SKyPAC series to target local artists, younger audience

Chris Rutledge

Bowling Green senior Landon White was waiting tables at Montana Grille when he noticed two people walk in dressed in Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC) shirts. White, a corporate and organizational communication major, had some ideas for the venue, so when the two unsuspecting visitors ordered their food, he delivered a pitch.

White, now a programming associate at SKyPAC, told the employees about his idea for a concert series that would focus on the local music scene and would aim to draw a younger demographic to SKyPAC.

The series, “Music in the Studio,” will kick off Saturday night with local rockers Canago.

White said the idea came from his frustration with the lack of music venues for people under 21, and he hopes SKyPAC can bring the music away from the “bar scene.”

“Everybody always complains around here about not having anything to do during the weekend,” he said. “The 18 to 20 year olds, which is probably the biggest part of the people that live in Bowling Green during the school semesters, don’t have anything to do — they can’t go to Tidball’s. There’s relatively no place to go to see live music, and this is a music town.”

Canago will be the first band to perform in the Studio Theater at SKyPAC and the second act to play at the center since its opening last weekend.

White said picking Canago to open the series was a deliberate decision.

“I felt like Canago was a band I can rely on and trust,” he said. “They get a crowd dancing every time. I really feel like they are the band of the youth here in Bowling Green.”

The Canago members are just as excited about playing as White is about having them. The band has been taking time off since December to work on new material.

Vocalist Craig Brown said “Music in the Studio” will be the biggest show the band has played in 2012. To celebrate, the band is debuting some of the new material and inviting some special guests to play.

Brown said fans of the band might be surprised at how different some of the new material is.

“We’re writing the songs that we want to write now and writing for a more patient audience who’s willing to listen to lyrics and get involved in a story,” he said. “We’ve even revamped a lot of our older material, so even some of our older songs have a new feel to them.”

The music isn’t the only thing getting revamped.

“Brandon Fish, our lighting director, has added a lot of new LEDs,” Brown said. “We’re going to be doing some maybe one-time unique aesthetic stuff.”

Drummer Chris Smith said he expects a big crowd for the opening.

“We’ve had a very good response on Facebook,” he said. “I’d be surprised if there weren’t 300 or more people there.”

White said he wants the opening night to be as unique as possible, so he invited local artist Stephen Wells to paint during the show.

“I want this to be a celebration of having this offered for the local community,” he said.

Future “Music in the Studio” shows include Lost River Cavemen on March 31, Austin Webb on April 14, and another band to be announced for May 5.

White said he needs a summer internship to graduate and will no longer be involved in the series after May, but he hopes it continues.

Doors open at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30 p.m. There is a $5 cover charge for anyone over 21 and a $7 charge for those 18-20. Visitors can park on the street or in the parking garage next door, and drinks will be served at the venue.
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