‘Top Secret Shows’ Annouces Fall Performers

‘Top Secret Shows’ Annouces Fall Performers
File Photo Nick Brothers Justin Kinkel-Schuster, the singer/songwriter for Water Liars, will play an intimate house show in downtown Fayetteville Wednesday, Sept. 30.

File Photo Nick Brothers
Justin Kinkel-Schuster, the singer/songwriter for Water Liars, will play an intimate house show in downtown Fayetteville Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Wanna know a secret?

The thing is, it really isn’t a secret, but it’s still pretty cool.

Two “Top Secret Shows” have been announced to take place in downtown Fayetteville to feature intimate, non-traditional venue shows with touring artists. The first show will feature Justin Kinkel-Schuster of the Water Liars on Sept. 30, and Dana Falconberry on Saturday, Oct. 10.

The new performance series is an idea cooked up by locals Roger Barrett and Laura Weiderhaft. Barrett, who has booked and promoted several shows for JR’s Lightbulb Club on Block Street has developed a lot of contacts with booking companies and artists and seeks to set up several shows in this style. He came up with the idea for it when talking with Kinkel-Schuster, who had said he liked the casual, intimate setting that house shows provide and was looking to book a tour of house shows.

The idea struck Barrett as a great way to bring in touring artists to Fayetteville in a unique way. This style of show provides artists like Kinkel-Schuster with a lucrative way to tour solo while providing a more personal concert to fans.

“Laura and I were talking about house shows she’d done at her house,” Barrett said. “We came up with the idea of just doing it there and having a revolving set of acts. Then we began brainstorming all these local spots we’d like to see shows, like the record store, coffee shops, book stores and idealizing all the venues we’d like to see an intimate show.”

The idea is to have each show held in low-key atmospheres such as homes and small businesses. All of the shows will typically be an acoustic set up without amplification, but it’s possible that could change to meet an artist’s needs.

“If you say the word house show you intitially think of 16 year-old pop punk bands playing and however many people can cram into a room,” Barrett said. “You don’t think of national touring artists playing to a comfortable amount of people in a room.”

With such an intimate setting as a home space, the shows provide a type of direct access for fans to interact with the artists. Questions and open dialogue with the artists is encouraged between songs, providing an extra dimension to a show that otherwise wouldn’t be possible in a bar venue such as George’s Majestic Lounge.

About 40 tickets will be sold for each show at about $10-$15 each, and all the money will go to the touring artist. While not so secret (this is, after all, being published in a newspaper) the part that earns this performance series its namesake are how the locations are given out to the ticket holders. For everyone who buys a ticket, they receive a limited edition show flyer that will have the location and further details needed for the show. Local artist Elizabeth Sharp designed the artwork for the Sept. 30 show.

“You don’t normally equate house shows with a lot of money,” Barrett said. “If you’re able to do a house show and pay the artist well, that’s got to be the best case scenario for both artist and fan.”

The shows will start early, around 8 p.m., and will be open to all ages. Nightbird Books will lend seating to the event.

Following the potential success of these first two shows, the organizers plan to ideally promote a show a month. Eventually, an acoustic local showcase may be in the works near the end of the year to support local artists.

“Roger and I are probably going to reach out to artists who have played Fayetteville to fill out the rest of the year,” Weiderhaft said. “There are several artists who are open and willing to do something like this.”

The house show scene for touring musicians has been consistently grown throughout the past decade. Several booking companies exist now that exclusively promote and book these small shows for artists looking to get an alternative to noisy clubs.

Alt-venue businesses such as Fanswell, Sofar and Concerts in Your Home have come to fruition from the success of house shows.

Fayetteville’s own alt-venue, Backspace, is renown in the scene as the go-to venue for undiscovered and occasionally eclectic music genres. Another semi-popular venue is La La Land, which hosts a monthly noise show for noise musicians.

Top Secret Shows

Justin Kinkel-Schuster (of Water Liars)

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 30

Time: 7 p.m. (Music starts at 7:30 p.m.)

How Much: $15


Dana Falconberry

Date: Saturday, Oct. 10

Time: 7 p.m. (Music starts at 7:30 p.m.)

How Much: $10

Tickets can be bought at Block Street Records at 17 N. Block Ave. in Fayetteville.

Categories: Music