Imagine being 16 years old, dying to learn about how to play live music and express yourself through original songs you’ve been working on since you were 12…you’ve gotten your friends together, begged your parents to soundproof the guest room and let you set up a drum kit…you get up early and do homework so that you can rehearse your music after school. You’re a responsible student, with respectful friends who clean up after themselves. Your parents think you’re pretty awesome and want to support your musical endeavor. This all sounds great – so where’s the issue?
Where can you go? A few local venues are stepping up here and there, but it’s a challenge to see a show, much less play a show in Portland. Most of our fantastic local music venues are 21+ only, and it’s completely understandable. A bar makes money by selling alcohol. A bar gets shut down by mishandling an all-ages crowd. The risks of allowing students to see or play live music at a bar are many, which discourage most venues from taking a chance on even the best of our young musicians.
A few venues have stepped up to show their support of our next generation of local artists – S.M.A.R.T. Collective is dedicated to youth shows. Youth Music Project in West Linn teaches classes and hosts all-ages jams, karaoke, and showcases. School of Rock Portland and School of Rock Lake Oswego hold classes, shows, and showcases regularly. But young musicians are desperate for more opportunities to show what they’ve created…enter McMenamins! The White Eagle has graciously offered to host a fantastic event, and are in full enthusiastic support of our first line up of local youth musicians!
I’ve personally attended all-ages concerts at McMenamin’s Mission Theater, Crystal Ballroom, Edgefield, and The White Eagle – they are doing their best to create ways to highlight young artists. The venues are not usually open to students for evening shows, so be sure to double check before planning your evening, of course – as most shows cater to 21+ crowds exclusively. However – we are really impressed, because the White Eagle has really come forward to offer a great opportunity to young musicians at the upcoming Saturday, April 9, Local Youth Music Showcase! With the support of our wonderful local sponsors, we hope to create an ongoing series of events that will prove the value and viability of supporting local youth in music.
Rock signs, fist bumps, and shout outs to all those who have helped in planning this premiere event: Premier Motorsports, Stefanie Fisher Real Estate, Ole Latte, SkateTracks Radio, PDX Spotlight, Vortex Music Magazine, Sounds of PDX, Teri’s Tunes PDX, School of Rock USA, and McMenamins! We are so excited to hear these bands! School of Rock House Band will be joined by 4 Day Moon, Black Sand, Pedestrian Death Gang, Jack Mortensen Music, and Michael Hermes. Come join us for good music, good food, and above all – good friends! Check out the band links for info and some music!
McMenamins White Eagle Local Youth Music Showcase #1 happens this April 9, Saturday 12-2:30, doors at 11:30. Tickets available online at www.cascadetickets.com or at the door. $10 adults, $5 students, and free to age 5 and under – good fun for all!