“To put it simply, we’re a group of best friends and musical brothers who grew up listening to classic rock. We’ve become addicted to the solo, the melodic bass line, the roaring drummer, and the clean yet dirty vocals that all came from our rock predecessors and are trying to keep the tradition alive.” — Pete Lower The band Item 9 and The Mad Hatters are based in Iowa City and refer to its music as a blend of classic, blues, funk, and alternative ’90s rock. Originally a cover band named Old Style, Pete Lower and Adam Montgomery were founding members, along with drummer Henri Lower. Matt Bryks was a college friend of Pete Lower’s and joined the band as it made its transition from covers to original music. During this time the group found its singer, Adam Maxwell on Craigslist. (Item 9 and The Mad Hatters has two upcoming shows: Tonight in Cedar Falls and Saturday in Iowa City.) After recording the band’s debut album “Old Style”, Henri Lower decided to take some time off and his spot was filled by Rob Abrams. Henri Lower still joins the band from time to time, giving them a double drum setup. The band has earned several recognitions, including first place in the 2011 Minstrel Studios Battle of the Bands, AMA Battle of the Bands, and RAHC Battle of the Bands. It performs often in the Iowa City/Des Moines/Cedar Falls area, as well as Cedar Rapids and Chicago. The guys will be playing at Elbo Room in Chicago on May 31 and as part of the Urock Tour in Indianapolis on June 1, but you can see them closer to home May 12 at Gabes in Iowa City. — Hilary Mahoney