Tuneful rivalry: Young musicians hit big stage

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, November 24, 2012

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As fans of Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma take their sides opposite one another for Saturday’s “Bedlam” football game, a pair of Haslet families on opposing sides of the rivalry will come together for a mutual reason – their sons Riley Adams, 12, and Bo Faver, 13, seventh graders at Chisholm Trail Middle School in Rhome and sole members of the band “Bedlam United.”

BEDLAM UNITED – Chisholm Trail Middle School seventh graders Bo Faver (left) and Riley Adams will perform at the House of Blues Saturday in Dallas, the same day as the rivalry football game between Okahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma, after which the duo named their band, “Bedlam United” was derived from each family’s opposing allegiances in the rivalry. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Adams family, donning the crimson and cream of the Sooners, and the Favers in their orange and black, will create a split in the crowd at the House of Blues, where their sons will perform Saturday as part of an event called “Kids Who Rock.”

“I am so excited,” Bo said. “I mean, it’s the House of Blues. Now that we have all of the confusion worked out, I am so pumped.”

After seeing a poster on a bulletin board at the School of Rock in Southlake, where Bo takes guitar lessons twice a week, Bo’s dad – Lloyd Faver – submitted a video about three weeks ago to the director of the school and the KWR organizers. Both approved the submissions, and the family received a form.

“That’s when we ran into a little bit of a problem,” Bo said. “When (my dad) read it, he didn’t read it closely, and he thought it asked to list four songs, as in you have to have four songs. My dad sent them an email saying we knew one and could work on another, and they emailed back and said that was fine, that it was up to four songs … A conversation of emails later, they said ‘yeah, you’ll be performing Nov. 24 at the House of Blues.’

“I was going crazy. I could not go to sleep.”

Riley added: “My mom was trying to record my reaction, so when she told me I said, ‘No. We sent it in, and we have to have four songs. We didn’t make it.’ And we had a big argument about it. It wasn’t the reaction she was hoping for. She wanted me to be happy.

“After I finally understood, I was so happy. I got so excited. Then all I could think about was learning more songs and how we had to keep working.”

The duo hoped to learn a second song but were certainly to play “Detroit Rock City” by KISS, the same number they performed at the CTMS talent show last month, when they snagged the people’s choice award.

“It’s one of the first songs I learned in group lesson (at the School of Rock),” Bo said. “It’s the studio version, so I could really listen to each instrument. I knew it very well because I practiced it more than any of the other songs that I got and listened to it a lot.

“I taught myself drums from that, and I was able to teach Riley a simpler version. He caught on pretty quickly.”

Riley said he had always wanted to learn to play the guitar, “like everyone wants to.” But he took on the drums – which he currently plays in the band – and is learning bass.

Bo is the band’s guitarist and vocalist, but he got his start with piano several years ago.

“When I was 4 years old, I decided I wanted to play an instrument, but my parents thought I was too young,” he said. “So they waited until I was 8 until they asked a man who lived across the street from us and could play any instrument you can think of – from trumpet to the xylophone … He said to start off with piano because I’ll know the beat better, and looking at all the notes, it would be so much easier to understand. And he was right. I can keep beat better.”

Bo played the piano for three years before coloring himself bored.

“I told my parents I needed something a little more exciting; I wanted to learn to play the guitar,” he said. “They looked online and found teachers nearby. I started going to one. But they were teaching sheet music, not tablature. And we were learning classical music – I was learning classical music on the guitar. It was no different than the piano, and I was back to being bored like when I was playing the piano.”

That’s when his mother, Angie, found the School of Rock.

“When we went up there and visited with the head director, he asked what the last genre of music I played was,” Bo recalled. “When I said classical, he looked so depressed. ‘We’re going to fix that,’ he said.”

And they did, Bo said. The first songs he learned were “Back in Black” by AC/DC in individual lessons and “Brain Stew” by Green Day in group.

“I immediately fell in love,” he said.

Bo spread that excitement onto his new neighbor. Riley’s parents, Wilma and Ryan Adams, moved their family to Haslet from Frisco about a year ago.

“My mom met Bo’s mom,” Riley said. “We started getting to know each other, and my mom kept going, ‘Wow! Our families are so much alike.’ … We just started hanging out. And one day, we thought to get me on drums. So we started.”

And they have continued. In addition to instrumentation, the two are also among the 35 members of the varsity boys choir at CTMS, and they apply the skills they refine in class in their performance.

“You can see great strides in progress,” their teacher, Stephanie Thurston said. “They started with the background music, but they’ve started doing their own accompaniment. At first, they just played. Now they’re singing and playing. And they’re both very good vocalists.”

Outside of their choir class, the two aim to practice their instruments at least once a week, usually on weekends.

“We also like to just hang out,” Bo said. “Sometimes, we can’t decide so we have this rubber skeleton that we roll up into a ball and throw at the ceiling fan. If it lands over by the Xbox, we play Xbox. If it lands by the drum set, we practice.”

Eventually, the two would like to add a third band member to those practices.

“Everybody needs a bassist,” Bo said. “We’ve agreed that we’re going to stick with our instruments for now, but we’re going to be honest with each other. Riley has already bought a bass, a bass amplifier and chords for all of it. He’s already started learning it. It just doesn’t work out if you have a guitarist and a bassist or a bassist and a drummer. You need a drummer, you need a guitarist and you need a bassist. Until we find someone that can maybe take my place as a guitarist or his place as a drummer, he can learn bass.”

Riley added: “I’m still learning bass because I’ve always wanted to.”

In the meantime, they’ll continue their efforts as a two-man show.

Bedlam United is set to perform at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. View the band’s other performances on their YouTube channel, Bedlam United.

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