Local Band To Perform 2007 Debut Album In Anniversary Concert

The Audience, one of Jamestown’s premier original indie rock bands, will perform its 2007 debut album “Below and Beyond” in its entirety Saturday at Mojo’s Music Bar in a special 10th anniversary concert. P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti

For The Audience, 2017 is expected to be a year of both progress and reflection.

But for now its members are doing more of the latter, excavating several relics from their past collection of original songs and polishing them up for a rapidly approaching downtown concert.

The four-piece, indie rock Jamestown outfit is preparing for a special concert Saturday at Mojo’s Music Bar, where the band will perform its nine-track debut album “Below and Beyond” in its entirety for the purpose of celebrating the 10 years that have passed since its 2007 release. The show is highly anticipated by both the band and its fanbase, as it will feature a handful of songs that have been performed rarely, if ever, by the group in a live setting.

The Audience consists of four-fifths of another local and regional favorite, Smackdab, including: Mark Cooper on lead vocals and guitar; Ryan Ecklund on bass; Matthew Baxter on lead guitar and vocals; and Daniel Witherspoon on drums. According to Baxter, “Below and Beyond” has had a lasting impact on the local music scene and, at the request Justin Netti, the band’s unofficial fifth member and producer of its 2011 follow-up album, “All at Once,” the group decided to honor the time-tested tunes a decade after they were first unveiled.

“Justin Netti recently pointed out that ‘Below and Beyond’ came out 10 years ago, so we thought ‘Hey, let’s be wacky and relearn those songs and play a show,'” Baxter said. “These particular songs would come to define our sound over the years, and it always blows my mind when people tell us how much that album means to them. We are also playing a couple songs from that era that never made it to the studio. It will be fun to revisit that time in our lives.”

Baxter added that The Audience, despite having been relegated to the backburner by its members for a couple of years due to the ongoing success of Smackdab, is also looking ahead toward what it hopes will be somewhat of a resurgence this year.

“We haven’t been very active in recent years, as Smackdab tends to be our main focus, but we are hoping to change that,” he said. “We plan to play a few more times this summer, and hopefully work on some new material when we can. I think we all miss playing this stuff and it creates a necessary balance.”

Also performing Saturday at Mojo’s will be Roger Bryan and the Orphans, from Buffalo, and Big Lunch from Nashville, Tenn., featuring Jamestown natives Ben Bracey and Chelsea Peebles. The concert will kick off with a set by Big Lunch at 10 p.m., who will be followed by Roger Bryan and the Orphans — which used to play shows with The Audience in Buffalo several years ago.

The Audience will close out the concert with all nine songs from “Below and Beyond,” in order, along with a couple of previously unreleased originals from the “Below and Beyond” era. There will be a $5 cover charge.

For more information, find the event on Facebook.