A shot at fame

EVERETT — The first live music that echoes through the Everett Events Center will belong not to a national act, but to five local guys.

Stormm, a band that has rocked its way around area bars and clubs for years, will open tonight’s Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.

Stormm has serendipity to thank for the gig, which band members are saying will be the best night of their lives. Accustomed to crowds of around 100 people, Stormm will play for more than 5,000 people tonight.

"This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me," lead singer Ron Moore said.

Stormm guitarist Duane Wheeler was working at Guitar Center in Lynnwood when he heard that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s opening act, the Georgia Satellites, had canceled.

Wheeler decided, just for the heck of it, to make a few calls and offer Stormm for the job. Last week, the five guys who had bought tickets to see the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert found out they were instead scheduled to open for the famous Southern rock band.

"No way did I ever think we’d have a friggin’ chance," Moore said. "No way."

Wheeler and Moore, along with guitarist Gary Rarden, bass player Mike Fish and drummer Bob Sperber, will perform for about 35 minutes before Lynyrd Skynyrd comes onstage.

"For 35 minutes, we’re going to live our dreams," Fish said.

"We’re stealing from someone else’s 15 minutes of fame," Moore joked.

Stormm plays mostly original songs in a classic-rock style. Their influences range from Van Halen to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath to Creed. And, of course, Lynyrd Skynyrd — even before last week.

So what else but a Lynyrd Skynyrd-loving congressman could top off the night’s local flavor?

U.S. Rep Rick Larsen planned to fly home from Washington, D.C., this weekend. When he found out he could hear "Freebird" and "Sweet Home Alabama" live, in concert, in Everett, he couldn’t resist.

The Arlington native said he and a lot of his friends listened to Lynyrd Skynyrd as teenagers. He’s going for the music, he said, but Larsen also will introduce Stormm.

Tonight’s inaugural concert at the events center means music lovers won’t have to drive to Seattle for a good concert, Larsen said.

"I’m looking forward to a really good night of rock ‘n’ roll," he said.

Reporter Jennifer Warnick: 425-339-3429 or jwarnick@heraldnet.com.

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