Written by: Trey Reis
The Maintenance Shop in the Memorial Union at Iowa State University holds a place in my life not unlike my first memories of riding a bike, eating sushi, or being devastated by a book. Since the ripe age of 15, as a teenager attending Ogden High School, I had already nestled into the routine of scouring the cities of central Iowa for live music, large sound systems, and general recklessness. As soon as the first of my friends turned 16 and obtained a driver’s license, we were going to shows at the M-Shop. I remember The Appleseed Cast with Love of Everything and Chin Up Chin Up. I remember the Voodoo Glow Skulls with Big D and the Kid’s Table. I remember Go Betty Go.
By the time I enrolled at Iowa State University, the consistency of the concert schedule at the M-Shop had dropped off significantly. It averaged one good show a semester, and even it was usually more than I would have expected to spend to see the band anywhere else.
This year, it looks like the M-Shop may be moving back in the direction of its former glory. The list of stand-outs begins with a performance from Nappy Roots at the very end of August. This show is quickly followed by a notable hat-trick of performances in September, including CSS with local soon-to-be’s MAIDS (another one of Des Moines’ super bands, combining the talents of Is Home Is Mickey Davis with Seedlings’ Danny Heggen), Peelander Z (the Japanese answer to The Flaming Lips), and The Hood Internet, who is quickly becoming a bit of an M-Shop repeat act.
The schedule continues with a hilariously sold-out Aaron Carter appearance on October 4 and KURE Fest on the 18th and Drop City Yacht Club on the first of November.
Perhaps as a city’s music scene progresses, so too go the venues (or is it the venues that make the scene?). With Ames stepping up the music culture over the past four or five years, I expect we’ll continue to see more good shows coming through, and this semester’s upcoming M-Shop schedule could be a sign of continuing great things to come.