Editor’s note: This blog is among those posted on LeaderTelegram.com each week.

The 1980s are alive and well in the Chippewa Valley, at least for those who of us who celebrate the charting music from the era.

Arch Allies, a Twin Cities-based tribute band, recently performed before an enthusiastic crowd in the Loopy’s Saloon & Grill dome in Chippewa Falls. Fronted by Scott Calderwood, the band performs songs by Bon Jovi, Boston, Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon and Def Leppard.

Arch Allies provides high-energy shows — it performs semi-regularly at The Lismore Hotel in Eau Claire — and the vocals and music are strikingly similar to those found in the original songs.

Another Twin Cities-based band, Hairball, will be the headliner on July 11 at the five-day Northern Wisconsin State Fair in Chippewa Falls. The tagline on Hairball’s promotional materials and website is “a bombastic celebration of arena rock.”

Hairball often plays songs by artists Arch Allies covers, and but it also mixes in the work of groups such as Van Halen, KISS, Motley Crue, Queen and Aerosmith. The band also uses costumes to add to the experience.

“The lights, sound, smoke, fire, bombs and screaming hoards of avid fans,” reads Hairball’s online autobiography, “to merely call it a concert would be like calling Mount Rushmore a roadside attraction.”

For Generation Xers who grew up on such musical standards, Arch Allies and Hairball both offer the opportunity to revisit and celebrate the past. Visit archallies.com or hairballonline.com for more information about either band.

— Liam Marlaire, assistant editor