Highball was a rock band from Cleveland, OH, active from 1998 - 2005. They went through several lineup changes during their run, with vocalist Kevin Conaway being the sole consistent member. The band released one full-length album and a collection of demos. For seven years, Highball was a staple in the Cleveland music scene.
Highball formed in 1998, consisting of bassist/vocalist Kevin Conaway, guitarist Shawn Casper, and drummer John Puro. Soon after, bassist Joe Fratena joined the band and Conaway switched to rhythm guitar. In 1999, the band participated in the Tri-C High School Rock Off, and would return over the next two years as a Reunion Band. In early 2001, the band released its debut album, "Last Call..." Casper left the band in 2001, followed by Fratena later that year. Guitarist Rob Macko and bassist Marlon Butts joined the band in 2001. In 2003, Highball placed in the top 5 nationally in the Shot at the Cabo Wabo Competition. During that same year, the song “What I Need” became the 12th most played song on WDUB Internet Radio. In 2004, Puro left the band. Highball carried on as a three-piece with Macko moving from guitar to drums. The band was recording new material during 2004, with plans for a second album. However the album was never completed and the initial recordings were released in their demo form. Highball eventually disbanded in 2005. The band has reunited for one-off shows occasionally over the years since.
Highball achieved moderate local success, playing many area venues such as The Odeon, Tower City Amphitheater, Blossom Music Center, The Agora, The Euclid Tavern, The Blind Lemon, The Hard Rock Cafe, The Phantasy, and The Beachland Ballroom, among others. The band had also opened for major touring acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sammy Hagar, Dream Theater, Queensryche, Sponge, and Fozzy.
The former members of Highball have all been involved with music in one way or another since the band’s breakup. Casper has spent time with the bands Broadview Gutters, Tricky Dick and the Cover-Ups, Radio Tokyo, and Sushi Roll. He also runs Ghost Audio Visual with a partner. Fratena was a member of the bands The B*Team and Brockman. Puro was a member of the bands The Drama Summer, Plague the City, Miroki Thunder, Keep It Together, and Dirty Dirty. Butts spent time with the bands Sliver and The Shanghai Hitmen. Macko was a member of the bands The Cocktones, Sliver, and Pulled Pork. He has also worked for various local and national sound companies as well as several local music stores. He is currently a member of the band Superbad. Conaway was a member of the bands The Shanghai Hitmen and Hat Trick. He is currently active as a solo musician as well as an occasional member of Michael McFarland and the Mess Makers.