Stylishly encompassed with local talent, Riverwest’s Stonefly Brewing Company hosted the Milwaukee Odyssey event on April 21st, 2012.
Following the previous evening’s annual Gallery Night, the Odyssey crew and Stonefly staff carried on the artistic movement into Riverwest and offered the crowd an earful and eyeful that evening.
The Stonefly Brewery houses a unique stage placed diagonally to the main bar area, and can be viewed from the upper seating deck, the pool lounge area, and the main floor. This set up allows patrons to view the works of art, engage with one another, and order a drink without missing any of the performances. Located near the south wing of the bar is a large French door that opens up to a large courtyard with tables, chairs, and benches used for smoke breaks and fresh air.
Locally-based art Curation Company: MKE Odyssey’s president Christopher Roze greeted each guest at the door, welcomed performers to stage, and mingled amongst the mass. This event was put on to highlight local musicians and artists and to bring together cultural connections through various mediums of art.
This event was a compilation of various artists from different backgrounds, with assorted influences, and diverse talents. The Odyssey crew does an outstanding job of creating interest and making all feel welcome. The variety of talents and out-of-the-box marketing strategies keep the fans revolving, drawing in a mix of young professionals, like-minded artists, families including children, and others who may not otherwise been informed.
The Milwaukee Odyssey crew also co-sponsored a city-wide beach cleanup in observation of Earth Day that took place Saturday prior to the event.
Kicking off the evening was a fresh acclaimed and soon to be Milwaukee phenomenon, The ‘NewlyBreds’, including drummer, Rick Carlson, of Undercover Organism, and former Undercover Organism bassist, Carter Manley, along with guitarist, Jack Beyler. This was the groups’ first official show in the Milwaukee area. The classical rock group performed an intimate mach show in Madison for a few sacred die-hards, and now will begin obtaining presence in the Milwaukee region. The show held a simplified feel with intricate melodies, beat change-ups, guitar rips, and with the overt emotions from the bassist the band shows signs of accomplishment and structure.
Taking the spotlight following the NewlyBreds was a local South Milwaukee, three-piece metal infused alternative band, Test Pilot. All of their music is available for free on their website; “they do not believe in charging people to listen to music.” They would also like “Bigger straws for everyone,” in regards to the petite coffee straws served in cocktails at bars. There was an apparent energy throughout the entire event, and this group did nothing to slow down the pace. It gave the impression of being at a Fourth of July Beastie Boys firework show with the intensity from the instruments to the stage presence, this trio definitely creates awareness through their edgy tone and thrash out mentality.
Fresh faces continued to find their way into the brewery, despite the Ifdakamp pre-party going on right down the road at Mad Planet; many may have had a harsh decision when making plans for that evening.
Next up on the ballot was a Milwaukee and Madison local Indie-Rock group, Animals in Human Attire. This spunky, fun-loving bunch showed their wild sides Saturday night. This six piece freight train came around the mountain with just enough momentum to rock the socks off the Stonefly Brewery. Following an act with such an upbeat performance, these six individuals hailed copious amounts of exhaustive liveliness. The lead vocalist presented himself to the stage wearing an animal costume head with a rubber face similar to that of a monkey with a hairy fray exterior. During this act the host handed out FREE DJ Puffin’ Vinyl containing tracks from the Innocuous Records label Volume 15: Milwauskweee.
One of the guitarists spent more time off the stage communicating through his instrument with such justified emotion to the audience giving many front-rowers a sense of being on stage. Carrying a retro Sum-41-esque vibe, one drummer utilized a few empty couple gallon buckets and a propane tank as his drum set. With their unique style and fast-paced Irish sounding jams these hooligans kept the crowd jumping. There was even a brand new song played that evening dedicated to the elderly folk. The encore seemed out of place for their set with a slower easy jam feel, but led into a grand cool down for their energetic, humorous routine.
Nearing the end of the event, D’AMATO takes the stage. This funky, outlandish, blues, hip-hop crew attracts the attention of all. This group is comprised of a celebratory lyricist, a ‘White Jesus’ on the keys and computer, two female tap dancers, and an oversized Sasquatch mascot. Now picture this all going on simultaneously. For such a diverse set-up, the precious vocals pierce the Stonefly aura and take the breath away from the viewers leading into D’AMATO’s change-up taking hold of his bass guitar.
This comedic, yet funky portrayal led the vocalist to drop his drawers for a good ol’ fashion pants-off-dance-off! He continued his act, as if everything was normal, as the gorilla-suited man strutted his furry ass along the stage. During this soulful merge of blues-funk and hip-hop, curator, Chris Roze, began handing out “Funk Trophies.” These were given to anyone who deserved a lil’ somethin’ extra for gettin’ a lil’ extra funky with the dance moves. Carter, bassist for the NewlyBreds, received one…of course.
As we venture to the late night scene, two DJ’s have yet to make their statements. DJ Puffin received some time in the spotlight shortly after D’AMATO to give the night owls something to rage to. His set held a reserved vibe. Reserved does not always convey a negative message. The beats were simple, which in this day and age of revolving electronic music is important. It was a safe set, and the DJ seemed to with hold his emotion while on stage, which is very rare these days. The tone had a relaxed, yet constant vibe, and went well with the atmosphere of the building at that time. There were a few kids in front wafting laser gloves swiftly and smoothly to portray wavelengths of distorted colored lights that seemed to leave lingering trails long after the motions have been completed.
The Gimp (DJ) polished the night cap with one last breath of exiting bass. His quick arm motions toward each turn table showed his comfortable familiarity with the equipment. His style was poppy, but original, utilizing rap samples and off-set beat lay downs. His grind mode mixed with a laid back approach dilutes the need for much consideration when he slows the disco dance jams to a drawn out trance feel and just lets the track ride.
The pleased, comforting, and passionate emotion across Christopher Roze’s face at the end of the event was that of accomplishment. As the night came to a new beginning, and the Stonefly staff began guiding customers to the door members swapped stories on the smoker’s patio, photographers shared pictures, and no one really wanted to leave. I’d say that speaks for itself in calling this a successful display of hidden local talent.