He Said She Said look to put on a party at Pub On Park

Posted 1/31/24

Certain bands can transform an atmosphere within an establishment from dull and boring to vibrant and fun in an instant. Right when the first song is played, the music takes over the audience and …

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He Said She Said look to put on a party at Pub On Park


Certain bands can transform an atmosphere within an establishment from dull and boring to vibrant and fun in an instant. Right when the first song is played, the music takes over the audience and people start dancing and moving around. It’s a contagious sensation that’s pretty healthy and you’re guaranteed to not feel under the weather. The local cover band He Said She Said knows all about this through their engaging and energetic way of performing. Folks will get to experience this for themselves when they take the stage at Pub on Park on 661 Park Avenue in Cranston on February 2.

I had a talk with lead vocalist and keyboardist Dave Gentile, who’s a Cranston native, about his musical upbringing, how the band started and his thoughts on playing a gig at Pub on Park.

Rob Duguay: You taught yourself how to sing and read at the age of four while using the lyric sheets of your parents’ Billy Joel records. Did this happen randomly or did your parents initially encourage this and it went from there?

Dave Gentile: I think they encouraged it, I never actually asked them but it’s a good question. My dad is a huge Billy Joel fan and they used to have the album “An Innocent Man” that came out in ‘83. My dad and mom would always play it, I don’t know if they stuck it in front of me or if I was curious about the record but the lyric sheets were inside. I don’t know if it was on the album when you flipped it over or if it was a piece of paper inside, but I was following along to some of the words. I distinctly remember lying on my stomach on the floor in my old house in Johnston following along with my finger, so that’s the story behind that.

RD: Very cool. Before playing the keyboard, you played trumpet in your high school band where you helped win a national competition in Washington, D.C. What made you want to go from one instrument to the other with the trumpet and keyboard?

DG: I didn’t really want to and it was ninth grade. My high school was 10, 11, 12 at the time, so I was technically a freshman even though I was in junior high. After ninth grade, I had transferred to La Salle [Academy in Providence] and they had band stuff going on but they didn’t have a structured program similar to what I was doing in junior high. My focus there was to get my grades better, so I really just put down the trumpet after that. It was something that I liked and I was pretty good at, but I was just having a hard time with my grades so I put it down.

When I was young, I think it was between second and fifth grade, I took piano lessons. When I joined up with He Said She Said, I was just a singer and we needed some keys in our songs. I knew how to play enough after messing around with the instrument when I was a little bit older that I could pick up the keyboard after learning it on my own, so that’s what I did.

RD: What makes being part of He Said She Said stand out for you versus other bands that you’ve been involved in?

DG: I was only in one other band before this, it was kind of an accident how it happened. One of my friends from high school at La Salle, we lost touch when we went to college, he moved to Florida and I ran into him at a party back in ‘08 or ‘09. He was moving back to the area, he eventually moved to Boston and we started hanging out like old times. He played guitar back in the day and he remembered that I used to do karaoke back in high school, so one day he told me that he was jamming with a bunch of guys in Framingham and he wanted to see if I’d be down to sing with them. I said “Ok”, I had never sung with a band before other than jumping on stage with some friends who were in other bands.

It was something to do and I didn’t have a lot going on, so I started practicing in the Framingham area with these guys. From that point forward, we started a band called Copper Jack. We basically played music that we all liked, which was mostly rock from the ‘90s and the early 2000s. It was five of us, I was the singer and we had two guitar players, a bassist and a drummer. It just didn’t end up working out because two of the guys were from Boston and myself along with a few of the other guys were from the Cranston/Warwick area and another one of us was from Attleboro. What we were playing wasn’t what everybody wanted to hear, it was more niche.

It was great and I love those guys, in fact two of them are currently with me in He Said She Said. What we were playing wasn’t appealing to many places where I feel that what we wanted to accomplish in terms of getting people to our shows and playing bigger venues where people would dance and have fun didn’t contribute to that. People loved to watch us and people loved our music, but it wasn’t for everybody. When that band broke up back in late 2012, two of my band members from the area and myself decided to build our own band out of our ideas while aiming to play some bigger venues and playing a little bit more dancey stuff. That’s kind of how He Said She Said was formed in its infancy, which was myself, Adam [Letourneau] and Michael [Raucci].

RD: What are your thoughts on playing the Pub on Park next month?

DG: We love Pub on Park and we feel that it’s one of the best local venues in the state. It is in my hometown, which I always love. They treat us well and they’re a great spot for local music, which I feel there is a lack of to be honest with you. There’s just not a lot of local places that can host live music, there are great, great venues but it’s few and far between from what it used to be, which is pretty sad unfortunately. I don’t know if people are finding different things to do or they want to hear DJs, but we love what we do. We love making music and we really like playing to crowds.

We enjoy progressing with people and interacting with the crowd, it’s what we love to do. At Pub on Park, they really do have a built in scene and people who show up want to listen to live music, it’s what we love about that place. There’s good food, good drinks, good beers behind the bar on tap and like I said, they treat us well so we always look forward to playing there.

RD: Pub on Park has a great atmosphere. After the upcoming show, what are He Said She Said’s plans from now until the spring?

DG: We play a monthly gig in Boston at a place called the Bell in Hand. It’s much different than Pub on Park and it has a younger crowd. We’ve pretty much played to any crowd that we can cater our setlist to. If it’s an older crowd then it’s ‘80s, ‘90s and pop songs of today that everybody knows, but when we go up to Boston we definitely play a lot more newer stuff. We also play the HarpoonFest in Boston, which is really fun.

It takes place in May at Harpoon Brewery and we play outdoors for an hour in front of thousands and thousands of people. It’s a rush and it’s awesome with a similar crowd to the Bell in Hand where I feel pretty old there. Other than that, we’re steadily scheduled up until the spring and once the summer time comes we’re at Chelo’s On The Water and BLU On The Water in East Greenwich, we’re in Cape Cod at this place called The Lure, which is a really fun venue, and a bunch of other places. We also play quarterly at Bally’s Twin River in Lincoln at the Lighthouse Bar, they have their own sound tech there and he’s awesome. We’re still trying to get a few more dates, but we’re pretty booked up.


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