It was a cold, rainy evening in late March, the kind of night that inspires you to purposely stay indoors rather than venture out into the world. But tucked off of the corner of Broadway and Washington in north Minneapolis, a glow of anticipation was heating up the Boom Island taproom.
Inside, an eager crowd had gathered despite the dreary elements outdoors and an assortment of other activities taking place over the weekend. Beer flowed freely as people clustered together and prepared to take in the first concert of our Boom Room Jazz series. The fittingly named Django hop bier was a popular option given its namesake and the featured event of the night. Following a brief announcement from our Jim, valve trombonist Brad Bellows and his band of performers took to the “stage” in front of the 15-barrel brewing tanks and kicked off Boom Room Jazz.
As soon as the music began, toes started tapping and fingers silently snapping along to the beat underneath table tops, with some guests subtly swaying in time to the music. The normal operations of the taproom itself seemed to melt away as attentive listeners became captured by the music and the performers. Suddenly it wasn’t just the Boom Island taproom anymore; the environment had transformed into Boom Room Jazz.
For our taproom, the jazz filled the space perfectly, allowing guests the options of either listening to the performance or enjoying some conversation on the side, but most preferred to take in the performance. The musicians themselves only added to the energy that filled the room as they performed, clearly enjoying the ability to simply come and play not only for an audience, but with each other. It’s difficult to say what was more enjoyable – the actual music, or simply watching the musicians work with each other. The final notes from each song were immediately followed with enthusiastic applause from the audience, returned by appreciative smiles from the players.
It was the kind of evening that would make anyone easily forget the gloominess outside and want to remain listening to Boom Room Jazz for an indefinite amount of time. In fact, that seemed to be the general consensus among the crowd as the players concluded their performance. It was hard to believe that an hour and a half had passed so quickly. Patrons reluctantly lingered in the taproom as the musicians packed up, perhaps hoping that if they stuck around, Brad & Company would change their minds and come back to continue playing. Even though the musicians quietly disappeared into the night, the energy of the jazz still hung in the air and drifted along with guests as they departed. Boom Room Jazz may have concluded its first run, but the there was already anticipation building for the next concert to take place.
If you missed our inaugural Boom Room Jazz concert, worry not – our next concert in the series will be held on Saturday, April 30 at 7pm. Musicians will be announced closer to the date itself, but no matter who takes to playing in front of the tanks, Boom Room Jazz is guaranteed to get some swing in your step.