Music scene offers low-cost shows

Eddie Dilworth

Looking for music for the masses for a meager amount?

The Kent music scene offers many different styles of music for under $10, including hip-hop, alternative rock, jazz, reggae, heavy metal, jam bands, cover bands and live acoustic sets.

“Whoever comes in, we give ’em a slot,” said Allen Swartzlander, assistant manager at Club Khameleon.

Swartzlander said performances that have taken place at the venue include Redshift, Red Wanting Blue and Jess Collins, the booking agent for Club Khameleon.

“I want to bring in every type of performer,” Collins said. “We welcome any kind of talent and give no criticism.”

Collins, who played the guitar and sang under red lights on Open Mic Night, said criticism would not be given because the club understands the pressures of becoming a new performer.

Bands can audition on Mondays and Tuesdays for weekend slots, Collins said.

If not looking to audition in person, performers can also send audition tapes to Fat Jimmy’s.

Fat Jimmy’s owner Jimmy Trivuzzo will listen to the tape, and if he likes it, a performance date could be set, said bartender Karli Pengal.

Bands that take the stage at Fat Jimmy’s will encounter a large crowd and perform with exceptional audio, said Pengal.

“We have a pretty substantial sound system with very high quality,” Pengal said.

The club has a large floor for standing room and onlookers and a lounge area with couches for more relaxed performances.

The Outpost, equipped with numerous tables and booths, may be the largest venue in Kent for viewing live entertainment.

The Outpost, which started live music in 1992, has original music performances that make up about 90 percent of the entertainment, said Joe Casamento, manager of the bar.

“Every now and then we have a tribute band that plays music by top performers,” Casamento said.

Casamento said tribute bands cover bands such as Sublime and the Dave Matthews Band.

Mugs also offers the opportunity to view live music performed by cover bands, said Denise Sapienza, general manager.

Sapienza said that other bands perform original music.

“We try to bring in different bands so that we also bring in many different types of people,” Sapienza said.

Sapienza said Mugs does not charge a cover for visitors because of performance location.

“It’s too hard because we have a downstairs that is totally different from our upstairs,” Sapienza said.

Sapienza said past performers at Mugs include singers and guitarists Mo Andrews and Randy Horvath, and the Ryan Humbert Band.

The Robinhood Tavern has also had successful performances including Bonk and Burn Blue Sky, said Brandon Lee, general manager at The Robinhood.

Lee said the tavern has a wide range of entertainment including heavy metal performances, alternative music and jam bands.

The Robinhood will usually have four or five bands perform on a Saturday, Lee said.

Lee said they try to have student specials, but the bands usually choose the cover price at the door.

Contact off-campus entertainment reporter Eddie Dilworth at [email protected].