Flipside is ready to rock the Susquehanna River with their classic rock covers and intricate harmonies aboard the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat at 6 p.m. Friday.
The band will kick off the concert cruise season with a pizza cruise - the first cruise to offer pizza to all of the riverboat guests while enjoying the live music.
Flipside loves outdoor shows and loves being on the water, said Shane Wittman, who plays keyboards, guitar and sings in the band.
Flipside will kick off the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboats Concert Cruise season at 6 p.m. Friday.
"We play the Hiawatha three or four times a year and usually sell out," he said. "The Hiawatha is one of my favorite gigs and the whole Flipside family is on board."
Flipside's current lineup includes: Frank "Rock" Anello, bass and guitar; Oscar Eldridge, guitars; Shane Wittman, keyboards and guitar; and Mike Mummy, drums. All members sing vocals.
A few others also play with the band from time to time, they include: Ben McMurtrie, guitars; Frank Casale II, Jim Finn, Keith Randall and Lauren Johns, all on vocals and guitars; Chris Bovard, stunt guitar; Cindy Person, vocals and keys; Bob Ventrello, vocals; Joel Vincent, percussion; Bill Matlock, drums; and Kenny Wittman and Colin Beatty, both on bass.
All members of the band were born in Williamsport, except for Eldridge, who is from Virginia, according to Wittman.
Concert cruises on the Hiawatha began about 20 years ago, with only about six or eight a year. Now, that number has grown to 20 or more a year, according to Katie Tinney of River Valley Transit, who handles the booking of the bands for the cruises.
"We always look forward to each new season," Tinney said. "It's a great way to enjoy the Susquehanna River and the natural beauty of our area. The concert cruises are a great way to show off the many talents of our bands."
Flipside first formed in June 2009, when a few friends found themselves singing poolside at Wittman's home. They soon realized their talent could be taken much farther than a pool party and decided to form a band.
A mere two months later, they booked their first show as a three piece band at the Sons of Italy Lodge, after Scott Reed, SOI president, heard them performing at one of Wittman's parties and asked them to play at the lodge. Wittman said the band then began to snowball, playing more and more shows after that.
Some of the band's musical influences include Steely Dan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, America, James Taylor, the Beatles, Traveling Wilburys and other bands with great vocal harmonies.
Wittman said the band usually practices once a week, unless they are playing more than one show in a week's time.
He said they have played many places in Williamsport and rarely leave the county for shows, but they are open to venues outside the county.
"The city of Williamsport is really awesome," Wittman said. "More outdoor venues are being permitted and people want to go out. There are so many young and old musicians doing what they really love. Hats off to the restaurants and clubs sponsoring live music."
Flipside also takes pride in performing for charitable events. They have done shows to benefit flood victims, families with sick children, Hope Enterprises, breast cancer awareness and others, Wittman said.
"Every show, we try to spread peace, harmony and joy," he added.
Flipside can be found on Facebook under Flipside Fan Club II, or email Wittman at shanewitt@live .com.
For more information about Hiawatha concert cruises, visit www.ridehiawatha.com.