POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2011:
Memorial Rocks On
Local clubs team up to jumpstart the fall with Axis Rocks Memorial
It's no secret that our local music scene has been struggling as of late. Sure, there are a few clubs that continue to pack people in week after week, but many who support local original music have to weather the ups and (more often) downs of the local scene and economy. That's why a pair of like-minded clubs decided to pair up to put on a show and create their own buzz.
Back in July, Sunshine from Axis Entertainment got a call looking for some help in putting an event together. At the time, it was Ole Memorial Lounge and Lt. Dan's that approached Sunshine about helping them plan the evening.
"Basically, they got together and came to me because they wanted to do something to revive the scene. They wanted to do something to infuse some excitement into the local scene and boost a couple of smaller venues that consistently book good music."
As the head of Axis Entertainment and the person who planned the local stage at Rocklahoma this year, Sunshine fit the bill and knew the clubs' demographic, putting together a six band lineup that should pack out both clubs this Saturday night, Oct. 1. Unfortunately, Lt. Dan's closed about a month ago and Bobbisox stepped up to fill the vacancy. Although Lt. Dan's recently reopened, event organizers decided to keep the show at Ole Memorial Lounge and Bobbisox in order to avoid any confusion that might be caused by yet another change in venues.
This weekend's Axis Rocks Memorial event put together a highlight reel of all of Tulsa's best hard rock bands for a full evening of music. Four of the evening's stars (Tiranico, Searching for Sanity, Chuk Cooley & the Demon Hammers and Firstryke) were all nominees for best hard rock act in this year's ABoT Music Awards. The two additional acts, Two Fold (from Oklahoma City) and Fist of Raqe have also been building a buzz within their scene, making this a local all-star show for anyone who's either a fan of hard rock or wants to find out who our hottest hard rock bands are.
This isn't just a two club show to make people jockey back and forth, however. In order to make the evening more convenient and keep people entertained, Axis Entertainment secured sponsorship that will run the Party Time Express shuttle between the two venues between 10pm and 1am. A $10 cover includes entry to both clubs and shuttle service between the two, as well as a free shot from sponsors Jaegermeister, Clear 10 Vodka and Blu Energy Drink on each ride back and forth.
Music starts at 9:30pm with Two Fold kicking things off at Ole Memorial Lounge with a 45 minute set. The Bobbisox lineup then gets underway at 10pm with Searching for Sanity, a band that also recently opened for Drowning Pool at Cain's Ballroom. The lineup then alternates with Tiranico at Ole Memorial at 10:30pm, Chuk Cooley & the Demon Hammers at Bobbisox at 11pm and Fist of Rage at Ole Memorial at 11:30pm. The evening wraps up with 2011 ABoT award winner for best hard rock band, Firstryke, at midnight on the Bobbisox stage.
According to Sunshine "We thought 'What are the reasons people leave a club?' It's usually either to eat or go see another band. We feel like we've alleviated those issues by providing two venues with six bands and even provided a shuttle service. There's even food on hand as The Doghouse will be set up outside of Ole Memorial Lounge and we've got drink specials from our sponsors at both venues all night long."
Although this is a hard rock lineup and both venues welcome such bands, neither is strictly a hard rock venue. Bobbisox hosts everything from rock to rockabilly and even hosts an acoustic evening on Wednesday nights. Likewise, Ole Memorial Lounge entertains all genres except rap and hip hop, hosting a variety of rock and blues acts.
Together, the two clubs are forward thinking enough to lock arms in an effort to help revive the music scene as a whole instead of worrying only about their own business.
For that alone, they should be congratulated and encouraged: it's a move in the right direction and one that the bands as well as other businesses can learn from. And this weekend, it's a move that local hard rock fans can all benefit from. Doors open at 9pm and music starts at 9:30pm, so arrive early. Cover is only $10 at the door, but you have to be 21 or over, and the first 50 people receive gift bags with promotional items from the sponsors and bands.
In case you haven't heard, this is also one heck of a weekend for Jazz fans. First up is the arrival of iconic trumpet player Wynton Marsalis with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Sept. 29. Although Marsalis started out as a jazz purist, over the years he has crossed genres, most recently pairing with the likes of Willie Nelson, Norah Jones and Eric Clapton. Tickets are still available and range for $30-$60 for an unforgettable night of music.
On Friday night, Sept. 30, Tulsa native Cecil McBee headlines the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Born in Tulsa in 1935, McBee moved to Detroit in 1962 to become part of that city's growing jazz scene. Since then, he's toured the world and played with jazz artists as renowned as Andrew Hill, Wayne Shorter, Pharoah Sanders, Charles Tolliver and Lonnie Liston Smith. McBee has been one of the most versatile bassists in post-bop jazz with a career that is entering its 6th decade. This weekend's show is even more important as he returns home for a show at the PAC's Chapman Music Hall with tickets ranging from $9 to $39.
The fall schedule continues to stay full in our local clubs and major venues around town as our local bands are feeling revived and numerous fall tours are now getting underway. We won't even touch on the State Fair lineup here, as we've covered it elsewhere, but we've still got plenty of highlights to keep in mind over the coming week.
• Thursday, Sept. 29 -- We can't recommend Wynton Marsalis at the BAPAC highly enough, but we also know that everyone has different tastes. If you're a modern country fan, you won't want to miss Jamey Johnson at Cain's Ballroom with Wayne Mills opening for a night of great country tunes and killer guitar.
• Friday, Sept. 30 -- Pop songwriter Kevin Devine headlines at The Marquee and The Beach Boys play a sold out show at The Joint. Meanwhile, Tim Casey has started to build his own following and a small buzz with his weekly gig at George's Pub in Jenks. The night's two hottest local shows, however, are Taddy Porter with Pilgrim and RL Jones at Fassler Hall and Brandon Clark Band's CD release party at Mercury Lounge with Philip Zoellner Band opening.
• Saturday, Oct. 1 -- Red Dirt Rangers headline Cain's Ballroom for a show that has a $75 ticket with all proceeds benefitting Grace Hospice. Other highlights of the evening include Steve Pryor at The Colony and Dustin & Jesse's Higher Education at Hunt Club. Of course, you can't forget the aforementioned Axis Rocks memorial show at Ole Memorial Lounge and Bobbisox for the hard rock crowd.
• Sunday, Oct. 2 -- Sundays are always good for relaxing with a standing gig and this week you can choose from songwriter's night at CJ Moloney's with Dan Crossland, Paul Benjaman and Friends at The Colony or Brandon Clark (acoustic) at Mercury Lounge.
• Monday, Oct. 3 -- Cut/Copy is the week's big show at Cain's Ballroom with Washed Out and Midnight Magic opening the show. Afterwards, stop by Soundpony to catch Guardant with El Paso Hot Button and 400 Blows
• Tuesday, Oct. 4 -- The week's highlights wrap up with Buckethead and Lynx at Cain's Ballroom for the guitar hero crowd and Boz Scaggs with Michael McDonald at The Joint for the classic rock bunch.
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