Batesville High School senior Evan Prunty believes it’s “real important” to get more area residents interested in music by bringing live shows here.
Recently he has collaborated with Gibson Theatre owner Kim Powell on three shows in January, June and July. The first and last concerts featured four bands while the middle one boasted a whopping seven and lasted from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. “That was an interesting situation,” trying to switch out the musical and sound gear for each group without giant pauses in between. “Even a venue with more experience than us would have had trouble,” he maintains.
The sounds have been diverse, but mostly alternative. Through the band Hawthorne Heights, getting ready for a national tour, he met musicians in Follow Me Forward, “really nice guys ... they’ve connected me with different people.” While the majority of groups have been from Indianapolis, others drove to Batesville from Fort Wayne, Cleveland, Wisconsin and even Nebraska. Follow Me Forward and The Day After have played twice, the others just once. “All the bands really enjoyed it,” the teen reports.
He got the word out on Facebook, posters and the theater marquee.
About 100 stood in front of the Gibson stage at each show, according to Powell.
“The Gibson made no money off of the shows ... I didn’t do it for that,” the owner says, but rather to provide youth with a safe place to socialize. “If they’re in the Gibson having a good time, they’re not doing something they shouldn’t be on the outside.”
He reflects, “These are good kids. I really enjoyed working with them. We have had no trouble whatsoever. They did all their own advertising. They cleaned up afterwards. I could tell when Evan and his band came in, they were in it for the music and to have a good time and put on a show for the kids. There were adults there, too.”