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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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The Wide Awakes take stage tonight

When Adam Renchen teaches an audience full of mostly underclassmen, he tends to feed off their input and ends up throwing his lesson plan away.

When Renchen drums in front of an audience, he feeds off the connection, forgetting the plan he carried with him before hitting the stage.

On Friday, he’ll carry that same mentality he used in the classroom, to stimulate the crowd while he drums with his band The Wide Awakes at Howard’s – opening for the headliners Oval Opus.

Renchen and the bass player for Oval Opus, Patrick “Trick” Martin, have a connection that is traced back to Cincinnati, where both attended college.

The two musicians met in a poetry class and began talking about rock music, which led to both collaborating and making music.

“We both kind of grew as musicians together,” Renchen said, “we wanted to be rock stars.”

As Renchen pressed on with his music, he noticed the progress of his writing improved and the idea of teaching became more realistic.

“I soon realized (music) wasn’t as fun as I wanted it to be,” Renchen said, “but now I don’t mind being a musician.”

While concentrating on being a teacher at the University, he left his drum set unpacked for a year.

It wasn’t until he saw an ad in the paper, that a “thumper” drummer was needed, that his drum set would be unpacked and would become the backbone of The Wide Awakes.

The Wide Awakes have been playing since the late ’90s and lead singer/songwriter Tim Bueter was now able to step out and be more of a front man.

“I write songs that come from my experience, from my gut,” Bueter said. “I have always been drawn to ’60s pop music, three minutes of high energy, bare-bones rock with a big hook in the center.”

With Renchen on board, the band consists of Bueter (vocals), Michael Johnson (guitar and vocals), Brandon Boltz (bass and vocals) and Liz Owens (rhythm guitar and vocals).

They started playing songs Renchen describes as “songs that would be in your head for three days.”

Tonight will reunite friendship of Renchen and “Trick” Martin, bassist of Oval Opus.

“It will be neat to play with Patrick on stage again,” Renchen said, “but it will be 30 minutes of straight rocking and just fun.”

As far as teaching, Renchen plans to go back to school and do more academic writing.

Musically, he hopes to sell records and get a following with The Wide Awakes and his side project called The Film Stars with his wife Sarah Tebbe, who is also a professor at teaching the Great Ideas course at the University.

Friday will be a night of rock ‘#38; roll and the meeting of two long-time friends whose journeys intertwine for one night at Howard’s.

The Wide Awakes will take the stage tonight at approximately 10 p.m. with Oval Opus headlining.

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