Mark, Paul and Patrick Wilson, a.k.a. 'Van Wilson,' hit the stage Thursday in St. Petersburg
But the Wilsons are also top-notch musicians. Patrick (left, above) received Tony nominations for his singing roles in The Full Monty and Oklahoma!. Mark (center) is a guitar fiend who builds custom axes from scratch. And Paul (right) is a booming vocalist who performs around Tampa Bay.
So one day a couple of years ago, the brothers thought: Why not form a band?
The result is Van Wilson, an off-the-cuff rock band featuring Paul on vocals, Patrick on drums and vocals and Mark on guitar. On Thursday, Van Wilson will unleash their third performance as a band upon Tampa Bay with a benefit concert at The Local 662 in downtown St. Petersburg. Tickets are $10, benefitting All Children’s Hospital. Expect to hear a lot of classic rock covers from Van Halen, Journey, Bon Jovi and more.
“We grew up playing, and we grew up kind of raising hell and making a lot of noise,” Paul said. “We just get rowdy and have fun with it, and people seem to like it and laugh.”
The Wilson brothers come from a musical family — parents John and Mary K. Wilson have for years performed around Tampa Bay. John is the lead anchor for WTVT-Ch. 13, where Mark also works, and Mary is a professional singer and voice teacher.
Outside of Tampa Bay, Patrick is far and away the best-known Wilson, thanks to starring roles in films like Watchmen, The A-Team, Morning Glory and Little Children. But Paul says Mark is the band’s ace in the hole — especially when it comes to Van Halen.
“He’s the shy one, but he’s really, in my opinion, the best musician,” said Paul, who owns Wilson Media in St. Petersburg. “Mark’s guitar is built just like the 1984 tour guitar, down to the quarter that Eddie had screwed onto the guitar. It’s a thing of beauty.”
The band has performed twice in the past — once at Mark’s birthday party in 2009, and again at a Sunscreen Film Festival wrap party this spring.
At the moment, the family is just hoping Patrick, who’s been filming the Jason Reitman movie Young Adult with Charlize Theron, will be able to make his flight from snowy New York. If so, the family will be all in one place and ready to rock.
“We’re always going a million miles an hour,” Paul said. “This is like our release.”
The show is at 8 p.m. at The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. There’s a $10 cover, benefitting All Children’s Hospital. The event is nearing capacity, so RSVPs are strongly encouraged. Search for Van Wilson III on Facebook to RSVP.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*