Rexburg music fans got a little taste of the Pacific Northwest last Wednesday night when award-winning Seattle singer/songwriter Bryan John Appleby played a free show at local venue, The Burg.
Appleby arrived in Rexburg while in the middle of a spring tour of several states. He said he was impressed by the crowd that gathered for his show.
“This is such a cool, beautiful, weird little town,” Appleby said. “I haven’t even started yet, and it’s like the best show.”
Appleby’s original plan was to play a single show in Boise, then to continue on tour to Oregon.
Tanner Waite, the event coordinator for The Burg and a personal friend of Appleby, reached out to the Seattle songwriter and asked him if he could stop and play a show in Rexburg between tour dates.
“Tanner, in The Howls, is a friend of mine,” Appleby said. “He said I should come out here and play, and it worked out with where I was going on tour.”
Waite had a similar interpretation of the conversation, with one small difference.
“I told him it’s a cool area and has good people,” Waite said. “I actually also paid him a little bit out of my own pocket.”
After reaching out to Appleby, it was a matter of finding a venue and getting the word out for the show.
Waite said musicians who play at The Burg do not make much money off the shows, so he had to get creative to convince Appleby to play the smaller show.
Waite and The Howls signed on to open the show, providing a little bit of local Rexburg flair to Appleby’s Northwestern vibes.
“You guys are lucky to have a band like The Howls in town,” Appleby said.
The Howls leaned heavily on energetic alternative rock music, while Appleby went for a much softer sound.
“I’m gonna quiet us down just a little bit,” Appleby said, as he began his set.
Appleby hung several shirts from the rafters and set up a makeshift merchandise booth in the corner of the venue. From there, he sold posters, stickers and copies of his new album.
Appleby made it clear he did not expect anyone to buy anything, but he did expect everyone to say hello.
“Come back and talk to me,” Appleby said. “I want to get to know you all.”
Appleby said the small venue and crowd did not bother him. He asked everyone in attendance to sign up for his email list, so he could notify the crowd when he would play another Rexburg show in the future.
“I’m definitely gonna come back,” Appleby said.