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November 30, 2023

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Live Wire kicks off new year at Cla-Zel Theatre


The Girls! from Columbus perform at Cla-Zel on Thursday night at the Live Wire season debut.

Live Wire kicked off another season of shows at Cla-Zel Theatre last night.

Ballyhoo!, Lovebettie, the Tropic Bombs and The Girls performed at the first of seven Live Wire events planned for this academic year.

Ballyhoo! is a nationally known band, and the Live Wire team hopes to bring in a nationally known act for each show, said Stephen Merrill, faculty advisor for Live Wire. Cloud Nothings and Saintseneca have been confirmed for the October and November shows.

Regional and local bands are also part of Live Wire’s shows.

Regardless ofa who is performing, Live Wire is about “capturing the live performance in the most authentic way possible,” Merrill said.

The live performances are recorded, and telecommunications students help create a TV show from the material.

The show retains the authenticity of the live performance rather than feeling like a performance on a morning news show, Merrill said.

The show will air about two months after the live performance, said Kevin Cedar, a student producer for Live Wire.

Material from the live shows also contributes to a radio show. The radio show includes highlights from past Live Wire shows, interviews and extended cuts of songs.

Live Wire developed out of students from WBGU-FM having college radio nights at Cla-Zel. The students wanted to add something unique to Bowling Green’s live music scene, Merrill said.

“I love how it brings [Bowling Green] a music scene,” Cedar said. “It really showcases a lot of great music on one night.”

This was the first time the Tropic Bombs are playing at Cla-Zel. Vocalist Ryan Wayton was looking forward to it before the show.

“Cla-Zel is supposed to be a really fun venue to play at,” he said.

The Tropic Bombs were originally supposed to play at a Live Wire last year, but then Wayton had shoulder surgery. Waiting may have been the better option in the end.

The Tropic Bombs and Ballyhoo! both have a rock/reggae sound, Wayton said.

“[Merrill] thought we’d be a good fit for this show,” Wayton said.

The Tropic Bombs were supposed to play a show with Ballyhoo! at Howard’s Club two years ago, but the bands’ schedules didn’t work out. Wayton was excited to get to play with Ballyhoo! after all.

Cedar was looking forward to Ballywho! as well.

“I’ve always been a big fan of Ballywho!,ww” he said.

As bigger-name bands like Ballywho! come in, Cedar hopes to get more attendees too.

“[We’re] looking forward to seeing how big we can grow the crowd each show,” Cedar said.

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