Since 2010, Louie G's Pizza in Fife has served as an incubator and proving ground for local rock talent. And, this weekend, owner Louie Galarza will put on his second annual Dreamfest to showcase promising young bands that have cut their teeth at his club, along with a few familiar fixtures of South Sound rock.
Based on last year's attendance, a crowd of 800 to 1,000 is expected to turn out Saturday and Sunday to check out headliners Windowpane and Randy Hansen, along with a supporting cast that includes the Fame Riot, Riot in Rhythm, Amadon, Nolan Garrett and C-Leb & the Kettle Black, among nearly two dozen buzz-worthy acts.
“I got the best bands that I knew of, the bands that come in here and that actually do their work and put on a great show,” said Galarza.
“If you've ever seen my place, it's set up for these kids to get better, get productive and get to work,” he said. Dreamfest is “a big production. We let them see what a real production is like. They get lanyards. Everything is completely by the book. It's like playing a big arena show.”
Teenage rockers Jason Kertson and the Immortals have been honing their chops at Louie's since they played their first show there two years ago. The band's namesake said he's especially stoked to get onstage Saturday.
“Louie's is kind of the only place in Washington of its kind,” said singer-guitarist Jason Kertson, 16.
“I think it's mostly because Louie is such a caring guy,” he said. “He actually cares about the people, helps the bands out and gives them advice. Pretty much anyone who wants to develop a fan base or just play a few shows can go to Louie G's and request a spot on a bill.”
Among the more established acts playing this weekend is Tacoma's Ben Union, a band that will be playing its last show in Washington for the year.
Ben Union plays all over the Northwest, and band leader Ben Mira (a.k.a. Ben Union) ranks Louie's near the top of the venues his band headlines.
“I have nothing but good things to say about Louie,” Mira said. “The stage is probably one of the biggest and best we've played as far as production goes. (Louie is) very generous. I think that he fills a hole in the Tacoma scene, the South Sound, as far as how he treats bands. But he makes the bands bring it, too. Because there's not a lot of foot traffic in Fife, you have to work hard (to promote.) But the reward is a lot better.”
A portion of Dreamfest proceeds benefit Everett's Burned Children Recovery Foundation, a group that provides support for children who have been severely injured in fires. “They're trying to buy a chunk of land up in Bellingham to have a camp, so we're trying to raise money for them,” Galarza said.
Music will start at 11 a.m. both days, and the event is open to all ages. Tickets are $20 per day with two-day VIP packages available for $50 to $60, all of which can be purchased online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com.
Clear The Chaos - 1 p.m.
Insuburban Avenue - 1:45 p.m.
Atomic Ballroom - 2:30 p.m.
Mom’s Rocket - 3:25 p.m.
Jason Kertson and the Immortals - 4:20 p.m.
The Fail safe Project - 5:15 p.m.
Ben Union - 6:10 p.m.
The Fame Riot - 7:05 p.m.
Witchburn - 8 p.m.
Amadon - 9:05 p.m.
Mechanism - 10 p.m.
Riot In Rhythm - 10:55 p.m.
Windowpane - 11:50 p.m
Fistful Of dollars - 1 p.m.
The Mural Project - 1:45 p.m.
Suspicious By Nature - 2:30 p.m.
Tahoma Souls Alive - 3:25 p.m.
Lady Justice - 4:20 p.m.
The Approach - 5:15 p.m.
C-Leb And The Kettle Black - 6:10 p.m.
Nolan Garrett - 7:10 p.m.
Sweet Kiss Momma - 8:15 p.m.
Randy Hansen - 9:30 p.m.
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