When Flashback Heart Attack takes the stage, the 80s cover band doesn't just conjure up fun memories for the crowd. They put on a show.
The band members, from Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, enjoy interacting with fans during their set. They entertain with risqué jokes and hit songs. Many of their songs are just as good as the originals. Well, after all, they claim the songs belong to them.
Back in the 80s they were Heart Attack and wrote songs that were stolen from them and became hits for other artists. Now, the band is back as Flashback Heart Attack to play their hits. It's part of the act.
For the past three years, Chaz Delight (vocals, guitar), Don Bronze (guitar), Brock Hutson (bass) and Jerry Skiddz (drummer) have been playing 80s songs together and building up a fan base locally, as they play at The Harp Inn in Costa Mesa every other Friday night and at The White House in Laguna Beach every Saturday night.
They also have a big fan in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers' quarterback.
Roethlisberger saw Flashback in Laguna Beach when he was visiting and he became hooked on the band. He had the band play at his charity event in Pittsburgh last month.
"They're unbelievable," Roethlisberger said of the band during an interview with 102.5 WDVE, a radio station in Pittsburgh. "It's one of the best bands I've ever seen. They play everything. They are called Flashback Heart Attack. How awesome is that?"
Chaz Delight, Don Bronze, Brock Hutson and Jerry Skiddz played in other bands before coming together three years ago. (You wanted their real names? That would just ruin their act.)
They received advice from their friends in Steel Panther, a Los-Angeles based band that plays 80s glam rock and also puts on a show with exaggerated personas.
"It was really cool having those guys as a guide," Don Bronze said. "We wanted to do that, and have it be an 80s cover band. We wanted to do it over the top. It's like sex, drugs and rock and roll with an 80s cover band."
Playing at Roethlisberger's party was one of several cool gigs for the band. They also played at the OC Fair for a New Year's Eveparty. During their first year together they played at the Palms in Las Vegas for a New Year's Eveparty that also featured Maroon 5. And Flashback was also rocking at the Phoenix Open, the pro golf tournament in February, with Will.i.am and the Goo Goo Dolls.
Flashback has over 65 songs they play, according to their website. Among the crowd favorites are, "I ran," by A Flock of Seagulls," and "Take on me," by A-Ha. Don Bronze says many girls become angry if they don't play, "Jesse's Girl."
They're not all about the 80s, however. They've also played, "Kids" by MGMT.
Some people have requested for them to sing Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice, Baby," and rumor has it that Flashback might do a medley of the song with Tone Loc's, "Funky Cold Medina," and "Wild Thing."
"We don't really take it too seriously," Don Bronze said. "We just let the night unfold and whatever happens will happen. We improvise depending on how the night is.
"Everyone in the band maintains a different job. It's fun side work. It doesn't take up too much time. Last year we played close to 140 shows. It does keep us busy."
John Joe Lyons, the owner of the Harp, enjoys having Flashback play at his Irish bar mainly because they draw such a diverse crowd. Lyons has noticed people in their 20s, 30s and 40s showing up to see the band and calls it, "a perfect demographic."
"They're great. I love the band," Lyons said. "We're not known to have the youngest crowd all the time, but it's a good mix of people that they attract. The guys are funny and witty. They generate a great atmosphere with their band and the crowd. Other bands don't seem to make that connection. It's part of what I look for in a band."