Mike Lyons, the longtime proprietor of New Brookland Tavern, sounded remarkably even keeled for any individual operating a enterprise which has confronted an existential disaster for a lot of the final two years.
Again in March 2020, the venerable West Columbia membership that serves because the non secular middle of Columbia’s music scene had issue imagining how it could survive, with no exhibits for the foreseeable, and indefinite, future.
Like so many different companies, they finally pivoted, serving for the primary time as a restaurant-oriented bar whereas biding their time earlier than dwell music might as soon as once more be safely carried out indoors. They had been additionally in a position to safe some grant funding via the Shuttered Venue Operators program, a part of the American Rescue Plan handed by Congress in March.
And tentatively, because the 12 months went on, New Brookland Tavern started to see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel.
“As we began doing exhibits, the whole lot was actually nice for a short time,” Lyons mentioned, ”However as at all times with COVID, issues form of return down once more fairly rapidly as nicely.”
The membership, which regularly started reserving lower-capacity masked and socially distanced exhibits pre-vaccine after which was among the many first to implement a vaccine requirement this summer season, maintained a calendar via the latter half of the 12 months, with a dependable rotation of punk, heavy music and indie rock showing from week to week.
“We’ve been fortunate that we haven’t needed to cancel many massive exhibits,” Lyons mentioned. “And, for probably the most half, those that did cancel had been in a position to reschedule for later within the 12 months.”
New Brookland Tavern already has a bunch of massive exhibits on the upcoming schedule in 2022, together with the ultimate efficiency from the raucous native storage duo Boo Hag on Jan. 22, Austin’s indie pop group Solar June in February, and seminal post-hardcore outfit Touche Amore in April.
Regardless of considerations in regards to the omicron variant, bigger music venues like The Senate and the Township Auditorium are additionally poised for rebound years.
The previous has Citizen Cope scheduled for Jan. 9 in addition to alt-rockers Buckcherry and nation crooner Niko Moon later within the month, together with common outlaw nation tunesmith Ashley McBryde and EDM artist Dabin in February.
The latter welcomes gospel/R&B artist Charlie Wilson on New Years Day, singer/songwriter Riley Inexperienced later within the month, and a four-night stand by beloved jam band Widespread Panic in February.
However as Lyons notes, native musicians and bands themselves needed to climate COVID-19, and lots of have disbanded or gone a form of public health-induced hiatus.
“I am actually simply form of trying ahead [in 2022] to attempting to determine what is going on on on the town once more,” he mentioned. “In the event you’ve seen our schedule, there’s positively a number of bands which might be enjoying a little bit extra usually than we might have had them prior to now. Loads of occasions prior to now, we had such so many (native) bands on the town that it was form of [hard] to just remember to had been giving everybody an opportunity to play.”
Fortuitously, native bands additionally appear to be very a lot getting again within the swing of issues.
Indie pop teams which have emerged to prominence over the course of the pandemic like Charlie Boy and Rex Darling each have new tasks on the way in which, modern hip-hop acts like Tam the Viibe and Milah are teasing new music, and the favored and hard-charging pop-punk band Purpose Excessive can also be promising a brand new EP in 2022.
Amongst different information within the works is Boo Hag frontman Saul Seibert’s idea album Zion, a neo-soul left-turn from nerd-rap outfit Autocorrect, and a “psychedelic cult music supergroup” that Chris Bickel has shaped for an upcoming film challenge. The brand new 12 months ought to have loads of native tunes to parse.
Within the meantime, Lyons is aware of how vital it’s for golf equipment like New Brookland Tavern to outlive, calling it “the baseboard of glue that form of holds the native scene collectively.”
“It is form of rebuilding for everyone, and I believe that most individuals get that as nicely,” he mentioned. “However I am attempting to be optimistic that like, we’ll attain some kind of, kind of new regular right here… So long as I am respiratory, I’ll make it possible for there is a solution to survive.”