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Basements to Big Shows

The summer of 2008 was one I will never forget.  Not because of the friends I made or the lasting memories but because that summer a star was born.  He was actually born in December of 1989, but 2008 was the first time I got to hear him play.  I watched my friend Chris Bandi play guitar and sing a cover of “Crash” by Dave Matthews Band. I could not believe my ears.  Sure, I had heard good, even great, music before but this was way beyond both.  I sat in our friend’s basement after that listening to Bandi play song after song showing more talent each night.  It turns out I wasn’t the only person who saw it.

Bandi tried out for American Idol during the summer of 2011 and impressed the judges while singing “Walking in Memphis” which won him a golden ticket and sent him on his way to Hollywood.  Some might call this a dream come true, but it does not surprise me. Bandi was born singing.  He sang publicly for the first time at  four-years-old dressed up as Elvis on Halloween.

If you are fortunate enough to catch a show, you will hear southern rock/country music that is all played acoustically. Chris plays lots of covers from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Nelly to Lady Gaga as well as his own songs.  To get a taste of his talent, you can visit his Facebook or MySpace page.

In 5 years from now, Bandi hopes to be opening for big names on national tours and headlining his own smaller tours around the country. With a voice like Bandi’s it is hard to say that toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake and a city that follows baseball as their religion is all that has come out of St. Louis.  I see an aspiring star– one that still owes me his autograph.

About Melissa Graham

Melissa Graham is a senior at Maryville majoring in Strategic Communication. She is a marketing representative for St. Louis Magazine. She is a member of Maryville's Campus Activity Board. You can follow her on twitter @MelG1221or email her at

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