Music Theater

‘THE LAST OUTPOST’: Where a Band and Theatric Performance Collide

held within the same creative world, ToM the band and Two Griffins Theatre aim to take audiences on a linked journey

Sawyer Hoff |

SONGS AND STAGES. The Last Outpost album by ToM is
SONGS AND STAGES. The Last Outpost album by ToM was released in May, its accompanying theater production to be performed on November 17-19 at The Grand Theatre. (Submitted Photos)

“The Last Outpost" will exist in not one, but two ways very soon, right here in the Chippewa Valley. Dancing hand-in-hand will be an album and stage performance: the album, created by ToM members James Finn and Derrick Mayoleth, is available now on Bandcamp, Apple Music, and Spotify while the theater production is currently preparing for its stage debut in November.

Fans of 70s psychedelic rock will be mesmerized by ToM’s latest album which includes 10 songs based on the theatric script written by James Finn. Artists included in the album are James Finn (composition, lyrics, vocals), Derrick Mayoleth (composition, instruments, mixing, mastering), and Jon Larson (piano) with guest artists Steve Lentz (guitar) and Joylin (violin). The 10-song album took about a year to create and was released this spring on May 15. 

“(The Last Outpost album) takes listeners on a journey and includes some dialogue,” Finn said. “It includes some soundscapes along with the various songs that are on the album, but it's a conceptual album.”

Listening to the album in order delivers a cinematic, post-apocalyptic experience, especially when listening through headphones, which Finn recommends. With inspirational pulls from Pink Floyd and early Genesis, the album thoroughly examines the story of the play while being an effective soundscape into the world.

Finn originally got the idea to make the album from a script, back when ToM created music for Two Griffin’s production of Vagabond, which was initially supposed to be a stage performance but became a video project when the pandemic hit. After the success of that first venture, the band decided to do a similar project for a Two Griffins stage production of Poe in 2021.

The Last Outpost is also a bit of a celebratory marker for the band, since ToM is in its 30th year. 

“It was so cool because we had also recorded a lot of (Poe) dialogue so that some of the dialogue was delivered from the stage,” Finn said. “But then sometimes we could just totally be liberated and do whatever we wanted on stage and mix the dialogue up with the music. We thought it was it was pretty effective and definitely original.”

The production of The Last Outpost is a modern-day take on folklore, where three soldiers returning from their final mission, make camp for the night and the evening turns frightening and tragic. It will be produced by James and Christine Finn, the Artistic Directors of Two Griffins Theatre company, which was created in 2015.

The cast and crew for the production are assembled, the cast featuring Meg Hammes-Murray, Josh Hammes-Murray, Lance Harris, and Chris Finn. The show will be held at The Grand Theatre (102 W Grand Ave, Eau Claire) from November 17-19.

“(The album) is definitely linked to the stage play, but you can listen to it without seeing the stage play and still enjoy it and go on on a musical Journey, but I think it'll be kind of like a bonus payoff when people are able to actually see the Stage production,” Finn said. “Because hopefully, some of those who have heard the album will then see the stage production, and then they'll see a lot of that stuff being visually realized.”

You can listen to The Last Outpost Album on most streaming platforms and get updates about the stage production of The Last Outpost on Two Griffins Theatre’s Facebook page.