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February 16, 2024

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Live Wire aims to host national, local artists together

If someone misses a favorite band perform at the Cla-Zel, there’s always PBS on television.

Live Wire is hosted every first Thursday of each month consisting of local and national acts and is also filmed for PBS strictly by volunteers from University students and faculty, along with community members of 88.1 WBGU-FM.

Faculty adviser and instructor in the department of Telecommunications Stephen Merrill is one of the founders of Live Wire and said the concept of the idea was thought of in 2011 and was put into action February 2012. We wanted to touch base upon the local music scene in Bowling Green and as a credible music scene for the whole Midwest, he said.

“It was a chance for us to connect with the Cla-Zel but also to give my students a better sense of how to … produce fun concerts and present it as a television show,” Merrill said. “Why should television shows from PBS only come from other places?”

Merrill decided to host Live Wire at a venue like Cla-Zel because it’s a larger place to film for a show and its lighting effects work well when shooting in high definition quality.

“It has the right space to be able to effectively shoot a show,” Merrill said. “It has high enough ceilings, space to move around and it has a relatively large stage.”

Senior Chris Cedar has been involved with Live Wire since day one and oversees everything from the television perspective during the live shows. He said the organization has developed sincerely since it first started to the show being professionalized now.

“We want to make Live Wire a thing that will last for a long time and for what Bowling Green is known for,” Cedar said. “That’s our goal is to make it very big and something Bowling Green can be proud of.”

Deciding on bands to perform depends on if the artists are acceptable to be presented on television such as not having any profanity on stage and are television safe.

Water-pop band Super Water Sympathy played many dates during this past summer’s Vans Warped Tour and have collaborated with B.o.B on his album “Strange Clouds.” The band performed for Live Wire in September and lead vocalist Ansley Hughes said it was great to perform for something that was just starting to make a name for itself in the area.

“It was a cool thing to perform for and having something like [Live Wire] first starting out is the same thing as how a band starts out,” Hughes said. “It has a lot to do with how everyone is talking about it and words travel fast. The people involved have to be excited about it and having a scene in a small community is great.”

One local artist to perform at Live Wire is Mark Dally’s project Balloon Messenger. Dally said before performing, the audience viewed an interview on screens beforehand, making the atmosphere seem a little more professional.

“It’s neat to record your live performance and look back on it later,” Dally said. “The flow of the night was set up very intelligently and it’s exciting to see a venue investing in local artists.”

Live Wire’s next show will be on Nov. 7 at the Cla-Zel.

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