Wenatchee’s new music venue aims high
Thursday, February 18, 2010
If you go
What: Poor Folks, Live Well, Forgotten Manners, Fill the Silence, Mothra, With Remorse, I Capture a Castle, the Technicolored Waldos, rock
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: The Ballroom, 27 S. Chelan Ave., Wenatchee
Of note: Shows take place 7 p.m. every Thursday at the Ballroom. Admission is always $5; tickets are sold at the door, or in advance from any of the scheduled band members or at Town Chrysler Dodge, 722 N. Mission St. All ages are welcome.
On the Web: myspace.com/theballroomwenatchee
Ahead on the schedule
Feb. 25: Ghost Power!!!, Losing Daylight, Fill the Silence, Kenny Peterson, Frozen Demon Torso
March 4: On Edge, Ghost Power!!!, Fill the Silence, Audio Arcade, Mothra
March 11: Losing Daylight, Not All There, Fill the Silence, A Blissful Dawn, War Pony
March 18: Wide Eyed Coma, Suicide Lies, Power Skeleton, Ballard Train Wreck, Fill the Silence
March 25: Dreaded Knuckles, Fill the Silence, Mothra, Klaus, Pixel Cake, Holographic Beast
April 1: Small Town Nation, Brazen Layver, Fill the Silence, Poor Folks, Live Well, Dylan Morrison
April 8: Year of the Serpent, 427, Fill the Silence, Abstracted Volition, Violet Bites
April 15: Ghost Power!!!, Pity Dog, The Wreks, Not All There, Mothra
April 22: Brazen Layver, Suicide Lies, Fill the Silence, The Blue Bus, Indigo
April 29: Wide Eyed Coma, Lucid, Fill the Silence, Suicide Lies, Audio Arcade, SHED
May 6: A Blissful Dawn, But Faulty Images, Bad JuJu, Fill the Silence, Deadly Hypakrit
May 13: Lethal Lava Land, Losing Daylight, Audio Arcade, Violet Bites, Erik Anarchy
May 20: Happy Birthday Secret Weapon, Suicide Lies, Breviamor, Fill the Silence, Power Skeleton
May 27: FailuretoFollow, Fill the Silence, Power of Suggestion, War Pony
Wenatchee isn’t a very small town anymore, and Paul Jarolimek is out to prove it.
In charge of management, booking and event coordination with his company, FTS Entertainment, Jarolimek is opening up a new venue for live music above the Volcano Club on Chelan Avenue. The Ballroom is a 700-capacity area on the third floor of the B.P.O.E. building, with a stage for live music and a beer garden for adult revelers.
“Seven hundred people in this town to see a live concert is actually a good-sized chunk of people,” Jarolimek notes. “The Knitting Factory, which runs national acts in Spokane, is only 1,500. So is the Showbox SoDo in Seattle.” A full house at the Ballroom would be almost half as much as those bigger city venues.
He came up with the concept after forming his company for a new local rock band, Fill the Silence, in October.
“They’ve all been musicians around the NCW area for a while,” Jarolimek says of Fill the Silence members, “but they were having trouble getting shows.
“There really was only Monitor (the Outpost Saloon), Dryden (Duffy’s Bar), Wally’s,” he continues. “That’s pretty much it, other than some guy’s basement. And we’re not a punk band, so it really doesn’t fit well there.”
The band performed a couple of concerts at the Volcano Club, but Jarolimek just didn’t feel it was the right atmosphere for the kind of music they were doing. Then someone suggested he make use of the empty floor above the club.
Through research and networking, Jarolimek was able to connect with a variety of Wenatchee bands and musicians interested in having a new place to play. He says many local bands are charged to use performance space in the area, so it’s hard for them to afford a steady schedule of shows. His search also led him to some willing bands and musicians out of the area who were receptive to the idea of a place to play in Wenatchee.
“Once we realized that there was a need in this town for a live music venue that local bands and out-of-town bands can all come to, we started creating this,” he explains.
Jarolimek acquired use of the Ballroom, and everything started to come together. He’s got weekly Thursday night shows pushed out through May on the Ballroom’s calendar. Though locally focused for the most part right now, he says he’s also booked bands from the likes of Seattle, Portland, Yakima and the Tri-Cities.
“These are good regional bands that ... tour NCW or tour up and down the West Coast,” reports Jarolimek.
Fill the Silence is basically the Ballroom’s house band, performing almost every night of the concert series. Made up of lead singer/bassist Nate Brown, lead guitarist Colton Swezey, rhythm guitarist David Swanberg and drummer Tyrel Swezey, the band performs “radio-friendly” rock, citing influences as classic Guns N’ Roses, Rush, Collective Soul and John Mellencamp.
However, the new nightspot offers a variety of sounds among its scheduled shows, building beyond the rock on which it’s founded.
Kenny Peterson, performing with the Feb. 25 lineup, is a veteran bluesman out of Quincy; on April 22, 13-year-old singer Indigo turns on her pipes; and a local band in its infancy, the Technicolored Waldos, is even taking the stage tonight. Halfway serious, Jarolimek jokes, “I’m not sure if even they know what they’re playing yet.”
Headlining this evening’s set is Wenatchee trio Poor Folks, Live Well, which has left a trail of success between Wenatchee stages this past year, even earning itself the title of best entertainer in Go! Magazine’s 2010 World’s Best survey.
Jarolimek hopes that the Ballroom can be a place for little-known bands to get their names and music out there, and a place that can put Wenatchee on the map for bigger acts.
“We’re looking at the fact that we could possibly be pulling in some bands larger than even the regional ones,” he states. “We’re pretty excited about the potential of this.”
Abby Holmes: 661-6390
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