Following is part 1 of a series on Vive Music, a local show promotion and band management concern that is jointly run by Phil Greer and Rich Taylor.
Saskatoon has always had a rich history of all ages shows featuring local talent. Unfortunately, the scene has long been plagued by the lack of a permanent venue – and a competent and dedicated promoter.
That, however, has changed. Vive Music has taken up the thankless(ish) job of promoting quality all ages shows in Saskatoon. Even better, promoters Rich Taylor and Phil Greer have found an intimate venue, located downtown within Caffe Sola.
“Vive’s first show was in March 2008 at Lydia’s Loft with Ryan Boldt (singer of Deep Dark Woods) and Dumb Angel,” recalls Vive-r Phil Greer. “We did a number of shows in the Loft in 2008. It was a good room for us to start out in as it was easy to book and small enough for intimate shows. The Loft was also a great place for Rich to learn sound, but it was a bitch loading the PA up and down those stairs for every show.”
“Throughout that period we did a few house shows and Le Relais shows also. In the fall of 2008 we began to push the envelope by branching out and hosting shows in Lower Place Riel, Roxy (now the Fez), The Stall Gallery and The Roxy Theatre.”
“I still can’t believe we were trying to run shows at the The Roxy Theatre by the end of our first year,” he continues. “We were nuts but that’s Vive. Rich & I are always pushing each other and pushing the project to do more, to achieve more.”
Vive, a volunteer fueled, not-for-profit organization, has grown and developed at an amazing pace – proving the need for an alternative channel for local and touring bands. And with their new venue – which is currently the subject of a contest on CBC – http://bit.ly/cbcr3contest – attracting plenty of emerging talent, Vive are become Saskatoon’s premiere promoters.
“By the end of 2009, we became fully entrenched in Caffe Sola,” says Greer. “We hosted in the cafe proper but later moved to the back room before moving upstairs to what is now known as the Backroom. The space was created when the stonecutters shrank their shop to make room for us. We built a stage and ripped out some duct work, stapled some coffee sacks to the wall, acquired some art for the walls, and voila mini-venue.”
“I estimate that at this point we are running 60-80 shows per year outside of Vivefest,” continues Greer. “We hosted 37 shows at the Backroom from July to December 2010. And we have a mandate to host 39 yaya (Thursday all ages) shows from Nov 2010 to Nov 2011.”