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Giant Steps reunion: The ska band that used to pack the house is back for one show

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Though the band broke up more than a decade ago, Giant Steps will perform a show at Launchpad on Saturday, April 5.

Though the band broke up more than a decade ago, Giant Steps will perform a show at Launchpad on Saturday, April 5.

Giant Steps worked its way up in the Albuquerque scene from the mid-1990s to early 2000s. The ska band quickly became one of the “hottest” acts.

Like many other bands, the members started to settle into family life and by 2001, it disbanded. For more than a decade though, the members have planned to align schedules to play at least one show a year.

After a two-year hiatus, Giant Steps will perform Saturday at Launchpad.

“We’ve been trying to get everything to align and it has,” says Tom Siegel. “We didn’t get a chance to play a show last year and this year we’re making it happen.”

Siegel says he left New Mexico in 2001 when his wife graduated from the University of New Mexico medical school and moved to a different state. He is now an education consultant based in Denver.

“The band has always been a part of us,” he says. “It’s really cool to see us come back together to perform. We all still pretty much play. I play with a band here in Denver and I know a lot of the guys still perform around Albuquerque.”

Siegel says the band will consist of Otto Barthel, Paul Blakey, Mike Silva, Dan Penneck, Andrew Squier, Brad Spalding and Rob Curley.

Siegel says when the band was at its height, it used to play to all-ages groups.

“This was the time when the third wave of ska was happening,” he says. “The kids were going crazy for it and we always had good shows with the all-ages crowd.”

Now 15 years later, Siegel says playing an all-ages event wouldn’t work because no one in high school remembers the band.

“We’re back to playing the bars again,” he quips. “But there are a lot of people who come out to see these shows and it’s really special because the music has lasted. We put so much of ourselves into the music.”

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