Young Bands Gearing Up for New Venue

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by Russ Slaten

(ANCHORAGE, AK) - The local music scene is continually moving and shifting, but the all ages portion tends to struggle a bit more. Teens playing in bands from the all ages music scene said even though businesses prefer to work with adults, they still aim to keep it alive.

The building owner of Club Millenium, which is now defunct, opened a new venue for young bands called the Fiesta Room. It's still located across from the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Anchorage, but what makes it special is the fact that young bands created the stage with professional oversight.

Mac Holtan, drummer for Ready Aim Timber, and an organizer for the Fiesta Room, said it's for the younger generation by the younger generation.

"We're just providing a place for under 21 bands, musicians who want to be heard and want to play to their friends. It's an artistic outreach to help preserve these bands, and help nurture them and hopefully build a better music community," said Holtan.

CJ Brunke, vocalist for local band Divides, said the difference between live music at bars and live music offered to all ages is the reason for going.

"It's cool to come to an all ages show. The first band, the crowd isn't as good as it is for the third band, but for the first band everyone is still moving, and still pumping and still stoked just to be there for the music," said Brunke.

The music at the Fiesta Room can broadly be based around variations of loud rock, but Tom Zimmerman from the Harlequin State describe their music.

"We're like a melodic post-hardcore. It's kind of like a new style of rock, been around for about 10 years-- post-hardcore-- and it's really developing, starting to get big, you know, there's a lot of bands on Warped Tour with similar genres," said Zimmerman.

Aric Hanley, guitarist for To The Depths, said he has band members that are still under 21, and with a continuously open venue, the young bands have a outlet to play for fans and gain more experience.

Hanley began going to shows when he was 16, and said he stays for sense of community.

"There's been so many times I've just been angry, and didn't really have any positive way to get it out, aside from going to shows, and hanging out with my friends, and enjoying music that you're legitamitely passionate about. There's just so much good that can come from being with your friends and and enjoying music in a positive environment such as a place like this."

Bands will play at the Fiesta Room, located across from the Hilton Hotel on the corner of 3rd Avenue and E Street, this Saturday night at 8 p.m.

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Rollin Ritter said on Friday, Sep 28 at 11:38 AM

Good stuff guys!! Keep this going

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