Some of the top bands that play at the Historic Everett Theatre are supporting the 119-year-old venue with live-stream shows.
Medicine Hat, Arny Bailey’s FM ‘69 and Kalimba will perform a June 27 show via StageIt, a web-based performance venue. It’s Historic Everett’s first show since the coronavirus pandemic forced it and all other theaters to close their doors in March.
The Historic Everett Theater is turning to live-streaming shows for revenue because the theater can’t wait for Phase 4 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan to start making money again.
“We need some source of income — we haven’t had any since March,” said Curt Shriner, theater manager. “I have a lot of people asking when are we going to be able to go back to a concert, and I don’t know the answer to that, and I also have bands that are chomping at the bit to play because they have nowhere to go.”
Shriner, who has operated the 800-seat theater since 2014, has been working hard to preserve it. But the theater is struggling financially and could be put up for sale later this year if revenue continues to drop.
Craig Shriner, who is Curt Shriner’s brother and who owns the property, has wanted to sell the theater and retire. So Curt is reaching out to partners to share ownership of the theater — he has five investors so far. Along with their investment, partners are part of the Historic Everett Theatre Preservation Society.
So Shriner is focused on giving local bands and their fans what they want: live shows — albeit streamed — at Historic Everett Theatre.
Medicine Hat will go on at 5 p.m., the Arny Bailey’s FM ‘69 show is at 7 p.m. and Kalimba takes the stage at 9 p.m. Each show is $10, or you can see all three bands perform for $30.
Kalimba, an Earth, Wind & Fire tribute act, plays the R&B band’s greatest hits, including “September” and “Boogie Wonderland.” Shriner asks the Everett band back every year because they’re a fan favorite.
The band, formed in 2011, is led by Chazz Smith and includes a keyboardist, saxophonists, guitarists, another singer and a full horn and rhythm section.
Arny Bailey’s FM ‘69 features Doug Heath from Paul Revere’s Raiders and Ben Smith from Heart. The 10-member band was formed in 2019 by frontman Arny Bailey.
The 1960s cover band likes to play “Happy Together” by The Turtles, “Downtown” by Petula Clark, “Somebody to Love” by Jefferson Airplane, Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” and The 5th Dimension’s “Aquarius.”
FM ‘69 opened for the Yardbirds Feb. 8 at the Historic Everett Theatre, and fans have been asking FM ‘69 back to the Everett theater ever since.
“This is my first show in four months — and I have eight bands,” Bailey said. “This live-streaming event that we’re having is a big deal. Not just for people who haven’t been able to watch live music, but for the musicians who have not been able to perform. We’re really excited.”
Medicine Hat has performed at Historic Everett Theatre at least 10 times since the Shriners took over the theater in 2014. The band has opened for well-known bands like Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat and Edgar Winter.
The rock ‘n’ roll cover band fronted by Bryan Olson includes musicians on keyboards, drums, guitars, bass, harmonica, flute and saxophone.
Medicine Hat likes to play “Main Street” by Bob Seger, “Lowdown” by Boz Scaggs, Little Feat’s “Spanish Moon,” Rory Gallagher’s “Moonchild” and “(Ain’t Nothing But A) House Party” by the J. Geils Band.
Olson, who formed the band in 2012, is one of Curt Shriner’s investors working to preserve the theater.
“It’s a cool thing to be involved with and to be able to share with others,” Olson said. “How can I resist playing there?”
If all goes well with next week’s live-stream show, Shriner said more will be scheduled. Two shows already are on the books.
On July 18, Bell Bottom Blues, an Eric Clapton tribute band, and Stonesy, a Rolling Stones tribute act, will perform with StageIt.
Then, on July 25, Blake Lewis of “American Idol” fame, alternative soul band MotherOfPearl and jam band The Sean Keck Project will take the virtual stage.
If you go
Medicine Hat, Arny Bailey’s FM ‘69 and Kalimba will perform a live-stream show put on by the Historic Everett Theatre via StageIt on June 27. Medicine Hat goes on at 5 p.m., the Arny Bailey’s FM ‘69 show is at 7 p.m. and Kalimba takes the stage at 9 p.m. Each show is $10. Call 425-258-6766 or go to www.yourhet.org for more information.