Ask the members of Ask Vinnie what it's like to be tapped to perform with a nationally recognized rock band like Styx, and they will say it's the biggest thing that ever happened to them.

    "It's kind of like the World Series or the Super Bowl of music, especially for a cover band," said the band's lead singer and manager, Jeff "Vinnie" Mooradian, in a recent interview. "Because if you're an original band, your goal is to sell CDs and get your music on the radio. Because we're a cover band and we're not concerned about that, I think the highest level of achievement for a cover band would be to be able to open up for one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll."


If you go...

     What: The Dodge City band Ask Vinnie  will open for Styx for a fund-raising concert sponsored by Mosaic of Garden City, Cox Communications and Sam's Club.

     When: Doors will open at 6 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Finney County Fairgrounds. Ask Vinnie's performance will begin at about 7 p.m., with Styx scheduled to follow at about 8.

     Ticket prices: Tickets for a VIP party before the concert are $40. The cost of admission for the concert itself is $33 for general admission, $44 for benchback seats or $55 for stage front, standing room only. Tickets will be available online at selectaseat.com through this morning. For more information or to purchase tickets after today, contact Mosaic at (316) 275-9180. Tickets are also available at the Dodge City Sonic and will be sold at the door.

About the band: Ask Vinnie is made up of lead singer and manager Jeff "Vinnie" Mooradian, rhythm guitarist James Slickers, drummer Kirk Henrichs, keyboard player Kent Wagner, backup vocalist Bonnie Peters, bass player Steve Genereux, lead guitarist Corey Garcia and sound engineer Chris Whelchel. Rich Salm, who filled in for Garcia at the April 26 Mosaic Battle of the Bands, will serve as lead guitarist for the Sept. 6 performance.

    For more information about Ask Vinnie, visit the Web site myspace.com/askvinnie67801 or e-mail the band at askvinnie@hotmail.com.


Ask the members of Ask Vinnie what it's like to be tapped to perform with a nationally recognized rock band like Styx, and they will say it's the biggest thing that ever happened to them.
    "It's kind of like the World Series or the Super Bowl of music, especially for a cover band," said the band's lead singer and manager, Jeff "Vinnie" Mooradian, in a recent interview. "Because if you're an original band, your goal is to sell CDs and get your music on the radio. Because we're a cover band and we're not concerned about that, I think the highest level of achievement for a cover band would be to be able to open up for one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll."
    Ask Vinnie will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Finney County Fairgrounds in Garden City, with Styx scheduled to begin its portion of the show at about 8 p.m. The concert is a fundraiser for Mosaic, a Garden City-based social service agency that helps people with disabilities.
    The event includes a VIP party starting at 6 p.m., which will feature a performance by the Satanta-based band The Smokin' No-Nos.
    The story began April 26, when Ask Vinnie competed with eight other bands from four states at the Mosaic Battle of the Bands in Garden City, hoping to win the right to open for Styx. The Dodge City band captured the top prize, with The Smokin' No-Nos coming in second.
    Mooradian said winning the Battle of the Bands and an opportunity to perform with Styx has opened new doors for his band.
    "Overall, the whole situation has helped us as a band to gain more shows, get a little more clout as a band," he said. "Winning the battle in Garden City and playing in front of a lot of Garden City fans there, and then also doing the Styx show in Garden City is going to really help us develop a good fan base in Garden City as well."
    He said the band appreciates the support from Dodge City fans, many of whom are expected to make the trek to Garden City for the concert.
    The band's rhythm guitarist, James Slickers, said he had never played in a band before he and Mooradian launched Ask Vinnie in 2003. He added that he was excited and slightly nervous about the upcoming concert.
    "From never playing in a band to opening for Styx — that's all right," he said.

A night out
    Mosaic's community relations manager, Lynn Ballinger, said the Sept. 6 concert offers an alternative for people seeking an inexpensive night out.
    "We think with the price of gas being what it is, instead of going to Wichita or Kansas City, Garden City," she said. "With this size of venue, with a covered grandstand, there won't be a bad seat in the house."
    VIP seats for the concert are sold out, but plenty of general-admission seats are still available. Concessions will be sold during the concert.
    All proceeds from the concert will go to Mosaic, which will use the money to provide better opportunities for people with disabilities, Ballinger said.

Reach Eric Swanson at (620) 408-9917 or e-mail him at eric.swanson@dodgeglobe.com.

If you go...
     What: The Dodge City band Ask Vinnie  will open for Styx for a fund-raising concert sponsored by Mosaic of Garden City, Cox Communications and Sam's Club.
     When: Doors will open at 6 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Finney County Fairgrounds. Ask Vinnie's performance will begin at about 7 p.m., with Styx scheduled to follow at about 8.
     Ticket prices: Tickets for a VIP party before the concert are $40. The cost of admission for the concert itself is $33 for general admission, $44 for benchback seats or $55 for stage front, standing room only. Tickets will be available online at selectaseat.com through this morning. For more information or to purchase tickets after today, contact Mosaic at (316) 275-9180. Tickets are also available at the Dodge City Sonic and will be sold at the door.
About the band: Ask Vinnie is made up of lead singer and manager Jeff "Vinnie" Mooradian, rhythm guitarist James Slickers, drummer Kirk Henrichs, keyboard player Kent Wagner, backup vocalist Bonnie Peters, bass player Steve Genereux, lead guitarist Corey Garcia and sound engineer Chris Whelchel. Rich Salm, who filled in for Garcia at the April 26 Mosaic Battle of the Bands, will serve as lead guitarist for the Sept. 6 performance.
    For more information about Ask Vinnie, visit the Web site myspace.com/askvinnie67801 or e-mail the band at askvinnie@hotmail.com.