Two fairly recent additions to Rochester’s scene, Thesis Beer Project and the Rochester Thaw music fest, are partnering to present a new concert series called Uptown X.
The inaugural night of the series, taking place Friday, will feature a little something for everyone. Apollo Cobra will bring the dance tunes, Peas and Carrot will rip on some folk-punk tunes, and TOPO + The Chemist, featuring poet and rapper Sean Laurie, provide a little hip-hop. Since the show’s free, this might be the best musical deal in town.
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“Uptown X is a combination of the love of music and craft beer by Thesis and Thaw,” says Nick Novotny, the founder and director for the Rochester Thaw, a music festival that launched last spring. Novotny developed the concept, one he calls a “no-brainer,” with Adam Fredericksen, the co-owner of the recently opened Thesis Beer Project.
Fredericksen says the idea for the series came about through “music chats over beers” with Novotny. “[We] have both been excited about bringing some over-the-top, high-energy shows to a place that can match that vibe,” says Fredericksen. “We feel like our taproom and stage is just the place for that.”
Novotny, beside organizing the Rochester Thaw, is also a saxophonist, drummer, and assistant brewer at Little Thistle Brewing Co. Between Fredericksen and Novotny, the love of both brewing beer and live music is abundant, and they hope that this show will be the first of many more.
Apollo Cobra was one of the bands on Fredericksen’s bucket list to perform at the brewery. Thesis even has a bathroom that plays only Apollo Cobra music, he says.
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While beer is certainly on the menu at the show, you can’t forget to eat your veggies. Peas and Carrot will help keep your musical diet well-balanced. The band is fronted by Audrey Robinson, who sings and plays guitar. She’s backed up by Ian Marlow (lead guitar), Billy Little (bass), and Graham Howland (drums). “To me, the songs come out with a raw punk honesty, while still sticking to a folk storyteller flow,” says Robinson. She says this is only the second time her full band has performed in Rochester, as several of the members don’t live here.
Robinson is excited that Thesis is becoming another music venue. “I think it is a welcome addition to an already strong and growing music scene,” she says.
“The more live music in town the better,” Fredericksen agrees. “Any opportunity we can create for the talented people around here to play their music and get paid for it is a win in my book.”