Communicators ring in New Year with survey of '90s music

Communicators ring in New Year with survey of '90s music

December 27th, 2012 in Life Entertainment

The members of Glowing Bordis, pictured, founded The Communicators in 2011. Glowing Bordis is, from left, Jonathan Susman, TJ Greever and Danimal Pinson.

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.


* What: That '90s New Years.

* When: 9:30 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 31,

* Where: Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.

* Admission: $20.

* Phone: 267-4644.

* Website:

Kurt Cobain hasn't made an appearance at a New Year's Eve show for almost 20 years, but he'll be there in spirit Monday at Rhythm & Brews when The Communicators take the stage.

The Communicators, a local tribute super group, will present music by the former Nirvana lead singer and a slew of other artists from the Clinton years as part of That '90s New Years.

"It'll just be a big mix up party with basically anything from grunge to hip-hop to pop and metal. It's all over the board," said Jonathan Susman, the drummer with Glowing Bordis and one of the ensemble's founding members.

Since The Communicators' debut at a Halloween concert last year, the band has become one of the city's most popular local acts.

Communicators' shows are themed, featuring start-to-finish renditions of albums, movie soundtracks and period surveys such as That '90s Show, a survey of '90s hits which the band debuted in June at Riverbend. A second show featuring a similar lineup and set list sold out Rhythm and Brews weeks later, as did a third later in the year.

The show Monday night will feature a similar theme but a new set featuring artists such as Christina Aguilera, The Cranberries, Vanilla Ice, Stone Temple Pirates and Oasis.

People enjoy rediscovering the songs they forgot they loved, Susman said, and putting together a diverse set that will appeal to a broad audience means learning material the band members otherwise might never tackle.

"Forcing yourself to study and learn these various songs really puts you in a place where you have to learn your limits; you step out of your comfort zone," he said. "I can sense people's chops getting better from this."

Susman was taciturn on the specific holiday trappings for Monday's show but did say guests will receive party favors and that some of his band mates likely would be in costume. He added that he was working on "something unique ... involving sparklers" for the countdown to midnight.

As is usual for the group, The Communicators' lineup Monday will feature many new faces from the local scene. Susman will be joined by fellow Glowing Bordis band mate Danimal Pinson, Digital Butter's Becky Ribeiro, Woodford Sessions' Michael Gallaway, emcees Sparkz FreeAgent and Warner MC and singer/songwriters Ryan Oyer and Jordan Hallquist. Members from opening act The Power Players Show Band likely will join in the collaboration as well, at some point, Susman said.

The combination of the energy from these new musical partners and the enthusiasm present in every New Year's Eve show should make for a memorable evening, he added.

"I love it because people tend to get a lot more into it on New Year's Eve," Susman said. "Any time people are that excited, I'm more and more excited to play."

Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP