Finding the rainbow in the rain

Summer concert series’ rainy end leads to an anticipated opening next summer

Local group The Larry Past Trio performed at the Sounds Like Summer concert series July 27 in Phoenix Park.

Local group The Larry Past Trio performed at the Sounds Like Summer concert series July 27 in Phoenix Park.

After a bout of bad weather canceled the final performance last Thursday evening, the Volume One Sounds Like Summer concert series wrapped up its ninth year of concerts.

Tyler Griggs, the resource and listings editor for Volume One magazine, also wrapped up his fourth year of booking performances for the event.

The Sounds Like Summer series was hosted in Phoenix Park every Thursday evening throughout June, July and August, Griggs said it was a huge success, as it has been in previous years.

The successes and failures of the event aren’t what make or break it, he said. One thing the event puts a large focus on is introducing new, local music to the community.

“We’re more interested in the variety and being in touch with what sort of new music is going on around here, which is a really great opportunity for up-and-coming musicians,” Griggs said.

Part of the concert series’ mission is to feature musicians who are from the area.

“There is so much local talent around here that we can help uplift their ambitions or, if they’re super serious, their music careers even,” he said.

However, when choosing artists he said he tries to balance between musicians who are new and looking to get their feet off the ground, and those who may not have played in a few years.

In addition, he said the event is also about bringing the community together and giving people of all ages a place to relax on a warm summer night.

“You have a sort of sentimentality to your community,” Griggs said. “I think it’s more taking advantage of what the city has to offer and being proactive in that regard, and those are the sort of folks that come out. There is no age range for that.”

Sam Milewsky, junior and human resource management major, said this was his second summer living in Eau Claire and he has attended many of the concerts in Phoenix Park both summers.

“We really try to make it, like, a Thursday night tradition in my friend group,” he said. “Every Thursday we get everyone together and we go down to Phoenix Park for a couple hours.”

He said he enjoys not only the wide variety of music the event has to offer, but also the chance to see more than just college students in the area.

“It really symbolizes all the vibrant community activities that downtown Eau Claire has to offer,” Milewsky said. “It’s really great to see so many college students and then people who live in the community, professors and everyone coming together.”

Unfortunately, the final concert, which was supposed to be a performance by local musicians Irie Sol, The Jim Pullman Band and Justin Jay Arnold, was canceled due to the rainy weather last Thursday evening.

While Griggs said they don’t schedule rain dates because performers usually play at other local venues in the evenings, he is also kind of excited about the cancellation, which would have been the one hundredth concert the Sounds Like Summer series held.

“We could feel differently between now and next June, but we’ll probably be making a large deal out of the season opener then because that would be the one hundredth show,” he said.