Long before Bart Dahl landed a gig as a manager at Madison House (and later moved to New York when the Boulder-based booking and management company opened an office there) he played in a few bands in the mid ‘90s while getting his “first peek behind the curtain, so to speak” at the local music scene. Now Dahl, who managed a number of bands, including Dinosaur Jr., Nathaniel Rateliff, CAKE and (currently) Residual Kid, has taken over senior talent buyer positions at Lost Lake Lounge and Larimer Lounge, where James Irvine recently left after ten years to take a position booking shows at the Bowery Electric in New York.
“It's a tremendous opportunity that I couldn't pass up,” Dahl says. “The Larimer Lounge is a great venue. I have had a lot of my bands play there over the years and I have been in the audience and seen a ton of great shows there. As for Lost Lake, it's really the anchor of the emerging East Colfax music scene. Its proximity to the Bluebird is obviously an advantage in that we can host after-parties and special engagements, but even without that, it's a great stand-alone venue. It has undergone some changes and has morphed from a great bar to a great bar and venue.
“The folks over there have done a great job of making it what it is today and its evolution is still ongoing. That whole area is so different than what it was even five years ago, it's remarkable. I feel like the Lost Lake was a catalyst for some great revitalization over there.”
With his years of experience of managing bands, Dahl says he’s always hands-on with booking and I know what I want a deal to look like.
“I also have certain expectations of the venue from the artists perspective,” Dahl adds, “so I can be empathetic to a band in a way that maybe they're not used to. I know a lot of booking agents already, so it'll be nice to do business with them in a new way. Now I'm a lot more sensitive to the needs of the club in the transaction, too. It's a very symbiotic relationship - all of the parts rely on each other to ensure a successful show. I guess it's kind of unique that I have been the band, the manager, and now, the buyer. I have also booked bands a little bit out of necessity, although I have never been a ‘booking agent’ with an agency.”
Dahl says he wants to pick up where Irvine left off, still bringing a diverse selection of acts while also possibly booking some secret shows with bigger acts. “I just want to book the best stuff regardless of genre,” he adds. “It's safe to say it's not going to suddenly become sonically-homogenous.”
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