Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers dance the night away at The M-Shop

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers performed at the Maintenance Shop in the Memorial Union on Sept. 6. They are described as post-motown, folk rockers. 


Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers praised Iowa State’s Maintenance Shop while captivating the crowd with a fusion of folk, rock, funk and “dad-friendly dance moves.”

With Hertler donning a rainbow cape and his bandmates wearing everything from a NASA jumpsuit to a pair of overalls, The Rainbow Seekers gave some love to the intimate venue in between songs at the Thursday night concert.

“The M-Shop is really nice, there’s just something about it. Not many college towns have cool venues like this, you guys should be thankful you have such a cool venue,” Hertler said.

After the show, I caught up with Hertler and his drummer, Rick Hale, to ask what exactly he thought made the M-Shop so special.

“It’s just a diamond in the rough to have this cool venue in the middle of Iowa. I went to a college similar to this where there’s nothing but cornfields around and this venue is just a cool spot,” Hertler said.

The Rainbow Seekers’ genre of music is hard to place, with some songs bringing the funk with heavy bass lines and a driving beat. Other songs, like “Old Love” follow a more contemporary indie pop formula. The band members have varying tastes in fashion and draw influences from many genres, but all agree that the live performance is the most important part of their musical experience.

Hertler started off as a solo artist while a student at Central Michigan University and formed The Rainbow Seekers after meeting bassist and producer Kevin Pritchard. Soon after meeting Pritchard, they soon acquired help from drummer Rick Hale, guitarist Ryan Hoger, multi-instrumentalist Micah Bracken, saxophonist Aaron Stinson, and violinist Joshua Barber Holcomb.

Stinson quickly won over the crowd with his saxophone and flute skills, drawing applause and cheers during almost all of his saxophone solos. Hertler danced all night on stage, spinning around and pumping his arms while interacting with his bandmates.

Hertler was very interactive with the crowd during their set, talking to people in between songs. After the group’s set concluded, Hertler and company stood in the crowd during Juice’s set and conversed with people in the audience. Following the end of the concert, all members of both The Rainbow Seekers and Juice were talking to audience members. 

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers also reversed the traditional order of the concert, choosing to play first and opting to have their openers, Juice, take the second half of the concert.

Juice, a seven-man outfit out of Boston, took the stage around 9:15 p.m. in less extravagant outfits. Juice is headed by singer Ben Stevens and mixes rock, R&B, and hip-hop. Violinist and singer Christian Rose stole the show with his rap verses and blazing fast electric violin solos that left horse hairs shedding off of his bow.

Juice also employs the help of bassist Rami El-Abidin, guitarists Michael Ricciardulli, Daniel Moss, and Kamau Burton, and drummer Miles Clyatt.

The Maintenance Shop will host the Harold López-Nussa Trio on Wednesday, Sept. 12  with the concert starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 or $15 with ISU student ID.