On Friday night, concertgoers listened, bobbed their heads to the beat and danced along to the music of five local bands. As a part of the radio station WFHB’s Local Live series, the bands each played a short set at the Bluebird to raise money for solar panels and other green initiatives for the radio station.
Each of the bands appeared on this year’s “Local Live on WFHB Volume 6 C.” John Dehner, emcee of the event, opened the show by introducing the first band, Electric Fences.
“Thanks for coming to LocalFest,” Dehner said. “It’s a very special thing, just like the station itself, just like these bands that are here tonight.”
During the concert, attendees could buy merchandise from the bands, as well as from WFHB. While working the merchandise table, volunteer Emily Jackson said one of the reasons the radio station started was to play local music.
“It’s like a mutual love situation,” she said. “We support local music and they support us by playing in our shows, which goes back to the origin of the station. Twenty-four years ago, there was no way for local bands to get on the radio because it was all very mainstream and you had to have records out.”
After the Electric Fences Set, Chainsaw Mondays took the stage, followed by Opal Fly and KAPOW! and Busman’s Holiday. Mike Adams at His Honest Weight closed out the showcase, keeping the music going until around 1 a.m.
Mike Adams said he has been involved with WFHB for years and was glad to be invited to play in the showcase.
“In general, I think they’re valuable to Bloomington as a local and alternative voice,” he said. “Not only with the music stuff, but they do local news coverage, even up to state-level government news coverage, which I think is really valuable.”
Adams said he likes the way WFHB organizes its weekly Local Live Showcases, which he has also previously played in. He said the event makes the artists feel comfortable onstage.
“They just kind of insert themselves into a normal show, which is great because then it doesn’t feel manufactured in any way,” he said. “It’s just like they’re participating in what Bloomington is already doing.”
Adams said the show flowed smoothly, with Dehner giving quick introductions of the bands between sets. The bands kept up with the energy from the crowd, dancing onstage and giving shoutouts to family members as well as each other between their songs.
Leigh Kupersmith, who came to the showcase to support WFHB as a donor, said Bloomington is a great town for live music because there is so much talent here. She said WFHB is extremely supportive of local musicians.
“WFHB is just different from any other radio station,” she said. “They’re always getting in new stuff and trying new stuff, every DJ has their own special tastes and they encourage that. They’re hugely supportive of local music, and it’s been important for the community and the state.”
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