Schwag helps with Earth Day

Jack Kickner plays keyboard and Hammond organ for The Schwag.

Jack Kickner plays keyboard and Hammond organ for The Schwag.

In the Lion’s Den, a rainbow of colors danced around on April 21.

At 6:30 p.m., The Schwag, a band out of St. Louis and Salem, Mo., came to help the Ecolonomics Club celebrate Earth Day a little bit early.

The Schwag, a tribute band to Grateful Dead, consists of Jack Kickner, on keyboard and Hammond organ; Tim Moody, guitar and back-up vocals; Tony Antonelli, drums; and Jimmy Tebeau, lead vocals. However, any time they play, they have an extra member.

“We use the audience as the fifth band member,” Tebeau said. “It’s a whole energy thing.”

They started to play around 7:30 p.m. and lasted until after 10:00 p.m., which is shorter than what the band averagely goes. This is the second time the band has performed at Missouri Southern. Each time Tom Simpson, professor of political science, has brought them in. This time about 200 people came in and out throughout the night to see them.

The band’s influences include the Grateful Dead and Johnny Cash. They have played together for 14 years. Each time they play they have one goal.

“We try to take the listeners on a musical journey through different flavors,” Tebeau said.

The Schwag has played in 16 states throughout the Midwest and performs more than 150 shows a year. With knowledge of about 200 songs, Tebeau said their audience never has reason to hear a song more than once in a consecutive performance. Many audience members seemed impressed with the band on Thursday night.

“They were down-to-earth, cool guys,” said Michael Edwards, junior international studies and political science major. “[They were] really open and friendly.”

The crowd seemed to enjoy them as a few audience members stood up and danced to the music. After the Ecolonomics Club handed out tie-dye T-shirts, the front of the Lion’s Den looked like a swarm of color as fans danced to the music of The Schwag.

“It [the concert and Earth Day] was a pretty good success,” Edwards said “I still see a lot of people wearing the tie-dye shirts. So if nothing else, people got free stuff.”

The band is now in the process of releasing a new CD/DVD of one of its shows through Fat Buddha Productions. For more information about the band, anyone interested can go to