The Set List

By Brian Washburn
It’s officially a new year. With new seasons, new experiences and new resolutions people will break as soon as they get back into their everyday routine around mid-January, there is something else starting that can be celebrated: a new year of music.
As 2008 saw the emergence of several Fayetteville bands ready to shed their “local” title and make it on to the national music scene, 2009 will feature much of the same. However, the difference this year will be which bands will break through to national success and which bands will struggle to find the spotlight.
Fayetteville golden-boy and last year’s Northwest Arkansas Music Award winner Benjamin Del Shreve will continue his national success through the new year. But with an album that has already made the rounds in the local scene, new material is key for Shreve to continue his success.
Local bands also took Dickson’s main stage this past year. Rock bands like Thanks For Nothing, Apartment 5 and A Good Fight have started to see their success translate to the big stage. While these three bands have the abilities to make it on the national rock scene (the scene that has allowed Hinder and Nickelback), their progression as songwriters and their managerial skills will be key as to which of these bands has what it takes to go cross country.
However, 2009 should not just be a big year for these three bands. Fayetteville can also expect a resurgence of new bands throughout the year, some of which will stick, while others will fall, and also an array of bands already cemented into the scene, such as, Jarris, Matt Jones, The Memphis Pencils and pop/rock goddess Lauren de Miranda.
Even though 2008 saw the demise of several local music venues—the latest, the promising OPO at the Urban Table closed just a week ago—2009 will likely see venues such as Froggy’s and The Gypsy on College and hopefully other new music venues scattered throughout Fayetteville become new stomping grounds. But while these new venues might receive their due when it comes to local shows, Fayetteville music junkies know just where to go to get their local and national music fix—George’s Majestic Lounge, which does not seem to be slowing down.
George’s has announced a host of spring shows and there are definitely some eye catchers, like acoustic/reggae act Slightly Stoopid, acoustic solo act Citizen Cope, Cross Canadian Ragweed and G. Love and Special Sauce.
With many other local and national touring acts mixed into the spring calendar at George’s, the 2009 concert season is sure not to disappoint. Now if we can only find out who will be the spring headliner at the University of
Arkansas spring concert this year. I’m hoping for The Killers, but am not holding my breath).
Nationally, the music industry has been in a state of decline for quite some time. However, several inspiring and jaw-dropping bands have come out of this situation and made a place for themselves in the scene.
While the decline will not let up any time soon, anticipation is building as Thursday, Green Day, Saosin, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday and Angels and Airwaves plan 2009 releases. However, it is the forthcoming release by pop/punk-rock-indie-whatever they play these days band Brand New. Let’s hope Jesse Lacey and company have cooked up another stellar release for the new year.

Categories: LIVE! In NWA