Renaissance rocks the Roxy at Christmas concert

Rocking Christmas sounds and twinkling holiday décor will fill the Roxy Theatre when Renaissance Rock Orchestra takes the stage with its’ “Christmas Rocks” show Dec. 17.

The concert will feature a reunion of two Kitsap musicians who captivated local fans in the early 1980s.

Renaissance Rock Orchestra (RRO) – inspired by the popular Trans-Siberian Orchestra – will belt out melodies that combine rock, metal and symphonic influences. The concert will highlight an array of Christmas standards, such as “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” along with rock classics including Mariah Carey’s mega-hit “All I Want for Christmas” and Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudoph Run” (later covered by Jimmy Buffett, Bryan Adams and Foo Fighters).

RRO is the creation of keyboardist Gregg Fox, who launched his musical career in Bremerton. He played in Ictus, a local group many “boomers” danced to at clubs around Kitsap County. Fox moved on to perform and record with artists from such acts as Heart, Guns N’ Roses, Foreigner, Billy Idol, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Whitesnake and Alice Cooper.

Local connections

A highlight of “Christmas Rocks” will be when Fox reunites with Ictus lead singer Lorelei (Sego) Eslick, a born and bred Kitsap County talent. Eslick is coming to the Roxy from her home in northwestern Montana, where she remains active in the music industry.

“We are bringing in the amazing Lorelei to sing background harmonies and to do very special solos,” Fox said. “She is dynamic and a very powerful performer. It’s going to be so special for us to be back together again after so many years.”

Eslick is also slated to lead the Renaissance Rock Orchestra through a medley of Christmas classics including: “O Christmas Tree,” “Silver Bells,” “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” “Joy to the World” and “White Christmas.”

Eslick is excited about returning to town. “I’m looking forward to seeing old friends. I always miss my home,” she said.

Ictus was a top Kitsap County band from 1980-83. The group played its first gig at “Pig Eaters,” a mini-Woodstock held in the woods around Bremerton on the weekend that Mount St. Helens blew. “We took a bus out in the woods and brought a generator. Someone cooked a pig, and we made a stage out of plywood and milk cartons,” Fox recalled.

“It was kind of a secret thing – maybe a few hundred came out to watch. We didn’t want the cops to know about it and bust our kegger,” he laughed.

Ictus also played at then-popular venues on the Kitsap peninsula, including Natasha’s in West Bremerton and Hilltop Tavern near the Hood Canal bridge. The band’s claim to fame was getting airtime on Seattle’s KZOK-FM and being featured on the station’s Best of the Northwest album.

Fox said his time playing in Ictus, “was one of the most exciting parts of my life. It definitely helped launch my career.”

Tickets for the event are available at The Roxy or online at Tickets are $35, general admission. Proceeds go to the nonprofit Roxy Bremerton Foundation. Money raised will go to the foundation’s planned purchase of the theatre.