VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Since the mid 1990’s, the Virginia Beach based Right on Band, created by “Nigel Holland” Fafard, has wowed audiences around the globe and four U.S. presidents.
“Who knew we would be playing for President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, and President Trump,” Holland said during a rehearsal session in his Lynnhaven area studio.
Sequined dresses, polyester style pants, colorful Afro-style wigs and Holland’s gold sequined platform boots stand at attention in the studio’s foyer. The elaborate costumes are just part of the magic that has surrounded the Right on Band since 1997.
Pick a 1970s hit and chances are the Right on Band has covered it in a sing-a-long style show that brings generations together. His shows often include a so-called Love Train where fans form a line that circles around a venue while the band plans on.
In 2020, the global coronavirus pandemic brought the show to a stop.
As pandemic restrictions eased, Holland turned his attention to Evil Woman, The American E.L.O. his other cover band that was formed in 2015.
The socially-distanced sing-along solution is preparing for its first gig at the Sandler Center for Performing Arts in Virginia Beach.
10 On Your Side was invited to sit in on a dress rehearsal, featuring lead singer and Holland’s son Kevin Fafard, soprano singer Rebecca Catalano, Casey Copeland on the violin, Edwin Camacho on the cello, Ron Haley on guitar and Robert Smith on keyboards.
The band has played in venues all over the country, but next weekend, for the first time, the band will play at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach. Holland explained how he duplicates the pop/classical sounds created by Jeff Lynne’s The Electric Light Orchestra.
“It is a multi-media concert celebration of the Electric Light Orchestra,” Holland said. “When we started this thing we said, if we are going to do this thing, we are going to do it right. We’re not going to cut any corners; were gonna make sure all the string parts are right and all the harmonies.”
Hampton Roads is home for members of the band. Guitarist Ron Halsey started as a Right on Band fan. Now, he’s in the band.
“A dream was planted that day and I saw them several times,” Halsey said. “Now I get to play with them.”
For violinist Casey Copeland, the Sandler Center brings fond memories.
“I used to intern at the Sandler Center when I was a teenager,” Copeland said.
Rebecca Catalano hits the high notes for what promises to be more than a show but an experience for the audience.
“They’re gonna relive their first date, their after prom date and they are going to have so much nostalgia and so much fun,” Catalano said. “It’s gonna sound great; its gonna look great and you’re gonna get to reminisce the songs you heard in the 70s and 80s and those great E.L.O. classic hits.”
Evil Woman- America’s Premier Tribute To The Electric Light Orchestra hits the stage at the Sandler Center For the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23. Click the link for ticket information.