In the end, it was too much of “the band.”
Brody Dolyniuk of Yellow Brick Road provides a quick primer about that band.
“I actually started the band in 1997, in my garage, and we sort of worked our way around the bar scene, places like Crown & Anchor, where you needed to get four guys to pick up the pool table and move it out of the way. We literally got told no dozens of times, no casino would support a rock band, and plowed our way through until (Entertainment Director) Judy Alberti at Station Casinos gave us the green light to come in and do our thing,” he said during a recent episode of Kats With the Dish on KUNV 91.5-FM. “We set new records for revenue in our first couple of weeks, a new chapter was opened up for the entertainment scene in Las Vegas.
“But fast forwarding 14 years and a few thousand shows later, I got to the point where I am looking at my calendar every day and it’s like, OK, gig tonight, interview tomorrow, phone calls all day long, emails all day long. I need to do a photo shoot with the band, I’ve gotta do new promotional art for the band, and it’s the band, the band. The band becomes 24/7.”
Not anymore. Dolyniuk’s final club gig with YBR was Saturday night at Railhead at Boulder Station, where the band’s remarkable run in the Las Vegas Valley began to take hold. Saturday at 8 p.m., Dolyniuk plays his final show as the classic rock act’s vocalist and frontman in a symphonic performance at Henderson Pavilion.
This is not exactly a band-in-the-corner effort. Thirty of the city’s best orchestral musicians will back YBR, sampling from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who and many of Brody’s favored rock bands. A total of 2,000 tickets have been sold, and Dolyniuk hopes to reach 3,000 by showtime (tickets are cheap, $10 a shot; for information, go to the Henderson Pavilion Web site).
Dolyniuk’s announcement that he would be stepping away from YBR in favor of his hand-picked successor, Kelly Christian, was made about a month ago. YBR is still booked in its regular rotation: Wednesdays at Suncoast Showroom, Friday’s at Ovation at Green Valley Ranch and Saturday’s at Railhead. Christian’s debut is tonight at Suncoast.
Dolyniuk’s move to leave the stage (he will still serve as YBR’s business manager) was surprising to everyone but Dolyniuk, as it turns out. He’d long been weary of taking on the dual roles of frontman for YBR and the band’s business manager.
He’d been focusing much of his creative energy on his one-man rock/comedy/impressionist show, Brody’s World. He’d also spent the past couple of years in the highly rewarding, and relatively low-maintenance, touring act The Music of Queen, a performance by the national company Windborne Music, where Dolyniuk sings the greatest hits of that classic rock band.
“I’m trying to pursue other things, launch a new Brody’s World show and write charts for a symphonic show, and I’m off touring with the Windborne symphonic shows all over North America and Canada,” he said. “I’ve just spread myself too thin.”
Asked if he felt taxed creatively in the tight confines of YBR, Dolyniuk said, “That’s part of it, to be honest. That happens when you do anything every single week, and even when you’re not onstage you’re involved with it some way, on the phone or on the computer. My family life has kind of suffered because of it. It’s just time, time for me to step off.”
YBR has performed all across the valley, filling such Station Casinos venues as Railhead, Club Madrid at Sunset Station and Ovation, which also has been home to the half-dozen performances of Brody’s World that Dolyniuk has wedged into his schedule. The band has been a strong draw at Suncoast Showroom on Wednesday nights.
As has been his goal for nearly two years with Brody’s World, Dolyniuk hopes to take the ambitious rock/comedy project out of Ovation and perform it for more wide-ranging audiences. He did talk of his ill-fated partnership with Chip Lightman (who is now off with his own new project, the Muncheeze grilled cheese truck), owing that the partnership didn’t work because the two could never agree on the most effective way to channel Dolyniuk’s considerable stage skills.
“I’ve done Brody’s World five or six times for the same people,” he said. “But you can only do the same joke so many times before people stop clapping, stop laughing and stop standing up.”
Mostly, Dolyniuk just needs a break.
“I’m going to take some time off, rest my voice and spend some time with family and let it all go away for about a month and come back and see what I want to do with my life,” he said. “In order to grow, you have to step out of your comfort zone. … I do have some bigger aspirations in life, but it’s all about quality of life for me now, not quantity.”