Table Ten Reunion Brings Back Old Memories For Skeller’s Final Day
A classic bar has its characters, its familiar faces, and its beer. For a bar as storied and hallowed as the All-American Rathskeller, all those are a given. But one thing that can really set a bar apart is its entertainment, specifically the bands it can get to play there.
Among a host of other well-known Skeller bands, Table Ten is a name that brings back memories for employees and patrons alike. With the news of the Skeller closing its doors, at least as we know it today, Table Ten has agreed to return to its roots and play a set there for its final day open on Saturday, January 27.
Having played there from 2010 to 2012, the band was a fixture in the Skeller, playing mostly on Saturday nights. Consisting of Penn State graduates Josh Corcoran (guitar, vocals), Jared Stillman (bass, vocals), and Antonio Parisi (drummer, percussion), the band came together in 2008 and started out playing at Phyrst, Bar Blue, and then eventually the Skeller.
Describing their music as “electrically charged acoustic jam rock,” with a normal set list containing covers of bands like Mumford and Sons and Rusted Root along with some original songs, Table Ten has a distinctive, upbeat sound with Parisi’s occasional conga solo sending bar rooms crazy.
But when they were just getting started, Corcoran and Parisi were working at Spats Cafe just above the Skeller.
“We wanted to play music full time and we needed a job to support ourselves otherwise, so we ended up washing dishes at the Spats Cafe. We go back a ways there and to be able to have a Saturday night at Skeller later on was a really cool thing for us,” Corcoran said. “It definitely holds a really special place in our hearts.”
After they graduated in 2009, Table Ten went on tour all over the East Coast, playing most of their shows in towns by the Jersey Shore. They played in bars all over, from Secrets in Ocean City, Maryland up to Asbury Park, where Table Ten was able to play at The Stone Pony — a legendary bar that saw the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi start their careers there. Something drew them back to State College, and the band would always come back to play Saturday nights at the Skeller.
“We did that for a while and then kinda all went our separate ways. And now that we’re all in different cities, we just get together for good reasons we they come around,” Corcoran said.
Table Ten played their last show together at THON in 2015 and the members then split up. Corcoran stays busy, maintaining the band’s Facebook page and even starting a web series called Spare Change, where Corcoran and friends go to different cities to busk for money, and then donate the money they raised to local charities. They visited State College for the series’ eighth episode, where the crew helped out the Acres Project.
The reunion started in Corcoran’s head as a joke when he saw the Facebook post about the Skeller’s closure.
“It was kind of spur of the moment. I saw the post about the Skeller closing and I wrote a message on the post, almost half jokingly, like, ‘If you guys are doing a going away concert, Table Ten will get back together,’ then they hit us up like ‘Really?’ and we were like ‘Yeah, let’s do it,'” Corcoran said.
The group is excited to make the trip back to its old stomping grounds.
“The three of us are all great friends and it makes for a great reason to get back for a reunion at Penn State with all of our old friends who used to come see us play,” Corcoran said. “If we want to send the Skeller off, let’s do it in a big way.”
Chris Frasca is the General Manager at the Rathskeller and has been for five years. He’s in charge of booking bands and deals with many of them personally, especially Table Ten. He’s been at the bar for 10 years and was working when Corcoran and Parisi worked at Spats. Frasca has had a working relationship with them for years, and Parisi even plays in Washington D.C. with Frasca’s girlfriend’s brother.
“I love those guys. I mean, old band wise, there’s guys like like Queen B, Screaming Ducks. But out of the newer wave of bands, Table Ten is up there with some of the best,” Frasca said.
The band brings back fond memories for Frasca.
“I’ve worked here for ten years and I’ve worked with those guys and I worked while they were playing and it was always a blast,” Frasca said. “There’s band stickers of them all over the bar!”
He’s even going back to his old place at the bar for the band.
“I actually said when they were playing on the 27th that I’m going to work the middle bar because that’s where I used to work when they used to play here,” Frasca said.
The closing of the bar has been saddening to many of the employees, but Frasca appreciates all the memories, especially with all the bands like Table Ten that have come through.
“It hasn’t hit me yet because it’s been so busy. It’s sad, I’ve been the GM of this place for five years and it feels like I’m getting my house and kids taken away from me and I didn’t do anything wrong,” Frasca said. “We’re all, even the bands, part of a family. We all know each other, we can all get in our little arguments, but it all works out in the end.”
Both Frasca and Corcoran are looking forward to the gig.
“They’re just gonna crush it as they always have. They always will,” Frasca said. “They make you feel like you’re at the beach when you’re not.”
“We’re playing early, so that gives us an opportunity to hang out afterwards and celebrate as well, so really for us it’s just getting back together with your family. It’s been a long time, but it feels like just yesterday that we were all hanging out again,” Corcoran said.
Ccoran is looking forward to a relaxing set and one he and the band can remember for a long time.
“For us, it’ll be great to just jam, carefree, and relive some of our great times at the Skeller. We’re going in with no expectations other than to just have fun,” Corcoran said. “This bar means a lot to a lot of Penn Staters, so it’s definitely an honor for us to play at their last day of operation.”
Catch Table Ten from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, January 27 at the All-American Rathskeller.