Friday, October 31, 2014


Sound Stage

A tale of two shows

8/28/2013

MaryBeth Doran and Eric Davidson embodied the differing sounds on tap at Vaudeville Mews and Wooly’s this weekend.

MaryBeth Doran and Eric Davidson embodied the differing sounds on tap at Vaudeville Mews and Wooly’s this weekend.

This past Saturday, downtown Des Moines was witness to two big shows at different ends of the downtown corridor, and attending both was an exercise in contrasts, to be sure.

Starting down on Fourth and Court, Vaudeville Mews was home to “Shoot the Chutes,” an event that struck many in attendance as something of an amorphous idea. Many attendees weren’t sure whether the event was a one-off or the start of an annual reoccurrence. People were also generally unsure of how to define it: At 13 bands and two stages, the event was clearly larger than a normal Mews show, but people seemed hesitant to throw around the word “festival.” What everyone did agree upon, however, was that the event was put on well. “Shoot the Chutes” featured a good mix of local and regional talent, and the proper kudos must be handed out to the Mews for opening its doors (and the outdoor PBR Stage) to a day-long, all-ages event.

Meanwhile, down the street at Wooly’s, Dead Horse Trauma was headlining the first annual “Psychotic Summer Social,” a congregation of some of the area’s hardest working and hardest playing metal acts. The event was also an all-ages affair — something that Wooly’s is uniquely equipped to do all year long, given its exemption to Des Moines’ onerous all-ages ordinance — and, though the event was more sparsely attended than the one on Fourth Street, the crowd at Wooly’s was easily the more energetic of the two.

Both events featured strong performances — DHT and Murder Earth at Wooly’s and Marybeth Doran and The Melismatics at Mews were all particularly noteworthy — and whether the sound you were supporting was indie or metal, hats are off to everyone who got behind two inaugural events. CV

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