In March 2013, Joseph decided that playing in a new band wasn’t in the cards for him. So, the remaining members recruited Chris Saunders, then director of communications at the law school. Chris had been performing in Rock & Roll bands as a guitarist and singer for four decades, but had never played bass. He agreed to give it a try. Over time, each member of the band except Berenson, the drummer, would play bass on various songs. Adding Saunders voice and guitar playing ability to the band, combined with Wenger’s at first hidden talents as a keyboardist, helped the band gel. Initially, they focused on law-related songs, adding Jailhouse Rock and Folsom Prison Blues to their set list.
The band next performed on December 6, 2013, at an end of the semester party on the 8th floor deck of the Thomas Jefferson Law School building. Performing without Slattery, the band played two sets on a very chilly evening. By this point, they were dividing up vocals among Saunders, Semeraro, and Wenger.
Slattery rejoined the band in 2014, playing in February at Leah Christensen and Patrick Long’s wedding. Again, on the TJSL 8th floor deck. The band opened with “I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock & Roll,” with Slattery on vocals. Highlights included “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” sung by Saunders, for the bride and groom’s first dance. The band played one long set running about two hours.
On April 3, The Innocent Bystanders became the first Rock & Roll band to perform at the Auditorium at the new Downtown San Diego library. Closing the TJSL talent show with a four song set: Pretty Woman (Saunders lead vocal); Walk in the Room (Semeraro lead vocal); Ball & Chain (Wenger lead vocal); and Jailhouse Rock (Slattery lead vocal). They then performed I Fought the Law as an encore, again with Slattery taking lead. A fan shot video from the show can be found on the band’s Facebook page.
In May 2014, saxophonist Eric Lane joined the band. He first performed with the group at a backyard party in the Kensington section of San Diego on May 24. On June 3, the six member group performed at the Otay Ranch Town Center. This gig would be the last (at least for now) for original Bystander Jeff Slattery. He didn’t perform with the group in the fall 2014. And the band added Ben Neiberg on vocals, acoustic guitar and occasional keyboard. In early 2015, Neiberg performed with the band at Cafe Zucchero and The Bella Vista Social Club & Cafe.In March 2015, the Bystanders played for several hundred people at a corporate event on the field at PetCo Park.
In April, the boys played at the Kensington Club as part of Adams Avenue Unplugged.
And in May, they played The Company Pub in Poway, where they have now performed multiple times.
In early 2016, the Bystanders added Kath Rogers who sings lead and backups, including many songs traditionally sung by men. Her alto voice fits well with the band’s existing vocalists. She performed with the band for the first time in April 2016 at Monte Carlo Night on the 8th Floor Deck of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
When Eric Lane returned to his hometown in Rye, New York, Jessica LeFave joined the band adding even more sax to the band’s sets than Eric had. Jess comes to the Bystanders from a background is SKA, and plays with a glorious warm tone that fits the band’s vintage roots.