Lead vocalist Tom Carraher , a lifelong Oak Parker, is one of the founding members of The Island Of Misfit Toys, along with bass player Jay Harris. Tom grew up listening to his mother perform on stage in musicals, opera and choir. He always loved to sing and still remembers one summer playing The Beatles “Red” and “Blue” greatest hits every day, singing all along the way.
He had jumped onstage a few times with a couple of local bands, block parties etc but this is, as Tom tells it, his first “real band” and he absolutely loves pouring his soul into it.
Let’s back up the truck a bit:
Tom and Jay met in the Grad School program at School of Rock in Oak Park in 2019. They quickly determined that they should form a band, knowing straight away that locking in fellow School of Rock alum, keyboardist Sarah Konsky was the first priority.
The goal from day one was to not play typical cover band material. Tom, a regular listener of Saturday Morning Flashback, wanted to design the shows to feel like a two hour listen to WXRT (and texts the band every Saturday morning to let them know what year is playing). He and Jay poured out some wine, listened to songs on their various playlists, and quickly came to the conclusion that they were on the same page.
While Tom’s personal musical tastes cover a broad range, his stuck-on-a-desert-island five band list consists of: Bob Marley, The Who, OMD, Depeche Mode and Yes. With this being his first band experience from a developer and performer standpoint, he came to realize that his own playlist choices might vary from what an audience is seeking on a night out listening to live music, but makes sure that setlists draw heavily from the XRT regular rotation.
Tom has greatly enjoyed putting this project together, selecting band members, original and newer members, as lineup changes necessitated. Tom sets the gold standard for cover bands in Chicago as Tributasaurus, appreciating how much fun they have as a band and the joy that energy brings to their audiences. His goal for this band: Have a blast and make sure everyone leaves smiling.
“We are a family of sorts and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for any of us.”