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Toad's Place

Aaron JohnsonGeneral Assignment Reporter

NEW HAVEN – Hot lights, loud music, and cheers from the crowd. The atmosphere of a live performance is a sight to be had. In a venue like Toad’s Place, artists and audiences both get a chance to experience live performances on a week-to-week basis.

“The atmosphere is cool and casual,” said owner Brian Phelps, “We keep our finger on the pulse of the music industry by showcasing the best live talent.  It keeps us ‘hopping!’”

Groups have made live performances for audiences at Toad’s Place in New Haven for over 35 years. The venue provides solo artists and bands the opportunity to preform in front of a live — and usually raucous — audience.

“Booking is complicated, but we have a group of seasoned veterans at the helm of the process.  Our 38 year reputation and also being named 14th in the country by Rolling Stone Magazine last month helps bring in the best talent,” said Phelps.

Toad’s Place also has many concerts held during the year that showcases several different bands across all kinds of genres. The Labor Day Funkfest held each year is no different.

The Dave Kardas Band will be performing at Toad’s Place this Fall for the annual Funkfest.
The Dave Kardas Band will be performing at Toad’s Place this Fall for the annual Funkfest.

“I think it’s awesome performing there,” said Dave Kardas of the Dave Kardas Band, “We played there last year and it was a good performance.”

The Dave Kardas Band will be one of several bands performing at Toad’s Place for the Funkfest on Sunday, September 1, 2013.

“Although our market is more for 40-50 year olds, we write our own music while also doing covers of R&B songs. Being up there playing is just such a rush,” said Kardas.

While being able to give local artists a venue to play, Toad’s Place also is playing host to several big named artists this year as well.

“Some of the artist to be on the lookout for this year are Hoodie Allen and Wolfgang Gartner. We also have Iggy Azalea coming this week, who has a buzz right now,” said Phelps.

Phelps said the ideal location of Toad’s Place near so many different college campuses also play a roll in the acts that are booked.

“New Haven is such a college town. The bands factor that in when accepting bids and routing dates,” said Phelps.

Toad's Place
Toad’s Place on York Street

Toad’s Place — due to the location of New Haven and the surrounding colleges — offers music for all different genres, as well as, a weekly dance party for the students to blow off some steam and have fun.

“We have shows from all genres on our calendar,” said Phelps, “Also we have our weekly college dance party.”

The biggest event coming to Toad’s Place this fall is the Barstool Blackout Tour. Phelps said he is happy with the expected turnout.

“Thus far our most popular show would have to be the Barstool Blackout Tour.  It’s already sold out,” said Phelps.

The Barstool Blackout Tour — known as the “World’s Largest Blacklight Party Taking Over One College” — is scheduled to come to Toad’s Place on Thursday night, September 12, 2013.  Southern Connecticut State University students are sure to be among those attending.

“Toad’s is good because I enjoy hearing live music,” said SCSU student, Tavist Jones, “Plus the dance parties are great, so that’s always good too.”

Jones, a psychology major, said he has always enjoyed going to Toad’s Place and first started going after hearing live music there.
“I think there is a lot of live music out there,” said Kardas. “There is so much competition. But once you’re on stage, performing is a piece of cake.”

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