Kryptonite, a different kind of music

Kryptonite, a different kind of music

By Mark Muraski, Kryptonite Talent Buyer

Let me preface this by saying that I like quite a bit of music that might be considered off the beaten path—the kind of music you probably will not hear on the radio (with the exception of WXRT in Chicago). I also realize I am not alone. There are many in Rockford who also seek truly alternative (to radio) music. In fact, more than I ever imagined.

Shortly after taking on the booking at Kryptonite, I began asking questions. Why am I constantly driving to Chicago to see bands? Why don’t these bands play Rockford? Could it just be no has asked them to? I made some calls and, sure enough, there were many national acts willing to play in Rockford.

Cautiously, I began booking “larger” bands. I say that because at the end of the day, my job is to get people in the club. Period. The first effort was Capitol records artists “the Unknown Hinson,” a roaring country-rock act from South Carolina. It was a total success. The band completely rocked to an audience of more than 150 people.

In newfound confidence I booked DADA. These guys had a hit in the early ‘90s with their song “Disneyland,” and then became cult rock legends with musicians and music fans alike. Despite a $15 ticket price, the show sold out with ease. This was an incredible revelation for the Rockford scene. Despite a lot of negative attitudes, Rockford could sustain shows that previously required a trip to Chicago.

Next up: Bloodshot Records artists “Those Legendary Shack Shakers,” yet another success. The overwhelming support of musicians and fans alike had given Rockford a true music venue. Now with regularity touring regional and national acts are playing our city. Working closely with established clubs in Chicago, such as the Double Door, we are creating a smaller and entirely viable sister market. Bands that never saw Rockford as an option are now visiting on a regular basis. The support of the community and Kryptonite owner, Chris Wachowiak, are allowing a great expansion and maturing of the Rockford music scene.

Some upcoming shows at Kryptonite are: John Scofield July 18, Nashville Pussy June 27, the Unknown Hinson June 26, and Giant Step June 21. We hope to see you all in the future.

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