By Lemmy Thru
I begin this article having never set foot inside Keggers, but I do believe that’ll change soon; I mostly go out because music’s involved, and Keggers’ new 21+ venue, the Lyric Room, is establishing itself as a new live music locale. They book performers every Friday night (with no cover charge) and have an Open Mic Night on Tuesdays. Will Lierbergen, owner and manager, kindly answered a few burning questions.
Scene: Why open a music venue in Green Bay?
Will Liebergen: We wanted to open a micro venue; a place that can be dedicated to music, with its own stage, lights and sound system, where we can create a culture of music.
Scene: What are some of your favorite live music experiences?
WL: My favorite live music experiences are dancing to polka bands at family weddings and reunions. I also recently traveled to Missoula, Montana and experienced the town’s bluegrass and folk music scene. Their focus on great music was very impressive, and inspires me to create something similar here in Green Bay.
Scene: What’s the Lyric Room like?
WL: It’s 22ft x 60ft; a 100-person venue with a full bar, tables and chairs and room to stand or dance in front of the band. It’s connected to Keggers bar, with a common wall and passageway door, so customers can come and go as they please between the two rooms; enjoy the band, or have a change of pace with bar music and chatter.
Scene: How’s the sound?
We utilize Behringer’s new X32 Digital Mixer, Peavey speakers and monitors, Behringer amps, and more. We brought in a dedicated sound team to handle our events.
Scene: Any wild goals or aspirations for the venue?
WL: To build a base of music lovers by hosting live music on Fridays and Tuesdays, though we envision expanding across the entire week. Our goal is to utilize great local talent, and then expand into booking touring and up-and-coming bands that we can draw from surrounding cities.
My main, far-fetched goal is to bring in bands that are just about to hit it big, and have a show with a reasonable ticket price. Let people get up close and personal with a band, and let the artist mingle with the concertgoers. We want to showcase local and traveling talent on a micro and personal level, and I’m excited to meet the bands and music lovers that are going to come here.
Scene: What is your Open Mic scene like?
WL: It’s every Tuesday from 8 p.m. to close, hosted by Nick Vieth from the band Just a Messenger, and it’s off to a great start. We’re beginning to build a compliment of instruments as we build the night: guitar, drums, keyboard, etc. We’ve had great performers and the most fun is when they play and sing together. I personally work the bar during Open Mic to interact and thank performers, who get a free drink. Just a couple simple rules: 1) Please, no heckling. 2) 10 minutes per act, though that can be flexible. 3) No confetti. 4) No fire. We’ll go from there.
Scene: How can local musicians get booked at the Lyric Room?
WL: At LyricRoomGreenBay.com we have our calendar, contact information, venue and sound specifics, and what bands need to do to get in touch with us. We have an in-house Event Manager, Jessica, at 920-884-1159 and LyricRoomGreenBay@Gmail.com. We’re booking up our schedule as we speak and would love for bands to contact us! Please e-mail us with information about your band, links to your web pages or social media sites and include anything that will help us see what your band is all about: songs, promotional materials, pictures, etc. Lyric Room’s address is 231 N. Broadway.
Wouldn’t you know it, after writing the first part of this, I had a chance to catch some bands at the Lyric Room. On the bill that night were two Green Bay bands: Harvey Brown and BonZai McPherson. Very different from each other, although Harvey Brown is pretty different from almost any band around here.
I was glad to finally catch these guys; I’d listened to some songs they have online and definitely wanted to see them pull it off live. They were on early, about 8:45 p.m., and you have to credit a band who can jump onto a cold stage and make sparks. Between the beats, bass work and trebly guitar they sometimes hit these cool Minutemen-like moments. The dual hip-hop vocals were catchy and right-on; way more Beasties-influenced than 311, thankfully. I couldn’t stay for the whole set, but a friend of mine said their last song reminded him (in a good way) of Rage Against the Machine.
Looking forward to seeing a whole set from them, though I wouldn’t mind if they left that cat-pee stankin’ rug at home next time. Reverbnation.com/HarveyBrown
I unfortunately missed all of BonZai’s set that night, but having seen them play countless times. I can confidently give them a good review regardless. These dudes genuinely put the time in. How many bands can play a 4-hour set of original songs? They do sprinkle in some quality covers, though, i.e. “Loving Cup” by the Rolling Stones. BonZai is a 5-piece rock n’ roll band; each musician brings as much talent as the next. The only drawback to their constant rehearsal is the – as I write this – complete lack of an online show schedule. Get ‘er together, McPherson! Reverbnation.com/BonZaiMcPherson
Bonus Review: Ashley Enderby at the White Dog
I love when the White Dog has live music, so I’m pretty game to check out anyone they have playing there. I’d met Ashley, but didn’t know she played and definitely didn’t know she played what she played, which turned out to be some really nice pop-country songs. Seriously, the Meyer Theatre would be wise to book her to open for one of their Nashville nights; maybe for Green Bay native Benjamin Olson? I try not to judge a band by its covers, but Ashley played Shania Twain and Dixie Chicks songs (not the hits) that went great with her originals. Wonderful voice and I swear some of the bikers at the bar were moved. Have a listen, she’s got a handful of clips on YouTube. YouTube.com/AiME4Greatness. ν
Are you a local musician? Need help booking shows? Want to be reviewed or interviewed? Contact LemmyThru@gmail.com. DIY rule #1: it never hurts to ask.