Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:28 am
Late spring roundup
The big news: Marlys gets its 3 a.m. liquor license
If haven’t heard already, the big news on the bar scene this week is the long-awaited arrival of a 3 a.m. liquor license for Marly’s Pub’s (9 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, 217-522-2280). The popular bar on the square features live music four or five nights a week, all performed through an excellent house P.A., once a rarity in local bars but now — amen! — becoming standard equipment, as it is in much of the rest of the civilized world. Now you can enjoy the music into the wee hours, then stumble out into the street right alongside the dance crowd rolling out of Fusion, the 3 a.m. nightclub next door (11 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, 217-527-9910). How exciting is that? The Station, Springfield’s ever-moving, up-and-coming rock/jam/dance band, has relocated its Wednesday-night show to Marly’s. The group will be playing all over the Midwest this summer at festivals, bars, and what have you but will almost always be in town for the Wednesday ritual. Thirsty’s Playground (1975 Wabash Ave., 217-787-7273), the newest near west side bar and restaurant, is now featuring live music and an excellent house P.A. as well. The debut last Thursday of live music, in case you missed it, was a reunion of sorts by Cats on Holiday, one of Springfield’s top bands of years gone by. Next Thursday the emotive and delightful Eva Hunter graces the stage, and Pete & Dennis do acoustic on Sunday night. The nightclub-slash-eatery, near the northwest corner of Wabash Avenue and Chatham Road, is destined, I believe, to be a class-act operation and home to music lovers and musicians far into the future. I can’t get by without a plug for one of my favorite bands, the Tarbox Ramblers. The slow-rocking blues band pulls into the Underground City Tavern (Hilton Springfield, 700 E. Adams St., 217-789-1530) on Wednesday, May 24. Guttural vocals and a driving rhythm section, overlaid by a screeching slide guitar, deliver a repertoire of covers of early blues and primal folk music and originals inspired by that earthy old-timey sound. Better get your swinging self to the Spillway Lanes (1025 Outer Park Dr., 217-546-5221) at 5 p.m. Sunday for the final spring performance of the Bowling Alley Big Band. Friends, it gets no finer and hardly ever better than this group of outstanding musicians blasting out the music they love under the astute direction of our beloved John Sluzalis, acting in the dual role of drummer and emcee. Dancing to the music is not only accepted but also highly encouraged.