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in performance: saturday at forecastle 2018

Margo Price, the new Queen of Forecastle, performing this afternoon at Waterfront Park in Louisville. Herald-Leader staff photo by Alex Slitz.

LOUISVILLE – Kentucky native Chris Stapleton was the headliner. But this typically diverse Saturday at Forecastle belonged to a pair of hearty country upstarts – Margo Price and Brent Cobb. At temperatures swelled to 94 before much of the music even started,  the day eventually gave to very welcome cloud cover, a minimalist symphony, a hip hop celebration and the arrival, 40 minutes late, of the guest of honor.

Here is how this summer Saturday at Forecastle played out.

10:51 p.m.: Chris Stapleton. Here we hit the day’s only snag – a 40 minute delay due to “technical difficulties.” That didn’t detract from Kentucky native Stapleton’s rustic country allure, though. His electric works, like the show-opening “Midnight Train to Memphis,” possessed a dark, swampy atmosphere that the scratchier recesses of Stapleton’s singing brought to ominous life. Other tunes, like the bluesier “Nobody to Blame” or the more raggedly country “Hard Livin’,” were performed with a more sobering and soulful accent.

9:40 p.m.: The War on Drugs. If you didn’t see everything playing out onstage, you would have sworn a recording was slipped on the sound system as The War on Drugs played. Its music, all cleanly arranged with ample spaciousness, had the sheen of a studio album. Never was that more noticeable than when guitarist/vocalist Adam Granduciel led the Philadelphia band through “Lost in the Dream,” a work that deconstructed the ensemble’s electric preferences for largely acoustic orchestration.

9:17 p.m.: T-Pain. Want to know how extreme a culture shock can be? Try strolling from a stage where the Forecastle Orchestra was in the home stretch of its Terry Riley bliss out to the Ocean Stage where rap colossus T-Pain introduced himself with two extra-long expletives. His set, a mixture of live rapping, disposable singing and a quilt of DJ-moderated sonic stock footage, was a technical mess. But the audience went nuts over resulting tunes like “Can’t Believe It” and “I’m Sprung.”

8:45 p.m.: Forecastle Symphony. With Louisville Orchestra conductor/music director Teddy Abrams choosing to become part of the ensemble fabric by playing clarinet, this performance of Terry Riley’s still-fascinating minimalist composition “In C” was spellbinding. The orchestra’s cyclical patterns of mallet percussion, winds and strings proved the ultimate chill station for weary festival goers. Most sat on the ground as they watched, some even laid flat and let the intoxicating, textured sounds wash over them.

8:12 p.m.: Houndmouth. With its hometown of New Albany sitting across the river – and, in essence serving as a stage backdrop – a realigned Houndmouth made its case for pop stardom. With vocalist/keyboardist Katie Toupin gone but a new instrumental makeup at work that included dual saxophonists, the band stepped forever into the pop landscape with “Golden Age” (the title tune to a new album due out in August) and “Strange Love.” But older fare like “Say It” and “Hey Rose” produced a more nuanced and natural pop voice.

7:20 p.m.: Jenny Lewis. With the evening came relief by way of suddenly overcast skies, a semblance of a breeze and a wonderful pop sampler of a set from Jenny Lewis. Capable of cruising with the woozy reflection of “Happy” (from her 2005 collaborative album with the Louisville reared Watson Twins), tripping back to her days with Rilo Kiley for 2004’s “sadly still relevant” “Portions for Foxes” and returning to the crisply defiant 2014 gem “She’s Not Me,” Lewis proved she is still a daring pop voyager.

6:37 p.m.: Jimmy Eat World. In contrast to most of the acts on the four stage Forecastle roster, Jimmy Eat World was something of a pop elder. But with three of its founding members still on board, including the very amiable Jim Adkins on vocals, little has changed with this Arizona combo. Its devotion to rock solid pop melody was still as solid as its tireless performance spirit. That explains why band staples like “Sweetness” and “The Middle” sounded as bright and appealing as when they were hits 17 years ago.

5:30 p.m.: Margo Price. It took about half of the show-opening “Don’t Say It” for Price’s vocals to pop up in the sound mix. That qualified as a serious infraction, given the effortless tone, force and country zeal this Nashville renegade summoned as the set progressed. From the Nashville rebuke of “Cocaine Cowboys” (one of two songs that sent Price to the drum kit to detonate a jam) to the Kentucky themed charge within a cover of Guy Clark’s “New Cut Road,” Price earned rights to be crowned the new Queen of Forecastle.

4:40 p.m.: Pvris: Pronounced “Paris,” this very nocturnal sounding, clad-in-black troupe possessed neat, though somewhat static pop orchestration that recalled several post New Wave acts from the ‘80s. Lead vocalist Lynn Gunn served as a much as cheerleader as band chieftain, and certainly those near the front of the Boom stage responded enthusiastically to tunes like “You and I.” Everyone else seemed more modestly invested in this afternoon dose of midnight.

4:13 p.m.: Hiss Golden Messenger. This North Carolina collective fronted by MC Taylor often operates from a poetic, folkish foundation. On the Boom stage, though, it became contemplatively electric with tunes like “Call Him Daylight” and “I’m a Raven (Shake Children)” that worked off a front line of three electric guitarists that often sounded like an ambiently inclined Dire Straits. Taylor seldom sang above a grumble, making vocals serve as little more than another color in the band’s sonic fabric.

3:35 p.m: The Spencer Lee Band. And just like that, the ceiling caved in. Kansas-born song stylist Lee led off the lineup on the primary Mast stage with a pop-soul band augmented by brass but also a self-involved stage and vocal presence. The mood nicely cooled for the candid and patiently paced “River Water.” Then came something called “Best Sex,” which was as sophomoric and pretentious as its title suggested.

3:02 p.m.: Brent Cobb. Forecastle’s secondary Boom stage got underway with an expert set by this unassuming South Georgia songsmith and compositions that blended an authentic sense of country songwriting, albeit with a few unexpected twists (like the sly “Down in the Gulley,” where a grandfather’s pump house is mistakenly raided for being a moonshine distillery) and a sleek sense of Southern soul (suggested within the Little Feat-meets-Sturgill Simpson charm of “When the Dust Settles”). A fine kickoff.

grammy post mortem 2018

U2 performing by the Hudson River during last night’s Grammy Awards telecast. Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images.

The young celebs dressed up and relished stardom, but with U2 singing on the Hudson, Emmylou Harris eulogizing Tom Petty with Chris Stapleton and Patti LuPone again showing Broadway who’s boss, last night Grammy Awards ceremony largely belonged to the vets.

Our annual Grammy post mortem focuses, with only a few exceptions, on the broadcast’s parade of live performances. Frankly, outside of Stapleton’s win for Best Country Album, none of the actual awards really mattered. Here’s what I experienced from the couch:

+ Kendrick Lamar: The show opening “XXX” sported a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by U2 and askew commentary by Dave Chappelle for an unsettling snapshot of the times. Far more moving, though, was Lamar’s acceptance speech later in the program for winning Best Rap Album – a gleeful acknowledgement of inspiration over material reward.

+ Lady Gaga: A stoic, sobering reading of “Joanne” and “Million Reasons” with producer/guitarist Mark Ronson as prime accompanist.

+ Tony Bennett and John Legend: From the presenters’ podium, the cross generational singers celebrated with a verse of “New York, New York” before presenting Best Rap/Sung performance to Lamar and Rihanna for “Loyalty.”

+ Little Big Town: The Taylor Swift-penned “Better Man” is a fairly routine country-pop confection, but vocalist Karen Fairchild made the tune her own.

+ Best New Artist: Alessia Cara won out of the dullest pack of nominees for this category in decades.

+ Jon Batiste and Gary Clark Jr.: The duo gave the Grammys some serious schooling in the essentials by honoring Fats Domino and Chuck Berry in a medley of “Ain’t That a Shame” and “Maybellene

+ Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee: The monster Latin hit “Despacito” became a dance party bathed in pink and blue neon. Bored me silly, but fans that streamed the song 10 million times last year undoubtedly hold a different opinion.

+ Childish Gambino: The hit “Terrified” worked nicely as a slice of after hours R&B led by Gambino and JD McCrary doing battle in the vocal stratosphere.

+ Pink: A simple, dressed-down delivery of “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” that properly placed the operatic clarity of Pink’s singing front and center.

+ James Corden, Sting and Shaggy: The three teamed for a New York version of Car Pool Karaoke only to be ridiculed by everyone in the subway. “Whose stupid idea was this?” muttered Sting, eyeing Grammy host Corden. Hysterical.

+ Bruno Mars and Cardi B: Pity anyone who shares the stage with the tireless Mr. Mars. All the finesse in this athletic take on “Finesse” belonged to him alone.

+ Sting and Shaggy: A reggae-fied “Englishman in New York” nicely celebrated the Grammys’ return to the Big Apple with Shaggy’s “Don’t Make Me Wait” as a somewhat ragged bonus.

+ Rihanna, DJ Khaled, Bryson Tiller: In presenting the generic party piece “Wild Thoughts,” DJ Khaled proved himself the most intrusive and disposable performer of the night.

+ Best Country Album: Chris Stapleton’s “From a Room, Vol. 1” was the only sensible choice, but that didn’t mean the Grammys could have muffed it and awarded Kenny Chesney instead. To everyone’s great fortune, that didn’t happen. Kentucky country ruled.

+ Maren Morris, Eric Church and Brothers Osborne: A country alliance paying tribute to those who died in concert shootings/bombings in Las Vegas and Manchester. Very well intentioned, but the vocal blend was a train wreck. So this is what Nashville sounds like without autotuning? Yikes.

+ Kesha: An affirmation of identity and independence laced with thunderous retribution, “Praying” was brought to potent, elegiac life with the sisterly help of an all-star chorus.

+ U2 : Performing “Get Out of Your Own Way” by the Hudson River with the Statue of Liberty towering over them, the Irish band, bundled in winter garb like they were 35 years ago for the “New Year’s Day” video, championed the Dreamers. Still relevant after all these years.

+ Elton John and Miley Cyrus: A gruff, cross generational performance of one of Sir Elton’s greatest works, “Tiny Dancer.” Serviceable.

+ Patti LuPone: Here’s your freakin’ Grammy moment – LuPone, at 68, belting out “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” with a vigor, grace and drama that should have dropped the jaws of every other performer at Madison Square Garden last night. Poor Ben Platt. The “Dear Evan Hansen” star’s take on “Somewhere,” the first part of a Broadway tribute, was dwarfed.

+ Sza: Not getting it. A perfunctory performance of “Broken Clocks,” which was already an unremarkable pop-soul exercise to begin with.

+ Record of the Year: Bruno Mars for ‘24 K Magic.’ We’re now three hours into the ceremony, so forgive me for being underwhelmed.

+ Chris Stapleton and Emmylou Harris: Two solid-as-oak country spirits singing Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” to preface the “In Memoriam” tribute. Two guitars, two voices. Nothing else needed.

+ Logic: His suicide prevention prayer “1-800-273-8255” came out of “In Memoriam” as a photo of Chester Bennington loomed over a stark stage. Point made.

+ Album of the Year: Bruno Mars again for ‘24 K Magic.’ A gracious acceptance, a powerhouse artist, a big so-what of a win. And at three hours and 34 minutes, that’s a wrap.

summer’s coming: forecastle announces initial 2018 lineup

What better way to inject some warmth into the teen temps of a winter day than to dream of summer. This morning’s announcement of the preliminary lineup for the 2018 Forecastle lineup did just that with Chris Stapleton, Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse headlining the charge.

Forecastle has always offered an impressive and diverse make-up of music through the years, one that often gets augmented by announcements of appealing support acts in the months leading up to the festival (which, this summer, runs July 13 through 15). But it’s tough to recall a lineup that was this strong right out of the starting gate.

Sure, many of the artists have extensive performance histories in Louisville – including Kentucky country/soul traditionalist Chris Stapleton (who played a show on Forecastle’s stomping ground at Waterfront Park last fall) and Arcade Fire (who played there in 2007, ironically with one of last year’s Forecastle headliners, LCD Soundsystem, as an opener). But when the first name on the bill after the row of headliners is Jason Isbell (who played the Louisville Palace as recently as December), you know your roster is packing dynamite.

Scan just a little further and you will find country upstart Margo Price (who plays a sold out show of her own on Saturday at Headliners Music Hall). Then you have Forecastle returnees like The War on Drugs, Jenny Lewis and Louisville’s own Houndmouth fortifying the fun.

Outside of the Louisville connections, it will be interesting to see (especially since the actual performance schedule hasn’t been released) if two pairs of acts that have collaborated on past projects will cross paths during their Forecastle stays. Specifically, we’re referring to Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, who released the way cool duo album “Lotta Sea Lice” in October, along with Punch Brothers and I’m With Her, the progressive string troupes that spent last summer together on the American Acoustic tour.

Add in T-Pain, Father John Misty, Lucero, (Dan) Tyminski and about three dozen other already confirmed acts and you have the makings of one of the hottest Forecastles ever. That new alone should add a little July to your January.

Tickets go on sale for Forecastle at 10 a.m. Jan. 19 through ticketmaster.com and forecastlefest.com.

 

foo fighters postpone tonight’s rupp concert

Tonight’s Foo Fighters concert has been rescheduled to May 1, 2018 due to a family emergency.

Looks like downtown is going to be considerably quieter tonight than originally planned. The Foo Fighters concert, scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. has been postponed due to what the band has called a family emergency. A reschedule performance date of May 1 has been confirmed.

A press release issued this afternoon said, “The band sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience and looks forward to returning to rock Lexington in May.”

This was to have been Foo Fighters’ first Rupp concert in over 17 years. Tickets for tonight’s show will be honored on the rescheduled date. Those unable to attend on May 1 can get a ticket refund at point of purchase.

While no other details were given for the sudden rescheduling, Foo Fighters performed as planned last night at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati. No additional cancellations or rescheduled dates have been listed on their website.

For additional ticketing questions, call the Rupp box office at 859-233-3535 or TicketMaster at 800-745-3000.

in performance: forecastle saturday 2017

Greetings from Louisville. We were stationed at Forecastle through the evening hours on Saturday covering all the sounds abounding throughout Waterfront Park on the festival’s second day. Here is what we experienced.

james murphy of lcd soundsystem closes forecastle’s saturday bill.

9:59 p.m.: “You wanted a hit,” sang James Murphy as LCD Soundsystem dug into the evening dance party. “Maybe we don’t do hits.” Well, maybe they don’t. But Forecastle’s Saturday closer still offered a familiar groove sound built around a fascinating mix of programmed beats, analog synths, percussion and the wild range of Murphy’s potent vocals. With Nancy Whang still adding to the synth orchestration from centerstage, tunes like the set-opening “Yr City’s a Sucker” and the quirkily animated “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” emerged as densely arranged electronic rock pieces that heavily recalled the early ‘80s music of Roxy Music, Talking Heads, Devo and, in Murphy’s vocals, The Cure. But hits or no hits, the ensemble’s resulting music sounded proudly modern.

8:46 p.m.: As the temps cooled with the sunset on Forecastle Saturday, so did the music. The electronic drenched works of the New York collective Phantogram colored the twilight with a discreetly lush set of soundscapes. This wasn’t the usual push-button dance party, but a hybrid where founding members Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter added live vocals and guitar, respectively, to the heavily synthesized backdrops of “Destroyer” and “Answer.” Barthel’s singing was employed as a moodpiece device, a breathy though thin addition that worked best during the more overtly pop propulsion of “Cruel World” and the self-described “dance hit” groove of “Calling All.”

sturgill simpson, guitar hero.

7:55 p.m. – Meet Sturgill Simpson, guitar hero. By jettisoning the horn section that backed him onstage following the release of last year’s “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” album and trimming what remained of his band to a lean quartet, the Kentucky country renegade opened his evening set with a reading of “Brace for Impact (Live a Little)” that roared on for 10 minutes, over half of which was devoted to long, winding guitar jams Simpson played over a thick, deliberate Southern groove. After that, the performance wound its way through psychedelic blues (“It Ain’t All Flowers”), Merle Haggard-level country reflection (“Breakers Roar”), a quietly ambient meditation that ignited into hotwired, churchy soul (“Welcome to Earth”) and a Prince-worthy guitar grind that opened out into a potent cover of the blues/boogie chestnut “Going Down.” All in all, a typically mighty and wonderfully combustible Simpson outing.

nathaniel rateliff convened an early evening soul revival.

5:50 p.m. – “Bow your heads and buckle your knees.” That was the request of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats as the young rock/soul brigade dedicated “Boil and Fight” to the late Chuck Berry, right down to the tune’s joyous riff that recalled the rock forefather’s classic “Memphis.” What defined this vibrant set wasn’t so much the traditional charm it possessed, but the tired soul revue sentiment it avoided. Buoyed by a guitar sound and vocal lead that were both beautifully ragged, songs like the new “Coolin’ Out” and the comparatively vintage “Howling at Nothing” lavished naturally within honest rock and soul smarts.

5:14 p.m. – The afternoon’s big mash-up came courtesy of K-Flay, the Illinois songstress whose set blended dour pop musings with strong colors of electronica. “It’s Strange,” her 2015 collaboration with Louis the Child, was draped in synths and rhythmic loops while “High Enough” was served as a full blown, dance savvy pop confection. An interesting mix, even though K-Flay’s voice was nowhere near as arresting or distinctive as her onstage attitude.

j.d. mcpherson proved to be an early saturday highlight.

4:10 p.m. – Forecastle officially kicked into high gear with a typically rocking set by J.D. McPherson. The Oklahoma singer/guitarist again operated from a largely traditional playbook of retro-inclined pop, soul, blues and roots rock inspirations kicked off by the swirling guitar riff of “Bossy” before bowing to the merry sax drive of “Northside Gal,” the tremolo-boosted ‘50s flavor of “It Shook Me Up” and the freeflowing vintage pop flow of the new “Desperate Love.” The bar for the day has now been set.

3:21 p.m. – In a fit of performance irony, the Portland based Closner sisters Natalie, Allison and Meegan – collectively known as Joseph – let their opening tune, “Stay Awake,” emerge from a blast of fuzzed out bass. From there, layers of ambient-inclined folk morphed into the indie power pop charge of “Canyon” and “S.O.S. (Overboard).” Appealing harmonies, impressive performance zeal but pretty standardized material.

lucy dacus opening the mast stage saturday afternoon at forecastle. all herald-leader staff photos by rich copley.

2:57 p.m. –Virginia songsmith Lucy Dacus kicked off the music on the Mast Stage, the largest of Forecastle’s four performance areas, with a moody, atmospheric set full of often vulnerably inclined pop (“Map on a Wall”) that often reflected the very inward nature of her singing. Even with such afternoon reserve, it was nice to hear the guitars rev up to match the polite angst of “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore.”

 

vandaveer to be featured on new ringo starr album

ringo starr’s “give more love,” which features two songs with vandaveer, will be released in september.

Ringo and… Vandaveer?

Believe it. Among the many star guests featured on Ringo Starr’s upcoming “Give More Love” album will be the Lexington/Louisville folk/pop troupe Vandaveer. Mark Charles Heidinger (on vocals, guitar and bass), Rose Guerin (vocals), J. Tom Hnatow (resonator and electric guitars) and Robby Cosenza (drums) are featured on two of the album’s four bonus tracks, which are remakes of two Starr classics – the 1973 solo career-defining hit “Photograph” and 1968’s “Don’t Pass Me By,” originally cut for The Beatles’ self-titled 1968 album (“The White Album”). Lexington studio pro Duane Lundy produced and engineered both songs.

Vandaveer performed the same tunes at Starr’s annual Peace and Love event last year in front of the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood.

Details of the recording were announced earlier today, Starr’s 77th birthday.

“Exactly one year ago, Rosie, Tom, Robby and I jetted out to LA to help Ringo celebrate his birthday,” Heidinger posted on Facebook this afternoon. “And today, this was just announced. Still can’t quite compute.”

“Give More Love” will be released in CD and digital formats on Sept. 15. A vinyl edition will follow on Sept. 15.

 

u2 adds june 16 date in louisville to ‘joshua tree tour’

u2: larry mullen jr., adam clayton, the edge and bono. photo by anton corbijn.

Just when it looked like U2’s stadium-only Joshua Tree Tour was going to bypass the region completely this summer, word has been confirmed of a Louisville visit. The framed Irish band has just announced a June 16 date at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. OneRepublic will open.

Tickets will go at 10 a.m. Feb. 3 through livenation.com. Prices range from $35 to $280.

The performance marks U2’s first Kentucky performance since a Derby Eve concert at Rupp Arena in 2001. As the tour name suggests, the band’s summer trek will celebrate the 30th anniversary of what remains it best-selling album, “The Joshua Tree.” Over 1.1 million tickets have already been sold for the tour.

“The Joshua Tree” has sold an estimated 25 million copies, yielded several career defining hits including “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” A 1987 tour for the album brought U2 to Rupp for the time that October.

While U2 has seldom played the region outside of its Rupp concerts, the band made its Kentucky debut at Louisville Gardens in 1981 as an opening act for the J. Geils Band.

Showtime for the June 12 stadium show will be 6:30. For more information, go to www.u2.com.

jason isbell to play eku center on april 21

jason isbell.

Need another reason to think spring during the dead of winter? How about the announcement of a concert by Jason Isbell? The Grammy winning Americana celeb will perform on Friday, April 21 at the EKU Center for the Arts in Richmond.

Isbell’s profile as a songwriter, guitarist, vocalist and bandleader has grown steadily over the past decade. It began after the release of 2006’s “A Blessing and a Curse,” his final recording as a member of the celebrated Georgia rock troupe Drive-By Truckers. Isbell’s solo career has largely been played out in front of Lexington audiences since then.

Following the release of his 2007 debut album, “Sirens of the Ditch,” Isbell played an in-store set at CD Central followed by a headlining show at the now-demolished Dame location on Main. That and the now-defunct Buster’s on Manchester would remain near annual touring stops for Isbell up through the release of 2014’s “Southeastern.”

Isbell moved over the Singletary Center for the Arts in June 2015 for a surprise appearance alongside wife and fellow Americana stylist Amanda Shires, who was opening a sold out performance for John Prine. That set the stage for the summer release of Isbell’s Grammy winning “Something More Than Free” in July and a Rupp Arena appearance as show opener for the Avett Brothers that September.

From my review of the Rupp concert: “As his set headed for home, Isbell stepped out on guitar for extended solos during Never Gonna Change and the uproarious snapshot of past life decadence Super 8. The resulting music possessed the swagger and electricity of vintage Tom Petty but ultimately rocked with a confidence Isbell could clearly call his own.”

Pre-sale tickets for the Friends of the EKU Center begin at 11 a.m. Jan. 24. Public sales start at 11 a.m. Jan. 27. Tickets are $30-$65 through Etix at 800-514-3849 and www.ekucenter.com. Showtime for the April 21 performance will be 7:30 p.m.

the first wave of forecastle 2017

james murphy, chieftain of forecastle co-headliner lcd soundsystem.

james murphy, chieftain of forecastle co-headliner lcd soundsystem.

Start thinking summer, people. The 15th Forecastle festival in Louisville has just announced its “first wave” of acts for next year, a roster that includes Brooklyn dance rock/electronica troupe LCD Soundsystem, pop stylists Weezer and the electro pop duo Odesza.

Want more? Then plan on sets by Bowling Green-bred rock renegades Cage the Elephant, British pop-punk experimentalist PJ Harvey, soul/Americana sensations Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats, roots rock champion JD McPherson, veteran soul/funk brigade Charles Bradley and the Extraordinaires, Christian rockers Needtobreathe, rock/folk/Americana favorite Conor Oberst and Louisville’s own Twin Limb.

Forecastle will run July 14-16, 2017 at downtown Louisville’s 85 acre Waterfront Park. General admission weekend passes are on sale, just in time for holiday shopping needs, at $149.50 excluding ticketing fees. For more ordering information, go to forecastlefest.com.

Further performance bookings, schedules and single day ticket sales will be announced early in 2017.

cosmic charlie’s re-opens

cosmic-charlies-10Strike up the band. Actually, strike up several of them. Cosmic Charlie’s, the self-described “funky music club” has completed its move to a new neighborhood. The venue officially opens for business in its new location at 723 National Ave. on Thursday and will resume its regular schedule of live music this weekend.

“We’re still going to have a lot of the same format, a lot of jam bands, bluegrass on Sundays, things like that,” said co-owner and talent buyer Mark Evans. “I’m more of a rock ‘n’ roll fan, personally. So this time I’m going to try and do more stuff that I’m interested in, as well. I was just selling what was selling before, trying to cater to the neighborhood, because that’s who was coming. But that was never our goal.”

The “neighborhood,” as in the one they vacated earlier this fall, favored the student population of the University of Kentucky. The venue opened in 2009 in University Plaza at the corner Woodland and Euclid in the same space that housed the popular Lynagh’s Music Club during the 1990s.

“We had been open at Woodland Avenue for seven years,” Evans said. “Our lease was coming to a close and we were ready to move on from that location. So at the beginning of the summer we decided to start shopping.”

The move to National Ave. places the new Cosmic Charlie’s the heart of Warehouse Block, one of the more recent Lexington neighborhoods experiencing a retail and residential renaissance.

“Now that we’re in a neighborhood with families and a more mature audience, I hope to present a wider array of genres at the club,” Evans said.

The new Cosmic Charlie’s first live music performance with be a Friday tribute show to the Pixies and Weezer as performed by Halloweezer and Brenda. Saturday brings in Louisville jam band Vessel with Fatbox. A pair of 25th anniversary shows by local Grateful Dead cover band Born Cross Eyed is scheduled for next weekend (Dec. 9-10). For a full schedule of confirmed Cosmic Charlie’s shows, go to cosmic-charlies.com.

 

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