Creal Releases Album at Neutral Zone Event


Walking into the Neutral Zone at 7:00 on Saturday, March 9, people were filling the room that would hold about 150 people by the end of the night–a great turnout for a weekend show at The B Side. Pool tables were clattering with balls, concessions were sold for $1 apiece, but most people were crowded near the stage.

It was at this show that the local band Creal released their first album, “Creal”. At the release show, they shared the stage with four other local, teen bands: Ghost in the Drum, Ashes to Ashes, Joey Stride Forth, and Banta Claus and Ben Jenkins.

Joey Stride Forth brought an electric excitement with them onto the stage. Members Erez Levin, David Gissiner, Daniel Sagher, and Drew Polovick play covers of songs by famous groups ranging from classic rock bands like the Ramones to more modern bands such as The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys.

Bright sign above the entrance to the Bside.

By the time they started playing the majority of the room had crowded as close to the band as the stage would allow. Their first song brought a lot of energy to the stage, and the crowd reflected it back. People were singing, clapping and dancing along, almost matching up to the enthusiasm projected by the band. At one point Polovick, the band’s bassist, hopped up on Sagher’s bass drum and played from there for a short time. The rest of the band was jumping and dancing throughout the whole performance, midway through begging someone from the audience to bring them water. The crowd loved the show.

Ashes to Ashes, the second local band to take the stage, played other classic rock covers. Ali Shahin, on guitar, played an especially difficult night, as it included a rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child”. Creal closed the show with a set of original songs. Their performance was long awaited, their set not starting until around 10:00 that night. Even with some difficulties including a bass guitar not working, they were well worth the wait. The six Skyline sophomores that make up the band were charismatic and comfortable on the stage. Their style of music was unique, enjoyable, and varied.

The B Side holds weekly live music events featuring young artists, hosted at the B entrance of the Neutral Zone teen center. The Neutral Zone also runs the program Youth Owned Records (YOR), which signs, records, releases and markets for the making of CDs by local bands.

Ali Shahin plays guitar while Tatiana Thomas sings and Adam Kahana plays bass. Not pictured are Cameron Boyd on keyboards and Ivan Soucy on drums.

Earlier this year Creal signed to produce an album with YOR, a record label based at the Neutral Zone. Ben Lawton, promoter for shows at the Neutral Zone, often in collaboration with YOR artists, is one of the many people who contribute to the program. “It’s completely organized, and everything is done by teens around Ann Arbor. They sign teen bands throughout the year, and, in collaboration with the studio at the Neutral Zone, they record tracks and record an album, and then do marketing, and put on shows for to release the CDs.”

Creal’s album, featuring 10 original tracks, is available digitally for $9 at

To get a $10 physical copy, contact YOR at

Find Creal on Facebook at

Listen to excerpts from Creal’s performance

Listen to excerpts from Joey Stride Forth’s performance