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VexFest: Lucky Penny

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Published: Mon, August 13, 2007 @ 12:40 a.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — The odds were stacked against Lucky Penny at VexFest, but he pulled off a great performance, despite it all.

Penny performed Sunday night for the first time in front of a band. Lucky Penny was channeling a little bit of Elvis in all white (including a Rusty Waters T-shirt) and classic rock shades.

Lucky Penny's band included Anthony Aquarius on guitar, Lady Jade on female vocals, Marvin on bass, Wayne on keys and Justin on drums. Mr. Bopman DJ'ed, sampling in some familiar Lucky Penny beats and sounds.

Penny said he performed with the band to work with the overall rock theme of VexFest.

"I had to go with the themes of VexFest, rival what's going on," he said.

While he got a great time slot — just after 11 p.m., he performed inside Barley's. The bar became a massive waiting room line, with angry drunk people shoving each other through the crowd trying to support the rapper.

The small space bounced Lucky Penny's voice off the walls, muffling it, so at times it was hard to hear his lyrics. Other times, the room was so hot and humid, it was hard to breathe, let alone cheer for Aquarius' solos.

Still, it didn't stop the band or the supporters.

"I could feel the energy from the crowd," Lucky Penny said after the show, noting he would've liked to have performed outside.

He said he doesn't have anything finalized, but hopes to perform with the band again in the future.

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