Allegheny Showcase puts local bands in spotlight at the Oaks Theatre
Christian Groblewski is concerned that not enough people in the Pittsburgh area are getting behind the good bands — the ones that “bring the show” to the stage.
The Pittsburgh musician, promoter and businessman is hoping that his brainchild, the Allegheny Showcase, debuting April 6 at the Oaks Theatre, Oakmont, will help begin to change that.
“That's what I try my best to do every day,” says Groblewski, who also has a booking agency and a record shop, and is partners in Tonic Recording Studios.
With the Allegheny Showcase, he is partnering with Tonic, Yuengling Brewing Co. and The Oaks Theatre to periodically spotlight local acts.
“It is something that needs to be done, so bands can invest back into themselves,” he adds. “It takes a lot of money to break a band.”
Headlining is the Dirty Charms, who Groblewski calls “one of the best original rock'n'roll bands” in Pittsburgh. “In 2015 they won the second pennrockscholarship.com and have been on a rockin' roll ever since. Joe Grushecky has called them one of his favorite new rock bands from Pittsburgh.”
Each show also offers other acts — The E.K. Band, 13 Saints and The Red Lines — 25 minutes to showcase original material.
Bassist Rocky Lamonde of the Dirty Charms says, “I like the fact that the Oaks gives local bands the opportunity to play on a nice stage with a nice PA. It's really a good thing. Playing with other bands helps bands meet new fans.”
The musical talent in the Pittsburgh area is “off the charts, pun intended,” says Joe Wichryk II of the Oaks. “We have an opportunity to help promote these up-and-coming musicians and put them in an environment at the theater that is not just a small bar/restaurant where most local bands get stuck playing,” he says. ”For some of the younger bands, being that we are a performance venue and not a bar, this may be the first opportunity their under-21 friends would have a chance to see them perform.”
“We are excited to try out this style of show at The Oaks Theatre and hope to not only engage the community but learn from the experience in order to help curate the best possible entertainment,” he adds.
Rex Rutkoski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.