Sunday in Waterloo for Starlight’s 10th Anniversary!!
12:30 – 1:15: LINDY VOPNFJORD
1:30 – 2:15 – WHITEHORSE
2:30 – 3:15 – NQ ARBUCKLE
3:30. – 4:15 DIAMOND RINGS
Break (featuring DJ CHARLESS)
5:30 – 6:15 DANNY MICHEL, DAVIDE DIRENZO, MARK MCINTYRE
6:30 – 7:15 – SHAWN KELLERMAN
7:30 – 9 pm THE SADIES
10 years in, no twilight in sight for Starlight
“The Starlight and the Jane Bond are the only venues I know where the promoters are just as creative as all the artists that have played there,” Six Shooter Records artist Neville Quinlan (a.k.a. NQ Arbuckle), told me.
This month, the Starlight Social Club celebrates its 10th anniversary. It’s a milestone because not only has the club survived a generation, it has thrived as a premier venue for international and local acts alike. Co-owners Josh Koehler and Bernard Kearney have worked hard to foster a reputation as fearless, artful, and vital patrons of soul, disco, country, funk, hip-hop, punk, and rock ‘n’ roll.
“It started with Jane Bond, probably about 15 years ago,” singer-songwriter Lindy Vopnfjord told me of his affiliation with the venue and its staff. “It was about nine months after they opened. I think I was the first ‘big act’ that they brought in to play; they perceived me as a ‘big act’ because I had a big record deal at the time. They were all nervous and I showed up with my shades and my crew and we piled out of the van and walked in to the Jane Bond. The first thing that they remember me saying is ‘This place is awesome!’ I’ve just been playing there ever since; we became fast friends.”
Vopnfjord was so impressed with the aesthetics of the Jane Bond, and the obvious savvy of its owners, that he was easily wooed to play there, even as his own career took off. Other artists began to recognize the potential too: Hawksley Workman, Smog, Hayden, Joel Plaskett… Eventually, people were lined up down Princess St. for those few precious seats in the tragically tiny ‘Bond.
“After that, they opened up the Starlight, which I was insisting they do, ’cause they had an opportunity to take over that old hall,” Vopnfjord remembered of their sudden chance to convert a rather depressing singles-dance hall into a modern club. “They were mulling it over for a long time and finally they just went for it. So I showed up on opening day and helped them put up the ceiling tiles and I polished the disco ball!
“It’s really difficult, as you can imagine, to operate a large music venue, especially in a smaller market like that, and just because they were in touch with the university crowd and the idea of a need that may be filled with a late night disco dance party, as well as live music. There were so many ideas that they had, and I believed that they could do it. And lo and behold, it’s been ten years.”
To celebrate, Kearney and Koehler are throwing a block party featuring a few of the acts who’ve helped to put them on the map (and who’ve been loath to miss any party thrown by the two impresarios). The lineup includes Danny Michel, Lindy, Whitehorse, The Sadies, Diamond Rings, and NQ Arbuckle.
“We are thrilled to be involved with this celebration,” Whitehorse manager and Six Shooter Records boss Shauna DeCartier said. “Bernard and his team kick serious ass, and do so with the love and passion of fans and friends. They are like family to most musicians, especially us. It’s going to be an amazing day!”
“The Starlight provides that spot on the map for so many great bands on tour,” Danny Michel explained. “The community is lucky to have Josh and Bernard. I’ve been really lucky to see many cool shows there over the years. The guys really go for it when trying to get special acts and book music for the right reasons.
“As an artist, you get treated really great and feel appreciated. That can be really important when on the road. You never forget those places. You never see or play a show at the Starlight that isn’t a great party.”
“The ‘iron fist’ of hospitality,” Quinlan agreed, “that greets every performer is legend, and I can’t think of anywhere else I have had such good times.”
WHO: Danny Michel, Lindy, Whitehorse, NQ Arbuckle, The Sadies, Diamond Rings
WHERE: Starlight parking-lot
WHEN: Sunday, September 15, 2013
TICKETS: $30 adv. 19+
DOORS: 12:00 noon