Canago helps introduce Bowling Green to SKyPAC

Canago performs at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC), recently opened in Bowling Green. This was the first in a series of performances by local bands at SKyPAC in attempt to attract more college students.

Chris Rutledge

Canago took the stage at SKyPAC a few minutes late Saturday night, as all the members crowded around a TV in their dressing room to root for Kentucky in its NCAA Tournament game against Iowa State.

Bassist Jason Williams called UK’s victory a perfect precursor to what the night held for the Bowling Green quintet.

“I had that extra positivity,” he said.

The fans didn’t seem to mind the band’s tardiness. Many of them had spent the day celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by bar hopping and checking out other local bands at The Twisted Tap a few blocks away. 

But by the time the band did take the stage, more than 240 people had crowded into the Studio Theater.

Williams said he had fantasized about a much larger number, but was satisfied with the turnout, which was slightly larger than an average Tidball‘s show.

“The majority of the people there were new faces,” Williams said. “A lot of our friends and people we can typically count on to be at all of our local shows were not there. I think that room can hold a whole lot more.”

Williams said he doesn’t blame them, as Zoogma was playing in Nashville that night, but said they certainly missed a mile marker for the band and for the city.

They debuted more new material than they’d originally intended and ended up playing a total of five covers, including Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick” complete with extended drum solo by drummer Chris Smith.

“Last night was one of the times that we really took a risk putting things in with such short notice, but I think it went over really well,” Williams said.

Buffalo Rodeo guitarist Nathaniel Davis attended the show as both a patron and a performer when he and singer Zach Preston joined Canago on stage to cover two Portugal. The Man songs. 

“They’re an awesome band to devote a whole night to,” Davis said. “There’s not a lot of bands that can pull off two hour and a half sets and make it last and make it awesome.“

Davis, a Bowling Green freshman, said that he hoped local shows at SKyPAC would become more frequent than bi-monthly.

“I think it will be really awesome to have regular shows there,” he said. “It would be exposure for SKyPAC and it will be good for whoever’s playing.”

Landon White, the program associate at SKyPAC responsible for setting the show up as part of his “Music in the Studio” series, said that SKyPAC definitely viewed the show as a success.

“They absolutely killed it,” White said.
White noted that since it was a holiday, the venue was prepared for a much rowdier crowd.

He said he was happy with the way the audience behaved in the venue.

“It was treated very nicely, like we were hoping it would be,” he said.

While White still isn’t sure if the series will continue after he leaves for his internship in the summer, he said he feels optimistic.

Williams said he is also optimistic about the future of SKyPAC.

“The longer it’s open, the more people are going to realize that cool stuff goes on there,” he said.

Williams said that eventually he would like to see bands like Dr. Dog and My Morning Jacket playing in the Main Hall, and for Bowling Green to be a spot that artists stop at rather than drive through during their tours.

“I hope SKyPAC continues to grow and have success and gets to be the venue that Bowling Green has needed,” he said.