Holy mackerel. Did anybody expect that?
We didn’t. Not in our wildest dreams did we believe the first-ever Frederick Music Showcase would go like that. Maybe it would go all right, we thought. Best-case scenario, a few hundred people would show up. It would be fun. It would be a nice foundation to (hopefully) do more somewhere down the line.
But that? A crowded lobby? A cake with the Frederick Playlist logo? Selling out of Monocacy Brewing beer within about three-and-a-half minutes of doors opening? Ovations that weren’t just heard but felt both before and after each band hit the stage? A gaggle of excitement pouring from the Weinberg walls? Doubling our goal in ticket sales?
That? Nope. No way.
Yet here we are, precisely 11 days removed from our inaugural Frederick Music Showcase, and we’re still reeling from the support this amazing community offered through it all. Our breath has been taken and our expectations have been blown to smithereens. Of course, we could probably offer up about 10,000 things that we took away from Thursday, February 19, 2015, but for now, we’ll settle on five. Let’s go.
1. Thank you. No, but really. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. The importance of the support of the Frederick community within all this cannot, by any stretch of any imagination, be overstated. That event doesn’t work if there aren’t great local bands who write great original music. That event doesn’t work if there isn’t a loyal audience who braved the frigid air on a Thursday night to see those bands play. And that event doesn’t work if John Healey at the Weinberg Center doesn’t give us the chance to come in and put on a show. We can only hope that this will go down as the first of many, but for now, the most important sentence is this: There’s no way this happens if nobody cared, and as this wonderful local arts community proved, people cared.
2. A shout to the sponsors. Because, duh. Monocacy Brewing and Linagnore Winecellars provided locally bred adult beverages that were sipped up like water in a desert. JoJo’s Tap House and Bushwaller’s were excellent businesses to work with through it all, and hopefully everyone found time to stop at both of those fine establishments at some point throughout the night. And, of course, the great Anthony Owens, as our presenting sponsor, couldn’t have been more gracious and helpful as it all came together. These were the people who believed in us and believed in this event and took a chance on associating themselves with this concert. Our gratitude goes far beyond words.
3. And how about the bands?! So, who else was wondering how Hard Swimmin’ Fish’s blend of old-time blues might sound in an old-time theater? Or, maybe how loud The Knolly Moles could get? Or, how full Heavy Lights could make the Weinberg stage feel? Or, how rockin’ and rollin’ Old Indian might appear in such a grand setting? So many people came up to us through the night as various bands were performing, talking about how much of a difference a great mix can make when consuming live music. “Wow, Old Indian sounds great on this stage!” was one sentence we heard. “Heavy Lights are amazing!” others proclaimed. “It’s so great to see Hard Swimmin’ Fish here, finally!” it was said. “The Knolly Moles are … well … loud!” concertgoers revealed. For us, it was a treat to see these fantastic talents fully realized, all in a local setting. Oh, and that music you heard in the lobby between bands? That was the great Todd C. Walker, who was kind enough to stop by and play some acoustic tunes on the second floor as the bands switched over. Gotta love that guy, right? Right.
4. The Weinberg crew. This one has to be said: All those guys running the operation over there, behind the scenes? Boy, are they good. The sound/stage/lighting/everything crew was a joy to work with on every level. There’s no real good reason they should have been as nice as they were to a group of a-hole-punk-kids (and the respectable grown men of Hard Swimmin’ Fish, of course) coming in to try and put on a show in the city’s most prestigious venue, but, man: Those guys deserve a Medal of Honor for how patient and helpful and kind they were to all of us. Cheers, guys!
5. So, now what? Well, isn’t that a good question. We have a few things in mind that we are working on for the near future, and, believe it or not, it’s already March, which means the festival season will be starting up again soon, so there’s that. But at the end of the day, this is what we say: Events, Schmevents. We are here to help bring this music community together, and while the biggest illustration of that might have come in the form of the Frederick Music Showcase, we still have a responsibility to do our part in keeping the momentum moving forward in Frederick’s music scene. This, of course, cannot be achieved alone. It’s not even a possibility without the help of everyone coming together in the way we all did last Thursday. Sure, it might have been a very nice first step, but at the end of the day, that’s all it is: A first step. There’s still so much left to do to help cultivate these artists and give them a platform to be heard by as many ears as possible, making the world realize that you don’t necessarily have to travel to Baltimore or D.C. or anywhere else, really, to soak up some great original music. Frederick can provide that. Frederick does provide that. OK. Enough preaching. Now check out another video from the Showcase!