Mikey Needleman Band rocks it with covers; Spiritual band at core

Minh Mac | Collegian Left to right: Ben Grace, lead guitar, Evan Maslak, drums, Mikey Needleman, acoustic guitar/vocals, Casey Sheets, bass, of the The Mikey Needleman perform at Aggie Central Station on Friday.

The Mikey Needleman Band performed their popular cover set at
Aggie Central Station on Friday night. The Kansas City based band is no stranger
to the Little Apple, as front man Mikey Needleman graduated from K-State in Spring of 2007 with a degree in social sciences. He said he learned a
lot about being a musician during his time in Manhattan.

“I wasn’t a music major. I took a couple of music classes, but I was social sciences [major], so I learned that I can play guitar and sing and basically learned to make a living out of it,” Needleman said. “I paid my way through college because places like Bobby T’s, Pat’s Blue Rib’N BBQ and O’Malley’s gave me a chance. I was a kid that nobody had heard of. From that, I learned to book my own shows and [gain a] following.”

Needleman said that returning to Aggieville brought on a feeling of nostalgia as he and his band took the stage. Needleman and his band are used to camouflaging into the scenery of whatever their audience calls for and, in that aspect, seems to become a part of the décor. The band that plays more than 100 shows a year keeps their sound and set list ever-evolving to fit the venue and purpose they’ve been recruited to embody.

“We’re full timers. We have to be able to play in almost any situation,” Needleman said. “When somebody will ask us if we do live music, the answer is ‘yes’ and we ask them what they need.”

A typical cover set, like the one they perform whenever they come to Manhattan, ranges from Blink 182 all the way to Whitney Houston. Their covers are always strung out with the band’s personal flair, making for a show the audience can’t ignore. The sound of familiar tunes is enough to catch the attention of the crowd, while keeping them wondering what’s coming next.

“They were a decent band with original cover choices outside of the normal cover band,” Dustin Storm, lead vocalist of All About A Bubble, said. “I would have liked to hear some originals though.”

When the band isn’t performing covers, their focus shifts to original Christian music, which is where the band really flourishes. Their next record will be released in the within the next year.

“It will be original music, and very spiritual based. We do a lot of Christian music,” Needleman said. “We’ll come to Manhattan and do a cover gig. Then on Sunday, we’ll play a gig at a church.”

The stereotypes of the Christian genre are just as crippling as those of rock or pop, but the band doesn’t let that stand in its way. The members have said they’re confident in their sound and what they share with the community through their music.

“The idea that there’s less talent in Christian music [is] completely untrue,” Needleman said. “The idea that you have to be either or because [genres] don’t mesh together, I don’t think that’s true either.”

Whether they are rocking crowd with familiar tunes or writing their own spiritually based music, the Mikey Needleman Band is definitely something to see.

“They had a high quality recording,” said Tanner Bott, senior in counseling and family planning at Manhattan Christian College. “It was interesting to hear the album after hearing their live performance.”