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Weekender Tiny Stage

Musicians playing in the 2017 Tiny State Concert series pose for a photo at Marty's Tap.

Last year, a handful of local bands were chosen to play a gig at Marty’s Tap. The catch? Groups were given a challenge to fit their instruments, their gear and themselves onto a tiny stage.

Kelly Quinn, co-owner of the Court Street bar, dubbed it the Tiny Stage Concert Series. Because of the shows’ success, Quinn has decided the series will return.

The Tiny Stage Concert Series Volume 2 will begin at 9 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 27) at Marty’s Tap. The band In Due Time will kick off the month-long series.

Quinn spoke to The Weekender about the series’ restoration:

HAVE YOU MADE ANY CHANGES TO THE SERIES?

Last time we had seven shows. Towards the end it kind of… I wouldn’t say it lost it’s luster or anything, but I think I wanted to shorten it just a little bit. Short and sweet. That way if we wanted to do one in the fall we could do something like that, too. Who knows?

WHAT’S THE DRAW TO SHOWS LIKE THESE?

It’s definitely got a gimmick to it as far as getting a local band that plays on bigger stages and cram them into a small one. I think that has a lot to do with it. It’s kind of like NPR [and it’s Tiny Desk Concerts] but probably a little less storytelling and you’re not in an office setting. Last year was a hit.

WHO CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE AT THESE CONCERTS?

In Due Time. They haven’t played since the battle of the bands. I know they did really well in it. They’re on a little hiatus because [lead singer Amber Anderson-Britton] is pregnant, but they’re coming out of their hiatus for this show, which is cool.

The same with Vibe Rations, who have said they’re not playing much right now. It makes it cool that bands are wanting to do this even if it’s not the most comfortable thing. But it’s fun!

Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell [a Social Distortion tribute band]. When they played last year we had a record attendance inside. They’ll have their same set up. Those guys may be the only one where I’ll allow the singer to be out in front of the stage, even though I’m going to press them to get it all up there. But when they rolled in with a full stack of guitars I’m like, “Dude…”

In between In Due Time and Vibe Rations will be my band, The Lone Rangers.

ARE THE ACTS GOING TO BE RECORDED?

I’m not going to get so much into the audio aspect. Last time, what I did was I recorded it, but it was so hard to get the sound because we’re so small in here. Getting just the band was really hard to find anything that was usable. Instead of me stressing on that, I’m just not going to do it. We’ll definitely take videos of it.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE ATMOSPHERE?

Depends on the band. For the Social D tribute, it reminded me of old Cattle Club shows where everyone crams into this small place and jams. For me, it created one of those old school house shows or a small club show. There really isn’t a place in Sioux City doing that, and for probably good reason. It’s nostalgic. Brings back the old club vibe. It’s cool and it’s something different.

WHAT DID YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT LAST YEAR’S SHOWS?

Seeing the bands show up and being creative on fitting on the stage. That was fun for me. What I enjoyed most was watching Mitch Martin velcro his pedalboard to the wall. Watching the way people get here and start scratching their heads and stressing out who’s going where. But by the time they did it and got it all set up and started playing, everyone had a blast.

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Weekender reporter

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