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Chevelle brings driving rock to Reno
by Sarah Cooper
May 28, 2008 | 1543 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photo
Rock band Chevelle performs Friday night at the Grand Sierra Resort’s Grande Theatre.
Courtesy photo Rock band Chevelle performs Friday night at the Grand Sierra Resort’s Grande Theatre.
Pete Loeffer cups the microphone in a tense grip and starts his slow, almost depressing riff. Then, as if the pain were released in a flaming burst, the lead singer for Chevelle lets loose a tortured scream.

Pete, along with his brother Sam Loeffer, will be whipping fans into a maniacal frenzy at the Grand Sierra Resort’s Grande Theatre Friday night with the band’s melodic rock vocals and heavy drum and bass choruses.

Chevelle was spawned in a Grayslake, Ill., garage in 1995, when the Loeffer brothers released pounding drum beats and waves of guitar sound into the neighborhood. The original band members included bassist Matt Scott. However, after hearing younger Loeffer brother, Joe, take a swing at bass playing, Joe replaced Scott. Joe was only 14 when the brothers started touring around Chicago.

The band’s name is linked to the garage where the group started. The brothers took the name from their dad’s favorite car, a Chevrolet Chevelle.

Chevelle’s first CD, “Point #1,” was released in 1999 and drove tense and writhing rock emotion into more than two million listener’s ears.

Chevelle’s sophomore release, “Wonder What’s Next,” was certified platinum after selling more than one million copies in the United States in 2003. The album’s star single release, “The Red,” reached No. 3 on the Mainstream Rock Charts. Two other singles from the album seeped into the radio rock world: “Send the Pain Below” and “Closure,” the former climbing to No. 1 on the Modern Rock Charts.

Then after three more albums and a landslide of rock success, the trio of brothers became a duo when Joe split dramatically from the group in 2005.

No one but the band members, and brothers, really knows the reason for Joe’s departure. Joe claims that he was maliciously fired and the remaining members say that the split was Joe’s decision.

“I love Joe — I’ll always love my brother — and I’ll do anything I can for him. But he hated to tour,” Sam Loeffer told Rolling Stone Magazine in a July 2005 article. “He was an unhappy guy on the road ... We wanted him to take some time off to figure out what he wanted to do, but he wasn’t willing to do that. He said, ‘The only way I’m staying home is if you fire me.’ It was the hardest decision we ever had to make.”

Whatever the reason, the Kansas City-blowout between the band members left a vacant bass player position. That was when they hired former Filter bassist, Geno Lenardo, to fill the void.

Since the restructuring, the band recorded its fourth album, “This Type of Thinking (Could do us in),” which was released in September 2004. The album debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold six weeks later, proving that change might be good for the hard-rock band. The following years would prove busy for the reinvented band as it began a national tour with Taproot and 30 Seconds to Mars.

Lenardo’s stint with the band didn’t last long and he was replaced by Loeffler’s brother in-law and long-time friend, Dean Bernardini.

With Bernardini the band has recorded one album, “Vena Sera,” which is Latin for “Vein Liquid.” The band claims that it represents the blood that members poured into making of the album.

Tickets for Friday’s 8 p.m. show are $25 in advance and $27.50 at the door and can be purchased at the Grand Sierra Resort box office and Ticketmaster outlets or online at or by calling 789-2000.

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