By Valerie Baldowski
The Gateway Event Center in McDonough is preparing to ring in the new year with lots and lots of music. There will be fireworks, too.
Heavy Mojo, Demun Jones, of the group REHAB, and Money-4-Nothin' will headline the New Year's Eve event. Mike Styles, the center's chief executive officer, will put on another hat, and become disc jockey for the night.
"What we're trying to do is give a good musical mix for New Year's Eve," said Styles.
Money-4-Nothin, a newly-formed group out of McDonough, will headline the show at 9:30 p.m. The five-member group includes four men and a woman, whose works can be found in the classic rock category. The band previously performed at clubs in Daytona Beach, Fla., and locally, at the Irish Bred Pub in Rex, and Cruizer's Cafe in McDonough.
The opportunity to play at the Gateway Event Center in McDonough is a major lift for a group striving to make a name for itself in the musical world, according to Phil Thompkins, drummer and a vocalist for the group.
"Doing gigs like this is the kind of stuff you want to do," said Thompkins.
Money-4-Nothin' first played at Gateway in November as an opening act for Sammy Kershaw, a country/Southern rock singer, and was asked to return.
"We knocked their socks off," said Thompkins.
Other members of Money-4-Nothin' are Rick Poore, on bass, vocalist Wanda Wilson, lead guitarist Mike Bennett, and guitarist Curt Jennings.
Thompkins said he formed strong working relationships with some of his band members even before the group's inception.
"Rick, Wanda and I played together for about four years," he said. "Then we put Money-4-Nothin' together a little over two years ago." The three of them once were members of a now-defunct group out of Senoia, Ga., called "Nothing Said," Thompkins added.
After Money-4-Nothin', Macon's Demun Jones and REHAB, will take over at 10:45 p.m. Styles said Jones, who has his own brand of alternative music, will perform "Can't Remember."
Following Jones will be the group, Heavy Mojo of Atlanta. They will appear after the Truett's Grill fireworks in the parking lot of Gateway. Heavy Mojo is scheduled to take the stage at 12:05 a.m.
Heavy Mojo's hip-hop hits include the popular "Bright Lights, Big City."
Mike Styles, as DJ, will take over at 2 a.m.
Tickets are $25 in advance, for general admission; $75 for VIP status, and $40 at the door. The box office opens at noon on Dec. 31, and doors open at 9 p.m.
Styles expects the differing musical styles will draw an eclectic crowd of listeners between the ages of 21 and 50. "It's not like a concert," he said. "It's really like a big party. We have so many genres of music. We're hitting all the decades."