All of us in the Crew have been missing live music since the pandemic put a halt to concerts, big and small, at our breweries and other music venues. We have, at times, watched internet broadcasts of some of our favorite metal bands from overseas, and we have also taken notice of many local bands doing the same at venues like Launchpad.
The breweries, though, have not jumped into hosting these sort of virtual concerts, even though many have hosted local and touring bands over the years. High and Dry Brewing will be the first to change that, teaming up with four local bands for a virtual concert on Thursday, October 15, at 7:15 p.m. on Facebook Live. The event was the brainchild of local musician Joey Sullivan of Stereogeist and High and Dry owner/head brewer Andrew Kalemba, who sat down with us to talk about the upcoming event.
“It was about two months ago or so that you reached out to us and you had an idea for some type of COVID-responsible live performance,” Kalemba said to Sullivan. “We started chatting (about) it. We’ve got some space. We’d like to have music, but we can’t, like most people. That’s where his concept came in and we ended up running with it.”
Sullivan said that Stereogeist was formed 20 years ago, but has been on hiatus for a while. That left his band without a place to play, as he said other venues were more focused on hosting the more established and well-known bands in town.
“If you’re a bigger name, places like the Launchpad will let you play on hour set, you’re the headliner (or) you’re the only band, and people are going to watch you on a Friday night,” Sullivan said. “That’s awesome. But, how do you become a band like The Ordinary Things that’s well known? You’ve got to play somewhere.”
That left Sullivan to turn to the breweries. He even said he used the recent patio bracket tournament that the Crew ran to give him a list of potential performance venues, but most never responded. That was not the case at High and Dry.
“Nobody wrote me back, but Andrew was like, yeah, let’s do music,” Sullivan said. “Tell me more. We connected just on the need for music. That was sort of understood. We went to the next step really quickly.”
The original idea was to have customers on the patio while the band performs from inside, but even that proved to be a bit of too big of a hurdle to overcome under the current public health order. That was when they decided to go virtual.
“We did the recording in off hours when we didn’t have the public here,” Kalemba said. “Social distancing practices were followed. All the necessary protocols (were) in place to knock that out. You still get the vibe, the look and feel of High and Dry.”
The four bands — Stereogeist, High Performance Orange, Sweet Nothin’, The Ordinary Things — were each recorded separately by professional videographer Edgar Wonder of Duke City Virtual. Local artists Adam Billie and Kelly Lavonne also handled the poster, and professional photographer (and longtime friend of the Crew) Mario Caldwell also took pictures.
“We’ve got artists in the neighborhood, pretty much all the creative people that we could get together to put on a show,” Kalemba said.
The show costs $10, and also includes a coupon for a pint at High and Dry that people can redeem at their earliest convenience. Anyone interested can purchase a ticket through PayPal or can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“You can redeem your beer at your earliest convenience, support the music,” Kalemba said. “We’ve got beer and music kind of coming together. It’s similar to High and Dry’s model of trying to bring as much of the community as we possibly can together. It came together fast, only a couple weeks.”
Donations to the individual bands will also be welcomed.
“All the money goes into what’s being produced,” Sullivan said. “There’s no profit. Everything pays for itself. If there’s a band you love, you can give them money so we can keep doing this. We’re not the Launchpad, but we’re able to bring your guerrilla style music with beer.”
In this day and age, any chance to support local music and a local brewery is something we can get behind.
Thanks to Andrew and Joey for the interview, and the pint of Humble Affair Coffee Stout.
Keep supporting local!