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The Nightfall Bands: ‘It’s All About the Love’

Local artists entertain audiences through three bands: Nightfall After Dark, Nightfall Duo and Nightfall Trio

By Lynette M. Loomis

Steve and Lisa Lowden: Husband and wife duet creating beautiful harmonies and a great selection of music from the 60’s to the 80’s. Photo courtesy of Aaron Winters.

It all began in 1994, when Lisa Commentucci was out with a girlfriend at The Spur of the Moment, now Russell Station Bar and Grill in Rochester.

They saw Steve Lowden and Walt O’Brien in their band, The Avengers. She was enchanted by their music, so much, she and Lowden fell in love and just celebrated 28 years of marriage.

“Steve and I love sharing our passion for music and playing for people. It enables us to be creative as a couple and music strengthens our bond!” she said.

For 20 years Lisa Lowden enjoyed modern dance at the Cobblestone Arts Center and was always going to see Lowden in his various bands. Lowden encouraged her to pursue this career and be part of his musical life.

“In the beginning I was quite shy on stage with a mic, it is much different than just dancing! Once I came out of my shell, I blossomed with all my love and expressions from both dance and singing. My feeling is when you come see a band, you should be entertained as well as hear fantastic music,” she said.

She was 45 when she began singing.

Lisa Lowden in her studio. She was a dancer who started singing at age 45. “In the beginning I was quite shy on stage with a mic,” she says.

As her day job, she owned a web design business, Wyld Woods Media.

She recently retired to invest her time in booking the three bands, doing social media marketing and maintaining their website and calendar.

Steve Lowden is an addictions counselor, O’Brien is a full-time musician and Jim Lampert is partially retired, he works as a contractor for Management Concepts. All four play music weekly.

The bands have gone through several changes. The first band was Entwined with Lowden, Susan Janneck and her husband Bob Janneck with four-part harmonies.

The Imaginary Band, a full band, was their next collaboration.

“That was a different lineup, but just as fun! That is the band where I ‘cut my teeth’ so to speak,”
Lisa Lowden said.

There are currently three bands. Nightfall After Dark, Nightfall Duo and Nightfall Trio. They play music from the ‘60s to the ‘80s that includes artists such as Simon & Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, America, The Eagles, CCR, The Beatles and so many other great artists from those music years. They also play their originals, including some fun “one-hit wonders” that they loved on the radio from that era.

She explained the reason for three groups: “It is a way to offer our venues many different ‘flavors’ of our talents. For example, if it’s a restaurant, we keep it small with the duo, and must be particular with our sound. The trio adds another dimension of songs.

Nightfall After Dark performs at their yearly event at Sonnenberg Mansion and Gardens for their “Moonlight Strolls” series. Jim Lampert, Lisa Lowden, Walt O’Brien, Steve Lowden. Photo courtesy of Mike Heberger Photography.

“The band has a love for the classics and my husband is my acoustic guitar player in all three bands. However, what makes Nightfall After Dark unique, Steve switches his acoustic guitar mid-way and then he plays the drums for the next few sets. (Walt plays the first set on the drums, then goes on to electric guitar). It’s such a diverse way to showcase these amazing musicians. Our bass player, Jim Lampert, also plays upright bass and that adds another layer to the music selections.”

“Every one of my bandmates sings and we are ‘old school’ with our harmonies,” she added.

The “boys,” O’Brien, Lampert, and Lowden started playing together in their early 20s in a few different bands such as The Avengers, The Insiders and The Pawns. All members are older than 60 and still going strong.

She said that her most memorable performances have been at the historic Sonnenberg Mansion and Gardens.

“We play their evening stroll series, and all the gardens are lit up like little fairies everywhere! It’s an enchanting way to perform the music you love, surrounded by nature.” She said, “‘It’s All About the Love’ is my tag line for our bands.”