VIDEO: Topeka band revamps image

Brandon Bills

The revitalized Topeka band Echo Lake made their public debut at The Boobie Trap bar on Friday night.

The members of Echo Lake-most of them Washburn students-include vocalist and rhythm guitarist David Hess, lead guitarist Michael Spangler, saxophonist TC Gomez, bassist Scott Stormann and drummer Matt Mirsch.

Mirsch and Stormann have been jamming together for about seven years, but during winter break they started the ball rolling that resulted in the new Echo Lake.

“We asked Dave, over break, to play with us,” said Mirsch. “Just kinda goof around and do a few covers. Do a show maybe. Dave came over and then brought Michael over. Then Michael and Dave brought TC over. We just jammed. All of us have hung out before. Most of us are music majors.”

Hess describes their music as rock-funk-blues. He likes to play anything that an audience can dance to.

“We really just like to have fun,” said Hess.

Echo Lake recently performed their first show at a party at the Alpha Phi sorority house.

“Yeah, we have a huge following from the Alpha Phi house,” said Mirsch.

On Friday, Echo Lake opened for John Henry and the Engine, Times New Roman and Anchondo.

Mirsch and Stormann have been fans of Anchondo after seeing the band perform in Topeka six years ago.

“We were wanting to book this gig just because Anchondo was coming through,” said Stormann.

Anchondo is a rock-reggae band from Omaha, Neb. Anchondo is touring to promote their new album, “Kings of Nowhere,” released in November. They recently performed at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and have previously played on the Warped Tour.

John Henry and the Engine is a blues rock band from St. Louis, Mo. They also performed at South by Southwest.

Times New Roman is a hardcore band from Topeka. They won the Battle for Blacklodge in September. They are currently touring throughout the midwest.

Echo Lake displayed their range on covers of The Ohio Players’ “Love Rollercoaster” and Dave Matthews Band’s “So Much to Say.” The most surprising performance of the evening was their cover of The Ting Tings’ “Shut Up and Let Me Go” with drummer Mirsch on lead vocals.

For now, Echo Lake is just trying to have fun and take their audiences along for the ride. However, they are keeping an eye on the future.

“We do covers mostly right now like Dave Matthew and Sublime, but we’re starting work on some originals,” said Mirsch. “We’ll probably get that done over the summer.”