What began as the pipedream of two friends has now cemented itself as another great option in Summit County’s rich nightlife. On Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8, Frisco’s Barkley Ballroom will celebrate its first anniversary with a two-night celebration featuring Juno What?!, James and the Devil and Hog Magundy, three bands that were audience favorites during the past year.
“It’s been an amazing first year,” said Todd Altschuler, Barkley Ballroom co-owner. “The thing that has impressed me most is the way the community has rallied around the venue. From Todd Powell donating framed photos to Christopher Zargosa donating a piano, the locals have been there for us with one act of kindness after another.”
The piano actually led to co-owner Keegan Casey’s favorite musical moment.
“Marco Benevento playing ‘Benny and the Jets’ on Chris’ piano was surreal,” Casey said.
The bands for the celebration were carefully selected, and all three provided milestone moments during the year.
“James and the Devil’s first performance in The Barkley Ballroom was a memorable experience, to say the least” Altschuler said. “The band braved a snowstorm, crashed their van on (Interstate) 70 and still made it to Frisco, albeit a few hours late. They loaded their equipment in to a standing ovation from the awaiting crowd, and the band and audience’s energy was palpable from start to finish.”
Electro-funk superstars Juno What?!, composed of members of The Motet, Stevie Wonder and Prince’s bands, and bluegrass standouts Hog Magundy are two acts that the locals raved about this year, so The Barkley wanted them to be a part of the celebration, as well.
Looking back on the first year, there are several other shows that really stand out to the owners.
“Karl Denson was our first sellout and a great night of music,” Casey said.
Robert Randolph, Cracker, Tab Benoit, Tea Leaf Green and John Brown’s Body are just some of the other national touring acts that have performed in the intimate venue.
“Being so close to Robert Randolph that you could touch his guitar embodies what’s so great about The Barkley Ballroom,” said Frisco resident Tim Carmichael. “The personal interactions and ability to hang out with bands that are so big and famous is an experience that you just don’t get at any other venue.”
The Barkley has a full winter of music in store for Summit County, with Boombox, North Mississippi Allstars and Dirty Dozen Brass Band, to name a few.
“We’ve definitely provided the music lovers of Summit County with some legendary experiences this past year and hope that we can continue to do so for many years to come,” Casey said.
“It’s been an amazing first year. The thing that has impressed me most is the way the community has rallied around the venue.”
Barkley Ballroom co-owner