Donna Smith

As Americans struggle with the loss of jobs and a bad economy, they are looking for a way to have some fun without going broke.  Big name concerts such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and any other highly popular performer can cost up to $100 a ticket, sometimes much more.

This is why tribute bands have become popular. Most tribute bands play at local bars and festivals and the tickets are often free or at a very low cost.  Akron's Rock the Lock and Cuyahoga Fall's Rocking on the River are hosts to several tribute bands and continue to draw huge crowds who are looking for great entertainment at a low cost.

One of the most popular tribute bands is Thunderstruck, who performs AC/DC songs.  The band is so adept at its work that if you close your eyes, you would think you are listening to the real thing. 

 There are five members in the band: Mike Gatrell, Steve Papes, Freddy DeMarco, Mideo Octavio and Scott Stenglein.  Most of them live in the area. 

Thunderstuck got together six years ago and decided to channel AC/DC because their songs are very well-known.  AC/DC songs have been featured in commercials, movies, NFL games and television programs. 

Lead singer, Scott Stenglein said, "People ages eight to 80 love AC/DC."

The band loves performing and is usually busy every weekend with more shows in the summer months.  But they do continue to keep their day jobs. Lead guitar player, Freddy DeMarco, who copies AC/DC's Angus Young complete with the well-known school boy outfit, is in charge of DeMarco's School of Music.  The school is located in Hudson and gives people of all ages the chance to learn, record and write music.

AC/DC was formed in Australia in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young.  In 2013, the band will celebrate their 40th Anniversary. 

"It is the ultimate concert experience. We like the crowd to get into it. We feed off the energy of the crowd," said Stenglein.

For an evening of good music that will not break the bank, check out a tribute band.  You may be surprised at how authentic they can be.  For more information on Thunderstruck, go to