News Column

Request line: Response to concerts leads to new rock-based nightclub

May 2, 2014

By Joe Hadsall, The Joplin Globe, Mo.

May 02--JOPLIN, Mo. -- Once identified by a music player, a Range Line nightclub has teamed up with a different kind of music delivery system.

A series of successful concerts over the last few months has led a radio station to partner with a renovated bar.

Rock 3405 is a new nightclub that will emphasize rock music with regular Friday night concerts. Owners have teamed up with KJML-FM (Rock 107.1) to transform Jukebox, which closed in March, into a place that hosts concerts, karaoke and other nightlife activities.

Manager Curt Zimmerman said the bar will stick pretty closely to a rock profile. While it will avoid more extreme, death-metal types of acts, DJs will feature a good mix of classic and modern rock when there are no touring acts performing.

The renovated bar features a more open design. A stage has been moved to the front of the club and features a backdrop with changing-color lights and a Plexiglass frosted surface for videos or sports. The flooring features a finished concrete surface, the main bar has been refinished with diamond-plated metal and dropped ceilings have been removed n all for an open look and feel that will give maximum visibility to performers.

Other features to the bar, including a large outdoor patio, rear entrance during the summer and large parking lot, remain. The bar has added staff members for the new look, and it will also host karaoke when open, Zimmerman said. The club will be open during evening hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The change was inspired by successful rock concerts at the former Jukebox and at Guitars Rock and Country Bar.

"After seeing the shows at Guitars and the shows we had here, there was so much support," Zimmerman said. "It was overwhelming. I was shocked how many came out."

In January, the club hosted Red Line Chemistry and Another Lost Year n a band that previously performed at Guitars. It also hosted Longreef in November.

Most of those shows have been held in conjunction with KJML. Program director Chris "Muttley" Stevens said all of the shows saw high turnout n enough to warrant this new effort.

"Due to the overwhelming success of those shows, the club decided it would be lucrative to them to open an exclusively-rock bar," Stevens said. "There's a huge demand for it."

The relationship is one of the stronger arrangements between a nightclub and a radio station that Joplin has seen in a few years. Both Stevens and Zimmerman said such relationships are common in bigger cities such as Kansas City, but Joplin hasn't had such a system for touring rock bands in a while.

Stevens said a lineup of regular shows is being planned to run throughout August and that it will include bands commonly heard on the station. May's lineup includes actively touring bands such as Righteous Vendetta, to bands that have already performed shows in Joplin, such as Longreef, Acidic and Another Lost Year. In addition to charting national acts, the station plays many songs by newer bands.

"If they are affordable, any band that we play has the potential to play a show in Joplin," Stevens said. "It used to be in Joplin that we could have shows like Papa Roach here and there. When I got back in town about two years ago, I thought how novel it would be to see if we could create that environment again."

Zimmerman said that he has always been impressed with the loyalty of rock fans, which he has also seen at Guitars. He said that Rock 3405 won't veer far from its name.

"It's one of the most loyal bases of fans," Zimmerman said. "I think it's better to not burn regulars and do stuff that's offbeat. It's all about staying loyal to what you say you're going to do so that people can come here any night of the week and know what to expect."

And with continued support, the two hope to build a solid environment that attracts even more touring bands.

"What our hope is is continued support," Stevens said. "The outpouring of support from our audience has been tremendous, so we hope that this continues on and that we can create an environment where other bands realize Joplin is a great stop on the way to other shows and a great rock market."

Righteous Vendetta

The club will open featuring a band that opened for Eve to Adam in December at Guitars.

Righteous Vendetta is currently touring in anticipation of its third album, "The Fire Inside," featuring the single "This Pain." The song spent 15 weeks in the Top 20 of Billboard's Christian Rock chart.

Together since 2009, the Wyoming-based band has toured across the country and in Europe.

No longer with Red Cord Records, the band has been independently recording and reworking its metalcore sound into something that challenges their songwriting, said guitarist Justin Olmstead on the band's website.

"Due to the amount of energy they put in their show and the general nature of the guys, it was a no-brainer to bring them back in," Stevens said.

Want to go?

Rock 3405, located at 3405 S. Range Line, will open with a concert featuring Righteous Vendetta and Catharcist.

The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets: $7, $5 in advance.

Details: 417-781-1313.


(c)2014 The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.)

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Source: Joplin Globe (MO)

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