Bands open concert series with classic covers

Lead singer of the Fab 8, Hai Muradian, performs at the Claremont Village Square Public Plaza for the first concert of Claremont’s Friday Nights Live. The Fab 8 covers songs by the Beatles. Friday Nights Live will run through Oct. 30 with various bands performing at three different locations in Claremont. / photo by Michelle Leon

Erum Jaffrey
Arts Editor

Claremont residents and visitors gathered for a free classical rock concert Friday night at the City Hall Plaza in the Claremont Village as part of the Friday Nights Live concert series.

The Vinyl Numbers, a four-member band, performed popular classic rock numbers from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s for an audience of about 30.

The Friday Nights Live concert series provides free concerts weekly at the City Hall Plaza, Claremont Chamber Patio and Village Plaza Public Square until Oct. 30.

Other performances of the night were The Beatles tribute band Fab 8 and rock and blues band Jackson Family.

“I’ve been coming out here for over four years,” Cary Augustine, Pomona resident, said. “It’s exciting and fun because you can come to Claremont Village and get dinner and free music.”

The Vinyl Numbers performed classics such as “Who Can It Be Now?” by 1980s Australian pop rock band Men at Work and “Sarah Smile” by 1970s music duo Hall and Oates.

“I think the type of people that live in this area know the music and appreciate it,” Buena Park resident Janet Hana said. “I like the music even though it’s not my era.”

The outdoor venue allowed anyone passing by to enjoy the free entertainments.

“If they start off good, then I stay. I got my cooler, snacks and chair ready,” Augustine said.

Audience members started clapping to the beat at the beginning of “My Best Friend’s Girl,” by 1970s rock band the Cars, reflecting the lively atmosphere of the crowd.

The concerts are open to people of all ages and allow community members to gather and enjoy various genres of music such as blues, jazz and rock.

The Claremont Village provides a warm and family-friendly atmosphere for all to appreciate.

“We get really good reception when we come out here; Claremont is our kind of people, and they like our music,” said Michael Chapman, lead vocalist and keyboard player for the Vinyl Numbers.

The Vinyl Numbers consists of Chapman; Dave von Hegedus on bass, guitar and vocals; Mike Weedal on drums and vocals; and Ryan Weedal on guitar and vocals.

“This particular group here has been together for about six years, but Mike and I have been playing together for 17 years, if not 20,” Chapman said.

“Ryan is Mike’s son and he grew up listening to us play and then he learned how to play himself and joined the band, so it’s kind of a family affair.”

They perform various covers from the Billboard and Rolling Stone Top 100 albums, as well as personal favorites like “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” by singer and songwriter Randy Newman.

“(Performing here) is very different than being in an indoor venue; it’s very relaxed; it’s very cool; it’s very comfortable,” Chapman said.

Erum Jaffrey can be reached at

Michelle Leon

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