Since opening the doors at School Street in Chicopee, General Manager Donald Robert, Jr. and his Maximum Capacity nightclub have hosted national rockers like Vince Neil, Men in Motion, ladies’ nights… even midget wrestling.
But never before has the venue dedicated an entire evening to showcasing local DJs. And that’s a fact that Robert is looking to change effective this Friday, Feb. 21.
“Basically, I’ve had DJs ask for a long time to host a DJ contest, but I didn’t feel there were enough DJs around to host something big enough,” Robert explains. “With the recent emergence of electronic dance music, however, I thought the time had come to give it a shot.”
The resulting brainstorming session led to the club’s first ever “So You Think You Can DJ” contest. And when Robert put the call out for participants and received 20 replies in three days, his assessment of the genre’s popularity was swiftly validated.
“We’re going to keep it simple this year: five weeks with four DJs per week, culminating with the finals April 11,” he informed us. “We have $2,000 in total cash prizes this year, but the longterm plan is to make it an annual event with sponsors and such that will put it in the $5,000 ballpark.”
The contest starts at 10 p.m. and there is no cover charge for round one. For more info, kindly point your browser to the club’s Facebook page at .com/ClubMaxCap.
Also in Chicopee this weekend, the annual Irish Gala benefitting the Sisters of Saint Joseph will occur Sunday, Feb. 23 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Castle of Knights on Memorial Drive.
Admission ($25) includes great savories (including warm corned beef sandwiches, of course), and sounds courtesy of the Andy Healy Band. Raffles and a cash bar will also be available. Tickets are available now at Mont Marie in Holyoke and the Irish Cultural Center at Elms College in Chicopee.
And if that shindig wets your whistle for more shamrock-laden festivities, perhaps a trip to New London, Conn.’s Garde Arts Center (gardearts.org) is in order.
On Wednesday, March 5, the historic venue will play host to the man roundly regarded as the “Hendrix of Bagpipes,” Carlos Núñez. Born and raised in Galicia, the Celtic region in the northwest of Spain, Núñez is considered one of the biggest artists on the international world/Celtic music scene, possessing the quality of a classical music virtuoso and the charisma of a rock star.
“What the flamenco guitar is to the south, the gaita is to the north,” he explains of his instrument of choice. “The pipes have been here for over 1,000 years. They are the oldest in the world. Everyone knows Scottish bagpipes and Irish uillean pipes, but they are the descendants of the Galician pipes.” Tix are $32 and the concert kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
In other news, a programing note from Springfield’s MassMutual Center (massmutualcenter.com). “I can’t express, in words, how excited I am about this tour,” Justin Moore declared before embarking on a 57-city trek that included a Springfield stop Feb. 13. In light of Storm Pax, however, Moore will have to contain any excitement about his Bay State play until tax day, April 15—the date of his official reschedule. All tickets for the original show will be honored on April 15. Those seeking refunds must return to point of purchase.
Last but not least, after a nearly four-year hiatus, celebrated Springfield metal-meisters Medicated Savage are reportedly resurfacing. In addition to winning both Grand Band Slam and ourstage.com contests a half-decade ago, the local band’s biggest claim to fame was having its hit tune, “Be Original,” featured in a Honda commercial. Stay tuned next week for an exclusive report from band guitarist Bob “Crash” Gordon.•
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