1st Wave Cleveland is an eighties New Wave tribute band from Cleveland, Ohio paying homage to a wide range of 80s New Wave acts, including The Human League, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Eurythmics, Duran Duran, and The Psychedelic Furs. The band’s set list covers a literal who’s-who of artists of the era. The band’s live shows will take you back to the days of neon lights, big hair, and synthesizers.

1st Wave is a six-piece band of veteran musicians from across northeast Ohio comprised of 2 lead vocalists (male and female), Guitar, Keyboards, Bass, and Drums. 1st Wave’s members are all passionate about 80s music and in the spirit of the music, all vocals, synthesizers, and keyboards are performed live and do not rely solely on prerecorded tracks. This sets them apart from other tribute bands and adds to the authenticity of their performances. 1st Wave’s stage shows, with members dressed appropriately to the genre, will also feature fog machines, video, and flashing lights.

The Band is available for all your 80’s party, festival, and corporate event needs. For more information, visit the Contact Us link at https://1stwaveohio.com or on various social media platforms:

Facebook - Instagram - YouTube - Tik Tok

If you’re looking for a night of nostalgia and fun in Ohio, do not miss 1st Wave. The band’s live shows are sure to transport you back to the 1980s, and you’ll be dancing the night away before you know it.

Chad Karnik


Chad KarnikChad has been playing drums for over 40 years. He cut his teeth on New Wave and classic alternative as those songs were all over the radio and MTV during his formative years learning drums and percussion. His first working band’s set list contained many of the songs 1st Wave currently performs! He has played in a host of bands in the greater Cleveland area, original and cover/tribute, One of the most recognizable being "Zoo Station… a tribute to the music of U2". They are one of the area's 1st and most successful touring tribute bands, dating back to their beginning in 1996. Chad’s love for New Wave and classic alternative music is heard in his live performances, as he says "The biggest challenge for me in 1st Wave is to see exactly how many of the samples and triggers (drum-wise) I can incorporate into playing live with only 4 limbs!"

Freddy Saulig

Lead/Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals

Freddy SauligFreddy has been playing guitar since age 11. He started playing out in clubs at age 17 in and around the Cleveland area. His first band, "Escape" (top 40 dance) was formed in the mid 80's while he was in high school and the band worked with management company "Spotlight Talent Agency". Since then, he has been involved with several bands including "That 80's Band" as a fill in guitar player and his current band, "Back2TheFuture" (80's dance party band). 80's music is Freddy's passion and 1st Wave is another great opportunity to do what he loves.

Current gear: Suhr guitars and Kemper profilers.

John Philips

Bass/Backing Vocals

John PhilipsJohn Phillips

Guy Christopher

Lead vocals

Guy ChristopherGuy’s love affair with new wave began the moment he discovered Duran Duran on a friend’s Walkman in 1983.  Babysat by MTV, Guy grew up admiring the flash and showmanship of frontmen like Martin Frye, Dave Gahan, Joe Jackson, Boy George, and Simon LeBon. Guy has over 30 years stage experience with bands such as "Israphel’s Revenge", "Sworn II Silence", "Patient Martyr"” and "The Circling Buzzards". He can also be seen occasionally singing or playing bass in other projects as well.  1st Wave is Guy’s passion and he describes being asked to join as "a culmination of a dream I’ve had since my youth to sing the songs I still love above all others, this music tells the stories of my life."

Ida DeCenso

Lead Vocals

Ida DiCenso"I love to sing… like a lot!!"

Ida didn’t realize her passion for singing until her late teen years. Always singing and improvising at home, in school, and on the soccer field, she took a chance at a Cedar Point Sound Stage and the rest is…

Having taught herself by copying her voice to the artists, her first band was an original band called "The Darlings" where she wrote lyrics and recorded a CD. From then on has had the privilege to work alongside many talented musicians here in Cleveland. From the all occasion band, "Special Effect" to the cover band "Kickback," where she shared the stage with Freddy Saulig and is excited to be working with him again in 1st Wave! "Charlie in the Box" was her next musical endeavor, where she shared the stage with another "1st Wave-r"… Tom McBride! Last but not least was "The Attraxxion" where she once again had the honor to play alongside Tom! Ida has sung a variety of music and genres, but nothing is more favored than singing her love for the 80’s. 1st wave is an exciting opportunity to continue to do what she loves, singing the 80’s hits and working with these amazing guys that will rock the stage! 

Fun fact about Ida, ask those who know (have to love) her best, she sings half of her daily conversations and tends to make up songs on the fly about any current situation she is in or task she is doing!

Tom McBride

Keyboards/Backing Vocals

Tom McBrideTom heard his first song by Depeche Mode back in the early 80’s and has been addicted to synthesizers ever since. He took an Intro to Electronic Music course freshman year of college and by his senior year, he was running the college’s electronic music studio.

While in college, he also got the performing bug and decided to take his knowledge of synths to the stage, playing in a band in his junior and senior years. He returned home to Cleveland in 1990 and helped form the band "Charlie in the Box". (Interesting band tidbit, this was the first time he got to share the stage with fellow 1st Waver, Ida DiCenso!) After an all too short 28-year run with CITB, he and the rest of the band played their farewell performance in 2018.

Since then, Tom has played in a number of other bands including "Madfly" (sharing the stage with 1st Wave-r Freddy Saulig), "The Attaxion" (once again sharing the stage with Ida), and "Flashback". In addition to being the proud keyboardist for 1st wave, Tom also currently plays keys for "The Jam Machine".

Tom’s musical influences include: Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure, Duran Duran, The Cure, The Cult, REM, INXS, Talking Heads, Pink Floyd, The Cars, Gary Numan, The Jazz Butcher, and many others.

While Tom has a decent collection of old-school hardware synths in his home studio, these days he performs onstage with a mix of hardware controllers and software synths. "As much as I would love to drag some old-school analog gear onto the stage with me, the fragility of those older machines makes them a little too unreliable for a live show. But the sounds you can get out of today’s virtual synths are truly amazing. I pride myself on exacting work when it comes to dialing in those old analog sounds of the 80’s. When you hear us play live, you’ll definitely be transported back to those synthy days of glory."

Tom also does his best to play everything live that he possibly can. "There are one or two songs we do that require some backing tracks. I only have two hands and there are a few songs that would really require 2 or 3 keyboardists to sound right. But even on the rare occasion we do need to use a track, they are ones that I have programmed and played myself."