Akron alternative rock/pop band The Fifth Wheel, wildly popular in Akron’s 1990s music scene, has reunited to record a new album and bring their music, old and new, back to Northeast Ohio concert stages.
The Fifth Wheel’s original members Josh Stone (lead vocals), Jeffrey Koval (lead guitar), Matt Coughlin (drums), Ed Lewis (rhythm guitar) and Josh Horvath (percussion) are back, along with Joe McCormick (bass) and Jim Mizrock (guitar).
The Fifth Wheel’s new album, “Even Without Wings,” should please both old-school Fifth Wheel fans and those, such as myself, just discovering the band. The new music remains true to the band’s original sound.
I had the opportunity recently to check in with the band at Thursday’s Lounge, where they hosted their Akron comeback show. When I arrived at the venue, lead singer Josh Stone was just inside the door greeting friends, fans and family as they came in out of the cold. He was clearly eager to get back in front of an Akron audience.
Stone is charming and friendly, a guy who is easy to like. Though we had met only once before, as I walked through the door his eyes lit up and he welcomed me like an old friend. I was not expecting this guy, who I had heard was a NE Ohio-famous heart throb in the ‘90s, to be so nice and so…humble. As I moved to my table and watched him greet other guests, I observed a guy who was truly happy to be in the moment and determined to make sure the people at Thursday’s that night left feeling the same way.
The band’s musical chops were still there, and that allowed Stone the freedom to do what he has always done best: entertain. It was Stone’s charisma that made the evening special. He moved frequently from the stage to the dance floor and back again, giving fans the opportunity to be more than just spectators.
In my opinion, the musical highlights of the evening were the band’s performances of new song, “Dirty,” (off of “Even Without Wings”), and ‘90s hit “If I Were a Girl,” arguably The Fifth Wheel’s most popular song.
Beyond the music, the personal highlight of the evening came at the end of the show when lead guitarist Jeffrey Koval got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend, Judith Petit. She said, “Yes,” and the show closed.
Our evening ended just as Stone had hoped, with his band and his audience seeming to feel happy just to be in the moment.
To learn more about The Fifth Wheel, go to https://www.facebook.com/THE-FIFTH-WHEEL-154619629584/?fref=ts.