Last weekend, Louie’s Trophy House put on a two-night festival sponsored by WIDR titled ZOOthousand 16. Organized by Tim Bauer, seven to eight acts played each night, with a total of seven acts hailing from Kalamazoo. Performers included Pets, ByJr, Bronze Mambas, Boring People, Soul Low, The Fiction Junkies, True F.O., Brad Miller, Katy Needs A Life/Band, THE COUNTER ELITES, The Free Life, Jes Kramer, The Plurals, Ghost Bunnies, and THE MUSHMEN.
When asked about his motivation for putting on the event, Bauer said that one of his main goals was “to put together two days of local and regional bands, hopefully introducing Kzoo folks to some other bands from around the area.”
Julia Koreman K‘14, who was at ZOOthousand16 Saturday night, admired Louie’s as a venue.
“Overall,” Koreman said, “I was impressed by the acoustics of the space, and I like that they had seating options.”
THE COUNTERELITES were one act Koreman agreed caught the audience’s attention. The band was composed of two members, a lead singer/guitarist and a drummer, and used costume to drive their personality on stage. The lead member wore a leather jacket, Elvis style gold metalized shades, and an overgrown Elvis style wig. The drummer also wore glasses along with a stars and stripes bandana.
“I thought THE COUNTERELITES were really dynamic, and it was really impressive that it was a two man band. However, it seemed like they catered to an audience who already knew their style and what was going to happen, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the costumes,” Koreman said. “I think it would have been more vibrant and exciting if both members had shown their enthusiasm through their costumes. The lead guitarist’s/singer’s costume was distracting from the other member of the band and from what they were playing.
Bauer’s band, The Free Life, was another act that stood out, with lyrics like “I smell like a human, you smell like a corporation.” Lyrics like these, Bauer said, are about “real social and political issues, but in a somewhat lighthearted or satirical way.”
Another major goal Bauer had in mind when organizing ZOOthousand16 was “the hope that people would come out and enjoy some tunes in January, a month when people might be less likely to check out some bands.”
Overall, Bauer said that he felt ZOOthousand16 was successful. Around 230 people attended the festival between the two nights.
The True F.O., who played on Friday night, will be back at Louie’s February 6 along with artists Vines, Bermudas, and Sister Syren.