, packing clubs in Madison and around the midwest.

Future plans for Run Side Down include a return trip to Colorado and more touring around the midwest. Recording plans are in the works with possible release by the fall of 2008.