Modern Rock Cover Band to Give Free Performance

By Lura Jackson


Rock music, regardless of its decade of origin, is often synonymous with summer. It’s difficult to travel through any neighborhood in Calais without hearing a wafting tune of classic rock or the pulsing beats of modern rock emanating from a passing vehicle. Fans of rock music are in for a treat as a talented cover band from Bangor, Repo Men, is coming to play in Calais on July 8th at Just South of the Border.

While many cover bands focus mainly on classic 60s and 70s songs, Repo Men is uniquely capable of playing modern rock covers as well. “Repo Men covers everything from Aerosmith to Tool to ZZ Top to Steve Miller Band,” said Nathan Gardner, the Calais musician that arranged for the band to come. “That’s a huge demographic that they’ll be able to entertain.”

The idea for bringing Repo Men to Calais emerged from the last live music event that Gardner orchestrated at Just South of the Border in April. The free event, which hosted several hard rock and metal bands from around the Bangor area, was a resounding success. “The sound techs got paid, the bands got paid, the bar got paid,” said Gardner. “We all left happy – so did the people!” Gardner identified a turning point in the evening when one of the attending bands, Turner, played a song from Fall Out Boy. “That was when the show went from good to great.” Gardner said the crowd began to sing along with the song en masse because it was a familiar tune, and that triggered the realization of how much a modern cover band would be appreciated in this area.

“It is extremely difficult to find modern cover bands,” said Gardner, expressing the challenge of locating bands capable of playing songs by bands such as Panic at the Disco or Fall Out Boy. Securing Repo Men was a particular success for Gardner not only for their range but also the quality of their vocals. “I’ve heard their vocals before, they’re really good.”

Repo Men is not unfamiliar with Calais – in fact, the lead singer, Mike Mclean, used to sing for the Btechs, a modern cover band from Calais. “We are excited to play at Just South of the Border,” said Mclean. He said that after speaking with Gardner he was glad to provide additional entertainment for the Calais community outside of the major festivities of the International Festival. “Sometimes things can get stale so we’re trying to help provide a spark to keep the fire going,” Mclean said. 

Having a band come to Calais to put on a free event won’t be an infrequent occurrence if Gardner has his way. “This was driven by a need to provide quality local entertainment,” said Gardner, who grew up in the Calais area. “There’s not really too much to do in the area for younger adults and even older kids. I’ve always tried to live by the ‘don’t complain if you’re not trying to fix it’ adage.” Gardner, who maintains connections with musicians throughout the state and beyond, is offering his services as a promoter to all venues in town that would be interested in sponsoring a band. “There are so many great musicians in the state of Maine that don’t even know where this place is, or that it’s a viable place. We’re proving that it is.”

Beyond giving young adults something to do, Gardner knows the impact that having a band in town can have. “It’s not just for the show. It’s financially stimulating to the community.” Gardner said that when events are held in an area that draw in large numbers of people, many businesses benefit. “We need something to get people into the city of Calais.”

Repo Men will be playing at Just South of the Border on Saturday, July 8th, starting at 9:00 p.m. The event is free of charge and open to those 21 and older. For more information or to contact Gardner for future events, send an e-mail to