The Bystanders
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The Bystanders

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Still working on that hot first release.

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Every once in a great while a band emerges from Milwaukee with a sound so unique, they inevitably become a national favorite. (Think Violent Femmes, Willy Porter, the BoDeans.) The Bystanders, formed in 2003 with some of the area’s top musicians, hope to follow in the footsteps of these top-flight, national acts. With her amazing voice and high-energy stage presence, new lead singer, Carmen Nickerson (formerly of the Eddie Butts Band), quickly gets an audience into the palm of her hands and never lets go.

The Bystanders combine catchy originals (Oh Jesus, Don’t Forget) with crowd-pleasing covers from artists such as Alanis, Cold Play and Fleetwood Mac, to create an unbeatable set list. Thanks to the advanced arrangements brought to their covers (compliments of Russian composer and band member, Kostia), the Bystanders take the songs you know to melodic places you wouldn’t expect-especially from a local act.

The Bystanders first CD was titled It’s Life. It was mixed at the renowned Cherokee studios in Los Angeles and featured special guest performances by guitar legends Daryl Stuermer and Greg Koch. Recently, the group enlisted the services of Willy Porter to produce new material, scheduled for release later this year.

Whether you’re looking to book a great band, or see one, be sure to put the Bystanders on your calendar.