Over the past decade, Soda Jerk Presents has grown from a small, do-it-yourself operation into an aggressive and well-tuned booking machine. Its history is rife with tales of hey-remember-that-show, since Soda Jerk founder and promoter Mike Barsch has handled some of the underground scene's most notorious venues, filling The Raven (now the Climax Lounge), Club 156 and Tulagi with punk, hardcore and metal shows. But now, with Soda Jerk's recent move from Rock sland to the recently reopened Marquis Theatre, at 2009 Larimer Street, he's come way up from underground.
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The Larimer building had housed a pawnshop until a few years ago, when it was remodeled into a 500-person-capacity space for Brendan's Pub. After that venture foundered, the address suffered through a few more failed incarnations. But now, with Barsch taking on full booking duties, the venue may finally take off. Given the standard swelter of most punk dives, the upscale surroundings feel like a pleasant perk. Extensive renovations done by previous owners have left the room feeling like a stuffy cigar lounge with hardwood floors, polished stone counters and bar stools with backs; the bathrooms have yet to meet the squeaky tip of a Sharpie.
Both the time and place seem right for Soda Jerk to expands its rock roster. "We've already built our own niche," Barsch explains. "But now I think, going into this new scene, it'll be important for us to diversify our calendar. The room lends itself to doing more adult-oriented-type shows, 21-plus stuff, more popular indie rock -- all the things we've never really done before."
Stepping up his shows means entering the territories of rival bookers, but Barsch is certain that competition won't be a problem. "I have no worries," he says. "I think that anyone who comes to see the room will be impressed. The production alone will crush anyone in town."
For a full calendar of shows, log on to www.sodajerkpresents.com or dial the Marquis at 303-443-2227.