Teen Revives Cult-Favorite Animatronic Band for Summer Concert Series at Volo Museum

Volo, Illinois – After years in the shadows, the iconic animatronic band known as Rock-afire Explosion is making a comeback thanks to the efforts of a dedicated teenager. Jacob Mickan, a 17-year-old from Crystal Lake, has taken on the task of reviving the band, which has a devoted following from its time performing at ShowBiz Pizza places. Inventor Aaron Fechter’s creation captured hearts and got its own documentary in 2008.

Fans of the band can look forward to an exciting summer as the Volo Museum gears up for a series of Rock-afire Explosion concerts. Brian Grams, the museum’s director, has been working tirelessly to bring the band back to life on stage. With the animatronics being nearly four decades old, the restoration process has been a challenging but rewarding endeavor.

The seven-member Rock-afire Explosion band, once a staple at ShowBiz Pizza Place and later at Chuck E. Cheese, has garnered a cult following over the years. Despite being a blast from the past, young fans have also embraced the band, fascinated by its performances during the 1980s and ’90s.

Grams, who acquired the museum’s complete set in 2019, believes that the Volo Museum will be one of the few places in the world to showcase a full Rock-afire show to the public. The meticulous restoration work includes constructing a stage and ensuring that each character, from bears to birds, is in perfect working order.

For Mickan, the project is a labor of love inspired by his fond memories of Chuck E. Cheese and his interest in animatronics sparked by the video game and film “Five Nights at Freddy’s.” His dedication to restoring the band’s members to their former glory has been a laborious but gratifying process.

The anticipation is palpable as families eagerly await the band’s performances at the Volo Museum, where a grassy area will offer a perfect view of the newly constructed stage. Alongside refreshments from Munchin’ Junction, visitors can enjoy the show free of charge during select times, with plans to incorporate bill acceptors for convenient viewing.

Original creator Aaron Fechter is thrilled by Volo’s commitment to resurrecting his animatronic masterpiece, emphasizing its status as the “greatest animatronic rock show ever created.” The significant investment in restoring the band demonstrates Volo’s dedication to preserving a piece of pop culture history for future generations to enjoy.

As the Volo Museum prepares to unveil the revitalized Rock-afire Explosion, visitors can look forward to a nostalgic trip down memory lane and a new generation discovering the magic of this iconic band. The museum’s doors are open daily, welcoming guests to experience the wonder of the Rock-afire Explosion and explore other attractions on-site like the Jurassic Gardens dinosaur park.