New Year's Eve Celebration at Bo Diddley Plaza

The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department will host Downtown Countdown, a New Year’s Eve celebration concert, at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. Headlining the concert is the Beatles tribute band, The Impostors, a six-piece group comprised of some of the area’s most popular musicians. Band members include Mike Boulware (guitar/vocals), Don David (guitar/vocals), Michael Derry (guitar/vocals), Ron Thomas (bass guitar/vocals) Brad Bangstad (keyboards) and Rob Rothschild (drums). Sitting in for Rothschild on the drums will be Larry Thompson. The Impostors were hatched by keyboardist Mark Loveland and guitarist Michael Derry in 1984. That year, they formed a 14-piece band that played a two-show night at the Thomas Center to a rave response. At that concert, Ron Thomas joined the cofounders with 11 other musicians. Don David joined in 1985, Mike Boulware joined in the early ’90s, Rob Rothschild joined shortly after and the newest member, Brad Bandstad, joined this year. The Impostors play a full range of Beatles’ music from the popular hits of the early heydays, through the experimental era of “Revolver” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” to the final rooftop appearance and “Abbey Road.”

Opening for The Impostors is the classic rock band Crooked Counsel. Crooked Counsel is fronted by vocalist Shuri Pass, who is originally from Starke, Fla. and now resides in Keystone Heights. Pass sings everything from Adele to Led Zeppelin and often gets compared to Janis Joplin, which she considers the ultimate compliment. Pass also plays acoustic guitar and can sometimes be found performing solo at local restaurants. Joining Pass are area musicians John Middleton (keyboards/guitar), Joe Loper (bass guitar), Nelda Loper (backup vocals), Tim Sellers (drums/vocals) and Guido Lemeer (lead guitar).

Crooked Counsel has been in the local music scene for many years. The band was originally formed in 1994 and used the name Santa Fe for several years, playing various venues in and around Gainesville, Palatka and Ocala. Santa Fe played a mixture of rock, blues and country music, but transformed into concentrating on playing classic rock covers and re-christened themselves as Crooked Counsel, a name which was influenced by two band members who also worked in the legal profession. You can preview Crooked Counsel’s music at

The free concert begins at 9 p.m. and runs until 12:30 a.m. There will be a countdown to midnight, along with the sounds of noisemakers passed out to the audience earlier in the evening.

The Bo Diddley Community Plaza is located on the corner of Southeast First Street and East University Avenue. The City of Gainesville Cultural Affairs Division is the designated local arts agency for Gainesville and Alachua County. Its mission is to promote cultural activity and encourage community based cultural resources. Visit Cultural Affairs online at

Related posts