Beer Goggles keep focus on music, fun

As relatively fresh faces to the Shawano music scene, the Beer Goggles band uses classic rock hits and original tracks to reach new audiences.

"We're out to help people have a good time," said vocalist Troy Zeeman. "We're all friends and it's fun when us guys get together and we want the crowd to have as much fun as we are."

The band, which formed three years ago, was the first to perform at the Rockin' on the River concert series in Kuckuk Park on Aug. 14. The free summer concerts are new this year, sponsored by the Shawano County Park and Recreation Department.

With a playground right next to the concert area, the Sunday evening performance was a big draw for families.

"It was a great surprise to see so many people there," Zeeman said. "Everybody I talked to that was there said they were happy to have bands playing. We hope we can expand the series next year."

Beginning its first gig in 2008 at a private party, the nameless group was dubbed Beer Goggles by a bartender and the name stuck.

"We had two days to prepare and managed to have it go off without a hitch," guitar player Chris (CJ) Reichl said. "From there we never looked back."

Reichel and Zeeman performed together previously and took several years off after the band broke up following the death of one of its members.

"It was a hard thing for all of us. I sold all my equipment and was never planning to play again," Zeeman said. "But friends told me I should get back into it and then I convinced CJ to play again, and the others were not hard to convince."

Reflecting on his first performance, Reichl said it was one of the most exciting things he had ever done.

"I played in an open jam session for the first time when I was 22 and it was like jumping out of an airplane," he said. "It was scary and nerve racking at first, but as soon as I was done I wanted to do it again."

Drummer Nathan Falk said he has been involved with music ever since he could remember.

"I love seeing the joy on peoples faces when you're playing and they really connect to a song," he said.

Bass player Travis Herrman said he first started playing about three years ago.

"I watched and learned and picked it up pretty quick," he said. "It's a good time."

Tiffany Wilbert
Band members enjoy friendships
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