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Gang of Thieves looks to be a show stealer in Vergennes

This Saturday, Gang of Thieves will take over the Vergennes Opera House for a Masquerade-Ball concert. This Vermont-based funk rock quartet — with heart, vision and a road-dog reputation — will stop in Vergennes on their fall tour for a special Halloween themed show. Folks of all ages are encouraged to wear costumes to help add a little Halloween flair.
The Gang of Thieves has performed well over 150 shows in the past year alone— all the while doing community service in almost every city they visit. They give it their all in their live show, employing blazing guitar solos, shredding electric violin and vocals reminiscent of the late Chris Cornell, all riding atop the bumping, grinding and driving rhythm section.
“This is quite simply one of the best bands around,” said Gerianne Smart, President of  the Friends of the Vergennes Opera House. “When we were looking at groups for our season of shows, The Gang of Thieves stood out, not only for their incredible musical talent and terrific energy, but because of their positive messaging. We really hope folks from far and wide will come out and experience this group playing in our historic theatre.”
The Gang features Michael Reit, (lead vocal/electric violin), Nick Wood (guitar/vocals), Tobin Salas (bass) and Taylor Whipple (drums).
Starksboro native Salas, got his start in Vergennes when he joined his first band — Busted Brix, it was a ska band. They played for prom and stuck together through the end of high school in 2010.
“Part of my vision with this concert at the Vergennes Opera House is to inspire some younger musicians to start playing again,” said the 26-year-old musician. “When I was in high school there were tons of bands, and I’m hoping the all ages show will help inspire kids to be involved with music again.”
Saturday’s concert will open with Plotting Mischief, a newly formed band of local high students. Plotting Mischief features Angus Schwaneflugel (from Mount Abe Union High School), Malcolm Donovan-Cook and Sam Kuhns (both from Vergennes Union High School).
Gang of Thieves got together in the spring of 2009, and did their first tour just out of high school in the summer of 2010.
“We went all across the country,” remembered Salas, who began growing his dreadlocks that first year. “It was very DIY, and a wild adventure!”
The four-member Gang has been together since — with a few additions and subtractions along the way. Besides a love of music, the quartet shares a love of community too. Their most recent tour was centered around their single “Work Together.” On tour they played and helped out at food shelves, animal shelters and even helped build houses.
“We really believe in it, and it’s such a good way to spend our time,” Salas explained. “We hope to inspire fans to volunteer and spread positive energy through their community… The world needs to come together right now, not be torn apart.”
Doors and cash bar, hosted by Bar Antidote, will open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance online at the Vergennes Opera House website, or at Classic Stitching on Main Street in Vergennes, or at the door (if available) for $15.
For more information contact the Vergennes Opera House at (802) 877-6737 or vergennesoperahouse.org.
 
— Elsie Lynn Parini contributed to this report.

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