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Rock, reggae on tap tonight at Crosstown

The three-man rock and reggae band Jon Wayne & The Pain plays Crosstown Lounge in Grand Forks about three times a year. Still, tonight's show at the Crosstown should be particularly sweet for the Minneapolis-based band and its fans.

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Jon Wayne & The Pain will perform tonight at Crosstown Lounge in Grand Forks with opening band Natty Nation.

The three-man rock and reggae band Jon Wayne & The Pain plays Crosstown Lounge in Grand Forks about three times a year. Still, tonight's show at the Crosstown should be particularly sweet for the Minneapolis-based band and its fans.

"We will have good friends and fellow musicians Natty Nation opening the night," Jon Wayne said. "They're a great roots reggae band from Madison, Wis., who have been playing shows for the better part of 15 years, I was actually surprised (Crosstown owner) Brad (Beauchamp) got both of us here on the same night and I hope people will get there early to see how great these guys really are."

Jon Wayne & the Pain has been doing well for itself, too. The group played nearly 250 shows in the past year, and on the road began mixing its music with reggae elements. Their audiences definitely have liked the sound.

Band's beginning

Jon Wayne & The Pain, founded in 2005 in Minneapolis, began as three guys whose only intention was to play a few shows on the weekends and have fun with it. They got their start playing shows at the infamous Playhouse, where Wookiefoot would throw huge house parties and have Jon Wayne & The Pain play there on Friday or Saturday nights.

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"This enormous house was amazing including a staircase made into a slide, huge pieces of art work hangins everywhere, and a great stage and sound system inside their recording studio where they would have live shows," Wayne said.

The band's line-up has evolved over six years, with Wayne out front, Grand Forks native Chuck T (Chuck Torgerson) on bass, and Teeto Miller from Los Angeles on drums.

"We went from there and started branching out to other cities in the Midwest while holding day jobs to cover the bills," Wayne said. "Eventually we quit our regular jobs and hit the road full time, covering most of the western half of the United States in the last few years."

Originally the band's music was influenced by artists such as Jack Johnson, Sublime and the Grateful Dead, and they remain among the favorites of Jon Wayne & The Pain. But the band's sound changed after drummer Teeto Miller came around and Chuck T added a bass synthesizer, sampler and other programs to its live show.

The last year on the road, the band was mixing it reggae, acoustic music and dub with an electronic sound that was unlike anything they'd heard before, Wayne said.

"We call it reggaetronic-dub," he said.

Last year, Jon Wayne & The Pain released the studio album "Follow Through" featuring some members of the band Slightly Stoopid and has been touring nationally in support of the album. They also have a free download for their 2011 summer tour called "Live from Moscow."

Sacrifices

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Wayne said members of the band have sacrificed a lot to spend so much time on the road, but when they get to a show and see the audience excited to see them, it makes it all worthwhile.

"We started this group to have fun," Wayne said. "I never expected it to become as big as it is. When we get paid at the end of a show I still get that excited feeling like, 'Wow. I am so damn lucky to be doing what I do for a living."

Reach Tobin at (701) 780-1134; (800) 477-6572, ext. 134; or send e-mail to ptobin@gfherald.com .

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