Foot In The Door - Support Local Music at the Wildey Theatre [Preview]
Readers: you may not know it yet, but you have plans this Saturday. You'll be doing your duty to support local music and ensuring that more local bands get to play a great new space in the future. No excuses.
Most bands don't just materialize out of thin air ready to play and record big hits. The vast majority work hard in local clubs, bars and small venues to build a fan base and start touring to find a larger audience. A venue like the newly renovated Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville can serve as that larger stepping off point for local musicians to make that next step in their career.
For twenty-five years the Wildey Theatre sat empty as many around town lamented that the building could be rehabbed and serve the community as a space dedicated to the arts. Finally, that vision came to fruition and now it's time to support all the hard work put into the effort.
Jamal McLaughlin, a member of Edwardsville based band Belleview, worked with the powers that be in town to stage live local music at the band shell outside the Edwardsville Public Library. Here he takes a larger step onto a bigger stage, but the importance is just the same. If people don't show up to see local music then why would the management care to keep booking the theatre for that type of performance.
While we should commend the management of the theatre for already making a commitment to present live music, that doesn't mean we can't critique or recommend artists to possibly play the venue. So far, acts in the form of Pure Prairie League, Tim Reynolds, Brewer and Shipley and Mitch Ryder have graced the stage, yet Reynolds is the only one that didn't put out albums in the '60s and '70s. This theatre setting is much nicer to see these older, established artists than a casino, however, a wide-ranging music offering is what's going to keep people coming back to the theatre. Offering shows only to the Baby Boomer generation might bring in a nice ring at the box office window, but anybody under the age of 40 will soon write the space off as not catering to their type of entertainment. Diversity is key to running a successful venue and you need look no further than The Pageant in St. Louis to see that this can happen. Saturday night's event is a great start.
What: Foot In The Door When: Saturday, July 23, 2011 Where: The Wildey Theatre - 252 North Main St., Edwardsville, IL Why: Support your local musicians How: Tickets available for purchase HERE - $6 students and $8 adults
Here's a sampling of what you'll see on Saturday night -
The show will start with an acoustic set from The Vanilla Beans. While the video below does not demonstrate their acoustic arrangements you can get a sense of what you might see.
Collinsville native Robin Bettonville Hileman of Rock Hill Academy will also perform an acoustic set of her original music. She's been honing her skills at open mic nights around town such as Edwardsville mainstay Stagger Inn...Again. Here's a video clip to give you an idea of her sound:
Nostalgic for those epic albums of the 1970s, Belleview will turn the sound up a notch performing their brand sci-fi inspired concept rock to the Wildey stage. Originally hailing from Alton, brothers Jamal and Justin McLaughlin and Josh Steinmann have played together for years. Adding Brendan Stamps and Chris Ash for the record and later Lansin Lim Kimler for the live sound further progresses the band to fill out the sound scape. The group appeared earlier this week at the studios of WLCA 89.9 in Godfrey to promote their latest album Fountains by playing some acoustic tracks (available to download from their Facebook page) and promote the show on Saturday. You can find Fountains on iTunes, EMusic, Amazon and Napster or listen here.
As the name Explosive Space Modulator demonstrates this Edwardsville based trio plays a spacy indie rock Composed of members Ryan Hentz, Shae Hileman and Mike Pringle. See what it's all about below:
Rounding out the evening, The Highway Companion, a quartet hailing from St. Louis, is made up of Patrick Baum, brothers Josh and Jake Delaloye and Adam Barr. The band takes a DIY ideals and hard work ethic writing solid original songs with an Americana/Country Rock sound.
Big props must go to Jamal McLaughlin for shoving that proverbial foot in the door and laying the groundwork to make this happen. Now, let's make his idea look great.