Material: Shiny Penny are a rock quartet from Kokomo, IN whose music is a blend of pop/ rock and alternative, but with elements of blues, jazz, folk, soul and EDM mixed in for good measure. Their set drew from their current and past releases with songs that are catchy and sometimes emotionally epic. Lyrics proved to be deeply meaningful and powerful lyrics.
Musicianship: This band plays very well together. Frontman Dean Schimmelpfennig has an amazing voice with a fantastic range. He seems to be able to sing anything, from hard rock to blues to soul. The rest of the band is equally solid. Drummer Scott “Stix” Ayers switches beats fluidly from a funky groove to hard rock to the steady unrelenting beat of EDM. Guitarist Brad DiCarlo shows off his virtuosic flair from time to time, and bassist Eric Hyman provides a solid bedrock of rhythmic harmony.
Performance: Shiny Penny kicked things off strong with their latest single, “Insanity.” “Open Out” had a hard rock edge, while “Lulla-BYE” showcased Schimmelpfennig’s incredible vocal range. Switching back and forth from behind the keyboard to front and center, he commanded the crowd and kept things interesting. DiCarlo and Hyman got to show off their talents during “Soulsleep,” which is a funky, bluesy, dance rock tune. Schimmelpfennig’s wife, Ashton, joined him for the duet, “Ticket.” People in the crowd were dancing during “More,” and soon the band had the audience jumping with them.
For “Laser Freedom,” Shiny Penny hopped off the stage and joined the audience, where they had everyone form a circle to simulate a campfire singalong, complete with acoustic guitar, tambourine and shakers. The band then returned to the stage for an electronic/live mix of their song, “Mr. Welker,” during which Schimmelpfennig played keyboard, synth and guitar. Shiny Penny ended their set with the high energy, “Don’t Believe A Word That I Say” followed by an encore after the audience chanted, “One more song!”
Summary: Shiny Penny definitely know how to keep their set interesting and maintain a good vibe with the crowd. This band is an extremely tight-knit group of musicians who offer a diverse style, are fun to watch and even more engaging to hear.
The Players: Dean Schimmelpfennig, vocals, keys; Brad DiCarlo, lead guitar; Eric Hyman, bass; Scott "Stix" Ayers, drums.
Photo by Mary Lemanski
Venue: Schubas Tavern
City: Chicago, IL
Shiny Penny - "Insanity"
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