The Undecided? in a publicity photo from the late 1980s. The original lineup will perform live on April 18 at 300 State in Alton. (From left) Mike Lombardi, Scott Robertson, Paul Steinbrueck, Donnie Sandidge and Tom Pullen.
ALTON — Can you think of many rock groups from the 1980s with all of the original members alive and in one piece?
How about any from right here in Alton?
Founding member Donnie Sandidge says the decision not to charge a cover was a unanimous one within the band.
“We are just doing this for the fun of it,” he says. “We don’t want to charge our friends, and they wouldn’t let us get away with it, anyway!”
This incarnation of the band has not performed together since 1998. Sandidge says he and previous member Mike Lombardi recently were catching up and decided to give the other guys a ring.
“We reconnected over the last few weeks and decided to get together and do a show for the people who are still around and remember us,” Sandidge, a 1987 graduate of Alton High School, says. “This will be like a class reunion. I know there will be people there who are going to catch up while listening to us play.
“We have pulled the old set list from the back of the drawer. We are doing a lot of ’80s material and a lot of our original songs, including songs that have never been on an Undecided? album.”
The roots of the rock-based band date back to 1985, when five local teenagers got together to jam in a parent’s garage. The core group consisted of Sandidge on guitar and vocals, Scott Robertson on drums, Tom Pullen on bass, Mike Lombardi on keyboards and Paul Steinbrueck on lead guitar.
In its 1990s heyday, The Undecided? was releasing CDs, touring the country and opening for acts such as Mötley Crüe, Poison, Kansas, Starship, Electric Light Orchestra, Cheap Trick and Type O Negative, and hearing itself on the radio with the signature hit “Down by the River,” which charted nationwide and helped the band’s 1994 debut CD reach No. 1 on the St. Louis Spotlight magazine’s album sales chart.
Full length CDs “II Late Now” (1996), “Undecided III” (1999) and a greatest hits release (2009) followed.
But Sandidge says he has a definite nostalgic affection for the original ’80s lineup, and he feels like the reunion concert will have a “home again” feel for the fans from the area that catch the show.
Guests can expect classic covers from the band’s early days, including material as diverse as Bon Jovi, U2, Pink Floyd and the Ramones.
“We never wanted to limit ourselves, so our set list is all over the place, from (punk) to hair metal,” Sandidge says. “We also will be playing our song ‘Spell on Me’ from the 80s, which was featured on K-SHE and hasn’t been performed live in over 20 years.”
For those who may be “undecided” about attending the show, it may be your best chance to be a part of a little bit of Alton history … and do so while having a great time.
The Undecided? reunion show will begin at 9 p.m. April 18 at 300 State with special guests Witch Doctor, Dirty Bombshell and Gemini Hustler.