Billy F. Gibbons, Matt Sorum, and Mike Flanigin to Headline

Three words: Ernie Boch Junior. 

Did you just sing them in your mind? 

If so, you’re definitely not alone. Although the Providence-born businessman sold most of his family’s third-generational car dealerships a few years ago, we can still quickly recall their radio commercials — and for good reasons. They proliferated local airwaves for quite a while, and they were catchy AF.

Nowadays, Boch Jr. serves as the president, CEO, and spokesman for Boch Enterprises, a $1 billion operation. He’s also the CEO of Subaru New England, and in 2006, he started Music Drives Us (MDU), a registered 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization. Music Drives Us supports music and arts education throughout New England. He seeded MDU in 2004 with $2 million. 

Boch Jr., who’s a graduate and former board member of the Berklee College of Music (in Boston), says, “I have always liked music since when I was a kid. When Woodstock hit, I was 10 years old, it changed my life.” In the ’80s, he met Brad Whitford and the rest of the members of Aerosmith. Since then, Boch Jr.’s forged strong bonds with many more musical artists. His best friend, Paul Geary, is an artist manager and a drummer.

“Then I started seeing music as education and I saw the giant hole. At the time, I discovered VH1’s Save the Music.” Boch Jr. tells me that it was a one-on-one lunch with one of Save the Music’s founders that got the ball rolling for him in terms of creating MDU.

After its launch, he says, “It took a bit to get familiar with the environment. Then we realized there was so much need.” To date, he says, “We’ve put in over 1,000 instruments, completed 300 projects and funded millions of dollars.” Recently, for instance, the charity donated instruments to schools in Block Island, Providence, Woonsocket and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School. 

To raise money for their cause, Music Drives Us (MDU) hosts two big events each year. Next Friday, December 13, MDU is hosting The BFG Three, an evening when Billy F. Gibbons, Matt Sorum, and Mike Flanigin rock the stage at the Norwood Space Center in Norwood, Mass. Gibbons was the lead guitarist and singer for ZZ Top and Sorum used to drum for Guns N’ Roses. Flanigin is a respected blues rocker who plays the hammond organ.

For Boch Jr., the process of booking acts for his events is personal. “Billy Gibbons stood at my house last year and I got to know him. And I know Matt Sorum. I went to his wedding,” he explains. It’s good that Boch Jr.  knows such talented musicians, because that’s what attracts people to attend MDU’s event drives, thus forwarding its mission. In the next year, he hopes to raise between $100,000 and $150,000 for his philanthropic venture

According to Boch Jr., the BFG is MDU’s biggest event of the year. It takes a village to produce the event. At the helm is Jackie Bell, MDU’s Director of Development & Special Events. Bell’s a seasoned PR pro who’s be worked for the organization for four years.

BFG Three drinks will be provided by Castle Island Brewery (of Norwood) and URE Vodka. The food will be prepared by Mansfield, Mass. chef who’s worked with MDU for a decade.

General admission tickets for the BFG Three are $50. VIP tickets go for $300. With VIP tickets, concertgoers get food and drinks, a meet and greet with the band, and a reserved spots in a special viewing area. This is a 21+ show. To purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com/e/the-bfg-three-ft-billy-f-gibbons-matt-sorum-and-mike-flanigin-tickets-79535377455

Coffin-Bangers: Tight Crew + RI Indoor Karting = “Monster” Halloween

Do you like scary movies? What about costume parties?

If you answered yes to one or both of those questions, pay attention! On Saturday, October 26, EDM event super-producers Tight Crew is throwing their annual Halloween blowout. The’ll transform RI Indoor Karting (RIIK) in Lincoln into a real-life Monster Mash.

Mash-goers can rage from 8pm to 3am among immersive decorations and state-of-the-art audiovisuals that will provide an unforgettable Halloween experience. As far the tunes are concerned, there will be two stages of music. Our local prince of darkness, the legendary DJ Venom, is scheduled to perform.

If that’s not enough, consider this: Guests can also try their luck at an axe throwing bar, race the high speed go-karts, bowl in one of the event’s performance spaces or enjoy a game of billiards. It’ll be the perfect night to make amazing memories.

Tight Crew explained their venue choice. “We have been patrons of RIIK since they opened. We always had the idea to throw a party here, and we figured Halloween was the perfect time to start! The venue is expanding with an arcade and a massive virtual reality experience, which should increase the amount of awesome times we can have here.”

One of the coolest things about Tight Crew is
how big they are huge on positive vibes and family traditions. Even though the
activities alone at Monster Mash are
bananas, they’re not holding back. True to form, they’ll be showing out with
for their guests. This once-in-a-lifetime night will feature free fresh fruit,
Halloween candy, and a kandi-making area. Lastly, creatures of the night can
rock their ghoulish garb and enter the Halloween-themed costume contest.

Entry for the Monster Mash is 18+ (21+ to drink), and all of the dope activities available can be paid for a la carte. “We are offering a discount on races on our ticketing page. Anyone who wants to guarantee a race or axe-throwing lane (space is limited, and the axe bar will close at midnight) should reserve in advance.”

Heed their warning, people! Grab your tickets (while they last) at TightCrew.net.

Hot Happenings: Electronic music events worth perspiring over

Dip, drip, drop! Why ease your way into summer this year when you can make a splash by riding out the best electronic dance music events Lil Rhody has in store? These three shows provide the rare and much-needed opportunity to get down and dirty (musically speaking!) on the beach, in the pool and in the club — all season long. So grab a friend and pack a towel and a change of clothes, since it’s time to soak up the sun while dancing to some sweet tunes.

First up, on Sunday, June 16, welcome warmer weather by donning some cute swimwear and heading down to Westerly for Sunday Funday, a day-party at Tikki Beach in Westerly. This edition showcases Boston-based producer/DJ duo DUDEnGUY. These guys are known for delivering high-energy sets complete with killer mixes, so get ready to dance. This event is 21+ and runs from noon until 5pm, with free admission before 3pm.

Then on Saturday, June 29, SPF Saturdays Presents Sound/Waves, an all day into-night (11am until 9pm!) party at the Last Resort Pub & Grill in Smithfield. The lineup is TBA, but these events are always unforgettable. The venue has a junior Olympic-sized swimming pool as well as a sand beach volleyball court and tiki bar. Admission to Sound/Waves is 21+. To snag your tickets, head over to eventbrite.com.

Make sure to stay hydrated and reapply sunscreen throughout June and July, because once August 17 hits, you’ll want to spend all day and night at Tight Crew’s Toy Story 4 Block Party. This rave will transform Platforms Dance Club (PVD) into an indoor/outdoor party that features DJs from around the U.S. and world spinning in three rooms. The event also boasts fire performances,a ball pit, confetti cannons, a free fresh fruit and kandi-making area, and even a bounce house!  For more info and tickets, visit tightcrew.net

Ball Drop Beat Drop: More fun than should be allowed


Much like the extra dry champagne served on the holiday, New Year’s Eve traditions can be a bit stale. Interested in switching it up? Then head to Platforms Dance Club in Providence on December 31 to ring in the new year at Tight Crew (TC)’s Neon Masquerade Ball! You may want to buy your tickets now, because this limited-ticket event will feature 16 DJs from all over the US, fire performances, a heated outdoor tent and a game room! So pick out a cute outfit and get plenty of rest, because the event runs from 6pm to 3am.

Headliners include Ducky (LA, dubstep), Lady Faith (LA, hardstyle) and DJ Venom (RI), who will be spinning a special freestyle set. Since this is a TC party, event-goers can plan on stopping by the free kandi-making and fresh fruit areas. As for the midnight countdown, attendees will be treated to a larger-than-life neon orgy of colorful lights, sounds and confetti cannons.

“We have never done a masquerade ball before. This will take a classic, timeless New Year’s theme and put our blacklight immersive neon twist on it. It is a fun layout for a party; the main room will be amazing and the second room is going to be a 30-by-60 heated tent outside,” says Keith Woods, co-founder of TC. “There is also a game room and entire room for vendors,” he added.

This will be TC’s second event at Platforms (the first was Yoshi’s Island earlier this year), and it’s a great location for the celebration. “The outdoor area will have a full concert sound system and lighting rig as well as lots of neon artwork and fire performers outside the tent,” Woods explains.

According to Woods, TC’s New Year’s resolution is, “to provide an all-inclusive, non-judgmental community space for anyone with an open mind and continue to give a stage for all forms of dance music popular and underground. We are excited to ring in the new year with the tight Crew family. Join us, we want to be your friend.”

Admission to Tight Crew’s Neon Masquerade Ball is 18+ (21+ to drink). Tickets are tiered, meaning the sooner you get them, the lower the price! Tickets are available at tightcrew.net

Good Deeds on the Dance Floor: Local EDM DJs break it down for a good cause


Do you love electronic music? Do you also care about people in need in your community? What about 48-hour dance parties with myriad talented DJs? If you answered yes to two or more of those questions (or even one!), then you need to get your life by dancing all day and/or night at Good Deed DJs’ (GDDJ) upcoming Christmas Marathon!

From December 14 through 16 (for the third consecutive year), the RI-based professional organization will raise money for Cumberland Happy Basket, a charity that distributes hundreds of baskets of food to families in need during the holiday seasons. This year, the event is supporting Toys for Tots as well, by hosting 48 hours of continuous music, a promoter discussion and more.

This year’s event will be held in two Massachusetts locations. The first 24 hours will he hosted (as in, they are lending their business space for free!) by Hennessey Sound Design (Taunton) and the second 24 will be hosted by Supreme Sound & Lighting (Charlton).

Nearly 60 DJs from New England and beyond are booked to spin some funky beats throughout the weekend. Local EDM event producers, promoters and partygoers — including members of Tight Crew, the Mutiny, Rabbit Revolution and Nexthype Providence — will gather to stir up some money for the charities.

This year, GDDJ co-founders Jack McDevitt and Michael Savant are extraordinarily ambitious, and for good reason. “With a staff of nearly 90 people, this is the first year we will have a full staff with tech, hospitality and general assistants in place,” says McDevitt. “We expect it to be our best event yet… To date we have raised more than $10,000 in our last two events, I think making us the largest donor to their amazing program.” They are hoping to raise $17,500 from this year’s Christmas Marathon. For the next year? $30,000.

Also on the docket for GDDJ in the near future (2019): becoming a registered 501(c)(3) organization. This could spread awareness and boost donations by helping to certify GDDJs’ legitimacy as a nonprofit.

As for what sparked their nonprofit organization, McDevitt and Savant were initially inspired by seeing folk music icon Jenny Lewis raise money for MS research and treatment with telethons.

“We also saw the amount of people we could bring together through music, and really wanted to push for a change in how that influence was yielded,” explained McDevitt’s partner, GDDJ co-director Michael Savant. “New England has an incredible amount of talent in its electronic music scene, and its backbone is rock solid; what better place to start making a change than from within?”

For more information on Good Deed DJs and their 3rd Annual Christmas Marathon, visit Facebook.com/gooddeeddjs

EDM Event Preview: Tight Crew’s Space Jam

17814304_1427543937265760_4817659704900370669_oOn Saturday, April 14, Tight Crew will bring Space Jam to Fete for the second consecutive year. This will be the fourth installment of TC and friends’ (partygoers’) “epic journey” through an intergalactic world of live music, performances, aesthetic and vibes.

Melanie Bertoldi (Motif): Why did you decide to bring this theme back? Were people asking?

Tight Crew: Space Jam was one of the first events we did where we saw a huge jump in attendance. It was a hit with our crowd from the beginning. It had been a few years, and we just thought it was a good time to bring it back.

MB: Who are the biggest DJs/performers who’ll be there?

TC: This year we have DJ ill-ēsha, who’ll be making her first-ever appearance in Rhode Island all the way from Vancouver, BC! She’ll be joined by the “World’s Premier Female DJ,” DJ Shortee from Los Angeles.

17760960_1427544720599015_5152888679228927546_oMB: Who are the biggest local acts who’ll be performing?

TC: Local legend DJ Venom will be appearing main stage, as well as Providence’s one-of-a-kind space alien puppet creatures, Big Nazo!

MB: What’s new/different this time around?

TC: We’re currently working on a new color-changing LED DJ booth, which will premiere at Space Jam this year. It’s also sound-activated with tons of programmed effects and patterns. We’re really excited to showcase this new project.

MB: It’s been nearly a decade since the first Space Jam. How has Tight Crew evolved since then as a production company?

TC: We were a much smaller crew back then. We had to evolve to keep up with the size and frequency of our productions. We have a team of friends helping either with making the decorations with us at our warehouse, or with setup and breakdown at shows — as well as a large group of street team members to help with marketing for each event. There are a lot of factors involved these days to keep things going and we are grateful for our Tight Crew family for all their support over the years.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit tightcrew.net.

EDM Events Worth Fall-ing For


Fall is without question my favorite season to experience in Rhode Island. If you don’t share my love for all things autumn (haunted corn mazes, hoodies and pumpkin everything included), fear not! A welcome breeze of exciting electronic dance music events is making its way to some of our most beloved local music haunts this season — so layer up.

Happening on Thu, Sep 28, Australian electronic dance group Mashd N Kutcher are hitting up Lupo’s for the Glow Campus Tour. Then, on Fri, Oct 8, the same venue will host electro-influenced, Boston-bred pop partners-in-crime Timeflies for their “Too Much To Dream” tour stop.

On Sat, Oct 28, Tight Crew is taking over three great Pawtucket venues — The Met, Hope Artiste Village and Breaktime Bowl — for their Goosebumps-themed Halloween massive. This all-ages event will bring together more than 20 DJs from around the country and world. Other highlights include a “vendor village” area for party guests to peruse and purchase cool locally made clothing, art and accessories. Attendees are encouraged to get into the spooky spirit by rocking some creative costumes (There will even be a contest for the best one!). Expect awesome sounds, lighting and decorations at this banger. It’s gonna be lit.

Be sure to save some energy (and request time off) for actual Halloween, though, since Lupo’s, now called The Strand, is celebrating All Hallow’s Eve (Tue, Oct 31) by hosting sisterly EDM DJ duo Krewella, who will be hitting up Prov as part of their “New World Order” Tour. This will be a good time to hear music off the self-described Mixed Kids’ (that’s name of their new label) latest release, which came out in June.

EDM_tumblrDan Deacon fans and people who like live music are in for a treat on Thu, Nov 9, when the electronic composer and multi instrumentalist will perform on the main stage at AS220. Deacon is known for his signature high-energy, audience-engaging shows, so this is definitely a can’t-miss event.

EDM Event Preview: Tight Crew’s 3D World


Tight Crew’s 3D World is happening on Saturday, July 30 at Fete. In advance of the event, Llewelyn caught up with Tight Crew’s DJ Soappy to get the scoop on why this will be a can’t-miss party.

 Llewelyn Ross (Motif): I am digging the new spin on Blacklight Ruckus. What installment of BLR will this be?

Tight Crew: This will be the sixth Blacklight Ruckus in nine years. This event was one of the first we ever did back in 2008.

LR: What elements of the party will attendees get to experience with the HD ChromaDepth glasses you’re providing?

TC: All the decoration will be UV reactive, so basically everything in the venue will work with the free ChromaDepth 3D glasses we’re giving out. The glasses create striking 3D images from normal 2D images by pulling forward the color red to the foreground and sorting the remaining colors according to their position in the rainbow. ROY G BIV! (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet).

LR: To create the event’s “Immersive 3D Black-Light Décor,” you obviously used glow-in-the dark paint. Tell me about some of the other cool deco for this party.

TC: Yes, everything we have uses neon UV-reactive paint. We’ve got these sick new hanging art pieces that resemble giant crystals. Those will hang throughout the main stage area. We’ll be bringing back one of our larger DJ booths with LED lights, but this time setting it up in a giant V formation (with the addition of floor-to-ceiling UV-colored drapes to line the back wall). Centered behind the DJ will be a massive spinning wheel with a trippy spiral pattern.

LR: Any other notable art/production elements for 3D World?

TC: We’re bringing out a custom-made Boombox DJ booth with UV colors and programmed LED lights. This thing is pretty sick. It’s got its own WiFi that people can connect to. They just need to download an app, and then they’ll all be able to control the lights. Definitely one of my favorite art pieces we’ve ever produced.

LR: What are you personally most excited for?

TC: One of the most exciting things for me is seeing everyone dressed up and becoming part of the experience. We encourage everyone to dress in UV reactive colors. With everyone wearing 3D glasses, you essentially become part of the decorations. We can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

LR: Once you’ve conquered the 3D frontier, can you give me a hint about what’s next for Tight Crew? Virtual reali-raving?

TC: Tight Crew has done an annual Halloween event for many years now, but this year I think will be truly special. I don’t want to give too much away, but we’ve already locked in what I think is the biggest international headliner act we’ve ever booked to date! Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 29. We’ll be taking over not one, but three venues: The Met, Hope Artiste Village and Breaktime Bowl (Pawtucket). Three floors of lights, sound and the Tight Crew rave experience <3

For more information or to purchase tickets for 3D World, visit www.tightcrew.net.

EDM: Summertime Madness

I, like most of you, am quite suped with the warm weather we’ve (finally) been having. With summer about to kick off for real, I can’t help but get even more excited with the idea of going to some awesome shows with EDM flavor.

Although this event is happening down in New York, it’s worth noting here because local event production team Mutiny Crew (Charlton, Mass.) is one of the festival’s producers. The third annual Hydrotechnics Festival is happening from July 22-24 at the scenic Echo Lake in Afton, NY. Not for the faint of heart, this three-day rave (basically) will feature one 24-hour stage, as well as a renegade (mobile) stage camping, plus indoor bathrooms and hot water showers, which is a real luxury for such a fest. For more info, visit hydrotechnicsfestival.com.

Sunday Fundays are weekly events that are kicking off soon at Tikki Beach in Westerly. On June 26, the hottest DJ to see there this summer is definitely the oh-so-prolific Justin “Just” Blaze, the legendary hip-hop producer who’s known for (on top of his amazing production creds) rocking the fuck out of crowds from hip-hop shows to EDM fests. Over the past few years, Just has done a great job of interweaving elements of EDM into the hip-hop cuts that he’s created. For more info, check out tinyurl.com/zreorsp.

Last — but definitely not least — progressive rock and dance jam band Dopapod will be playing at the iconic Ocean Mist in South Kingstown on August 26. I had the pleasure of going to their show at the O’ Mist three summers ago, and it was a fantastic experience. For tickets and info, visit go to oceanmist.net/dopapod.


EDM Events to Swap That Winter Chill with Smokin’ Hot Electronic Vibes

Congratulations, friends and strangers alike: We’ve made it through the bulk of the coldest season here in RI! Fortunately for us, there are several EDM events happening locally over the next few weeks to help thaw our still-winter-bound bones and warm our electronic-loving souls.

Friday, February 19, producer Brightside will perform at The Spot in Providence. The Queens native, who creates mostly mid-tempo mixes composed of all types of musical samples, strives to touch upon a wide array of sounds in an effort to reach the most people — all while weaving a sonic storyline of worldy (ie, everything from Middle Eastern to reggae to classic rock) flavor. At The Spot, Brightside will be joined by other acts Levitation Jones, Tsimba and Toadface.

If drum ‘n’ bass or harder-sounding music is more your style, then you’ll want to hit up Therapy on the 19th instead. That’s because that’s the night that Total Science, AKA Jason Greenhalgh and Paul Smith, will be tearing shit up at Providence’s only afterhours venue for a night of “Physical Therapy.” Hey, even if you decide to stop by The Spot that night, you can totally swing through Therapy later — and you won’t regret it. Hailing all the way from England, Total Science has been on the scene for more than 20 years, so you know they’re doing something right. Physical Therapy also will feature a few local acts, including Mike Skillz (from DJ Venom’s Morlok Musik label), Tom B Ill and Huge (Funky Comm).

If a lighter, house-ier vibe is what you crave, then Rebel Lounge should be your destination on Saturday, February 27. That’s when New York’s DJ Chachi will be spinning at the fairly new Providence nightclub. From the sounds of Chachi’s progressive house rhythms, and considering the intimacy of the setting, attending this show could be likened to going to a fun dance party with your friends (Don’t you love it when a dance floor is packed?).