Friday Night Live features six bands and performers

Posted: July 11, 2013

The Winchester Star

Winchester — After a learning experience the first time around, organizers of Friday Night Live are ready to rock downtown Winchester again.

The new concert series, which debuted in June, will continue with a night of music and performances from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday at different locations around the Loudoun Street Mall, said Dario Savarese, one of the event coordinators.

The first Friday Night Live, held June 14, was an “awesome event for the first time out” and organizers are hoping to build on that momentum for the next two events, he said.

Although he didn’t have exact numbers, Savarese estimated about 3,000 people were downtown the night of the first event, which sold about 400 tickets.

For the next two events, organizers are focused on getting paid attendance numbers up, which already looks promising, he said.

“We are definitely way above where we were at this time for the first event with presale tickets,” said Savarese, owner of Full Circle Marketing.

Friday Night Live is presented by Old Town Development Board and Full Circle Marketing, he said. The last concert in the series is set for Aug. 9.

For Friday’s event, a single ticket will once again get visitors in to see six bands playing at two venues — the Hable and Cork Street parking lots, he said. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Ages 12 and under are free with a paying adult.

To help promote ticket sales, organizers introduced a $5 coupon good for advance and gate tickets this time. With online tickets purchased through oldtownwinchesterva.com, the code OTW can be applied at checkout for $5 off.

Several street performers will also be positioned along the mall during the event to provide free entertainment, he said.

The night’s entertainment will run at the same time as the Bluemont Concert Series, which starts at 7:30 p.m. on the lawn of the Old Court House Civil War Museum. Cost is $5. Rather than being competitors, Savarese said the two events complement each other, bringing different kinds of music to downtown Winchester.

“We have talked about what is going on, and we have been cross-promoting Bluemont,” he said.

Each of the Friday Night Live lots will have three bands representing a distinct flavor of music, but the lineups were created to draw in a broad audience, said Pete Buchbauer, Full Circle’s booking agent.

He purposely booked two co-headlining groups and one lesser known opener at each location. “On the second show, I definitely wanted to put a local band as an opener on each stage.”

The Hable lot will feature co-headliners Madrone and Digital Collapse.

Madrone is a rock band based in southwest Virginia that always brings a “fun energetic show” that combines intricate riffs, earth-shaking drums, driving bass, and impassioned vocals, Buchbauer said.

“I felt they were a really good opportunity for us to stretch our legs a little and explore what we could do with a heavier-edged band,” he said.

Digital Collapse out of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., also has a modern rock radio sound that is harder but not unapproachable, he said. The band also has a local connection with Handley High School graduate Ian Zuckerman, the lead guitarist.

Opening for the groups is Winchester-based Don’t Look Down, a pop punk band made up of “really energetic go-getters,” he said. Their sound is “somewhat of a throwback to the early to mid-2000s in their style of rock.”

The Cork Street lot will be headlined by two Washington, D.C.-based bands. Crash Boom Bang is a pop band but not a boy band since they play their own instruments, Buchbauer said.

“They are clean cut and put on a heck of a fun show that I think will be a really good way to close out the night,” he said.

Joining them is Feed God Cabbage, a punk-rock and reggae quartet that has been building a huge following the past few years, he said.

Opening for them is another Winchester band, Threesound, a reggae, pop, rock band that Buchbauer first saw when he was judging the Shenandoah Valley Battle of the Bands earlier this year. “They are energetic and fun and fit the feel of what we were going for.”

Street performers, who can be seen on the mall for free, will include Joe the Show, a magician; Mikey J, a caricature artist; Heather Scott, who will paint on site; Jimmy McGowan, a jester, and a psychic named Jeff, Buchbauer said.

Due to the success of a cornhole tournament held at its Rockin’ Independence Eve event July 3, tournaments have been added to both paid lots, Savarese said. The winner from each lot will face each other at the end of the night. Entry to the tournament is $5 per team.

Beer and wine will be sold in both lots, with proceeds benefiting the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winchester, he said.

Each area will also have a big screen television set “playing whatever is on ESPN” and living room furniture to carry the “family room atmosphere,” he said.

— Contact Laura McFarland at lmcfarland@winchesterstar.com