The new all-ages do-it-yourself music venue The Boreal held their first show on Friday January 10th, 2014. The Boreal is an independent, drug and alcohol free, safe space for our community. Boreal is located at 450 W. 3rd near the Washington/Jefferson Street bridge where the new skate park is being built, right in between the Whitaker and downtown Eugene. There is a bus stop very close to the venue, which allows for easy access. There are a few convenience stores in the area, however drinks and snacks are sold inside from anywhere between $1-$3. The space is 1,100 square feet which is large for a DIY venue in Eugene. Another convenient thing about the Boreal is that it is very easy to book, you can contact them at BorealBooking@gmail.com.
The night was full of diversity, I saw lots of new and old faces, new bands and bands that have been playing for years, and a lot of different bands came together that night. Arrows and Stones (new local band), SKEEVE (local hardcore punk), Best Friends (local jam-based garage rock), Martian Manhunter (local “cuddle shred” rock), Southtowne Lanes (local skramz), and This Patch of Sky (local post-rock) all played and helped raise money to pay for future expenses for the venue. This was a solid lineup for the venue’s first show. “They booked the best locals in town for this first show, it makes me excited for upcoming shows here,” said attendee and NEHS junior Gelacio Cruz-Alvarado.
The importance of having a place like this is that there aren’t many other all ages venues that are easily accessible in Eugene. When the bar scene is taking over Eugene, there isn’t much room for the under 21 crowd to enjoy music or play music anywhere. Although there are places like The Wandering Goat Cafe, Cozmic Pizza, and a few houses that host shows, the youth can’t just rely on those places forever because places that aren’t strictly there to hold shows come and go. However, recently a new venue titled Behavior Castle announced that they’re going to start holding shows, movie nights, and art shows regularly in the near future. This first show at The Boreal showed the importance of having a place like this town. The room was packed before the first band Arrows and Stones went on. There were circle pits that were so large they nearly went to the back of the room. It was even a little amazing to see amount of people spread throughout the parking lot and sidewalk in between bands conversing.
There were lots of good vibes and a great sense of community coming from everyone despite the bumps throughout the night. With the venue being new, there is still a lot of work needed, in the future for The Boreal. The acoustics in the room made it difficult for musicians to really play efficiently and things got muddy for the audience, however it didn’t create a damper on everyone’s energy for the show. Local show goer Jim Pennel said, “The lack of a public bathroom is going to create problems in the future.” However, this was the first show held here so hopefully these problems will get taken care of in the near future.
Most importantly, this first show made history in Eugene’s DIY scene. The Boreal’s first show was a signifier of the fact that our community has needed a place like this, due to the large amount of people. Every show that has happened previously showed that a place like this was needed, and kids will pack any place within reach to see and hear what they love. This place also shows the lengths young musicians will go to in order to play their music and reach out to a broader audience. “It was super exciting to be one of the first bands to play The Boreal! It was great to be a small part of something huge in Eugene’s local music scene,” said Hunter Briggs, the drummer for SKEEVE and senior at North Eugene High School.
January 18th – MIXED BILL: Pirate Radio (Local punk) Lawrence (Portland hip-hop), Trey The Ruler (Washington spoken-word), Mercy Pledge (First Show), Dimensionless, and Audiophobia. $5 or $3 with a can of food or $3 if you bring someone who hasn’t been to a show.
January 25th- INDIE/GAZY SHOW: Netherfriends, Egotones, and Snow White. $5.
February 1st- METAL SHOW: Exiled in Eugene Presents : Septic Burial, Weresquatch, Warkrank, and Dark Confidant. $5.
February 6th- Rye Wolves, Hungers, and Egotones. Price TBA.
Photos courtesy of Sandra Martinez-Modesto