If you are a college student, odds are you like coffee and music. If you’re a Northwestern student, odds are you like Town Square coffee, so get ready for Town Square music. With the school year up and running and students back in the area, the coffee shop has started planning semi-regular music events on Saturday nights, and NW students are encouraged to attend.
Students may remember a series of concerts called “LIVE at the Old Factory” at Town Square’s previous location, and having a venue for live music from local bands is an opportunity Town Square wants to continue to offer. Brad Smith, a longtime employee of Town Square, has been organizing bands to play at the coffeehouse.
“The criticism of Orange City [is] that it’s a small town, there’s nothing going on…we’re just trying to create something going on,” Smith said.
The first of many music-filled Saturday nights took place on Sept. 30 with three acts: Ben Patzlaff and Abbey Slattery played together, as well as Jon Jansen and Company, both acts from NW. The band Axtell, on tour from Argentina, finished out the night.
Smith is excited about seeing more music in the Orange City area.
“I think there are people in the area…that are interested in growing a music scene in Northwest Iowa,” Smith said.
Eli Dahl is a part of Jon Jansen and Company, who followed the opening act last Saturday with some 80s funk covers. He has been to many concerts in the past and appreciates the atmosphere at Town Square.
“Just being able to interact with people and have them hear your music – usually people that play…are people that enjoy their music and invest in it, so to be able to share that gift with people around you is fun,” Dahl said. “I’ve played a lot of gigs where there have been five people or just my parents, and so to play at a Town Square venue…and have people show up is always great.”
Unfortunately, NW may not be the best at growing this community yet; our neighbors across the field have been active.
Dahl regretfully admitted, “Dordt is so good at giving their students opportunities to perform…We still have a lot of talent here, we just don’t really give as many opportunities.”
This might be because students are too shy or think they need to get equipment and a sound system organized, but Dahl has some great news.
“You’d need an instrument and know how to use it,” Dalh said. “They have their own [sound] system. If you know how to play five or six songs and you have a couple buddies that can join you, all you really need to do is ask Brad if they’re interested.”
And Brad would love to have you ask. “If there are musicians at NW that want to play, we want them to play, and they should not feel shy about asking me about it,” Brad said.
You can contact Town Square Coffee on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with Brad about it, or just swing by the shop.