Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

November 27, 2012

STEMM going out with a bang

Niagara Gazette — Falls rock band STEMM is facing the pain of breaking up.

One of the city's longest-lasting and successful rock bands is calling it quits after 14 years of music. And to celebrate, they're throwing one last kick-butt party for all the fans.

"We've been together 14 years," founding member and guitarist/vocalist Joe Cafarella said. "As we've gotten older and the industry's changed, we feel we're sorta spinning our wheels. So we wanted to go out with our heads up and go out with a bang instead of a sizzle."

The party kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Town Ballroom, 681 Main St., Buffalo, with opening acts His Name Was Yesterday and Whiskey Reverb. Tickets are $12 at the door.

What kind of a bang does the band have planned? How about bringing its original lead singer, Louis Penque, back to the stage?

Penque, who formed the band in 1998 along with his brother, Jimi, Russ Martin and Cafarella, left after the birth of his second son in 2004. With Penque's voice, the band was able to score its first commercial success, signing a deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2002 to create the organization's theme song.

"Face The Pain" was born and still serves as the popular fighting company's theme, leading in every pay-per-view event and cable broadcast.

"They took us right along with them," Cafarella said. "It's been 10 years. I remember when they first started using our music. We went around promoting them. They asked us right around UFC 40. Since then, it's been a snowball effect. As the band grew, UFC grew too."

But to guys like Cafarella and Penque, the band's legacy is more than just one successful song. It's about the music scene in the city and the surrounding suburbs.

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