“Hall Pass” might sound like an ’80s screwball comedy, but really it’s a local cover band—and not even an ’80s cover band. The name Hall Pass refers to the fact that two of the members are teachers. The other two are parents of kids at their school.
They play songs from the ’60s to the present, all generally rock-based, and a little unexpected and random.
“We mainly cover songs that people are familiar with, but don’t hear all the time, like Eve 6 or Harvey Danger,” says drummer Patrick McMillan. “There’s a lot of great songs out there. We’re trying to find a different niche and surprise people with songs, whether it’s with a song by Rancid, Sublime, or we’ll play a Doors song or Beatles song. Or we might play Black Keys. We’re all over the place.”
Regardless of when the song was originally released, Hall Pass sounds like a ’90s alt-rock band. When they play Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” or Nena’s “99 Luftballons” they do them as ’90s pop-punk songs. Songs from the ’90s to present are done more true to form.
“All of us are in our early-to-mid 40s, so we all went to college in the ’90s. We were all in high school bands or college bands, and then we became adults,” says McMillan.
The group is a fun outlet for the members, who all have full-time jobs. Part of the joy is in reading the crowd and adapting accordingly. They have over 75 tunes in their repertoire, and try to give the crowd what they want whenever they play.
“Some songs will clear the dance floor and some will bring them all out. We were playing the other day and our bass player just started the beginning of a Violent Femmes song, and 20 people rushed out on the floor. You kind of go down the direction everyone is feeling at the time,” McMillan says.
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 25. Crow’s Nest, 2218 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. $5. 476-4560.