It’s been five years since Taylor Agee has booked local bands in the Bluff City, but now the University of Memphis alumnus is back with a new booking company to help support local Memphis groups.
On Saturday 300 + Memphians shuffled between the two rooms of The Hi Tone during “Refreshingly Catchy,” the kick-off event for Agee’s new company Refreshing Shows. Headlined by The Band CAMINO, the concert feature almost 20 local bands: ranging in genre from melodic rock, pop punk, indie, and grunge.
Agee says he created this new company “for his peers to get together and experience the great pleasure of being at a concert.”
“As I got older I decided to start back doing what I loved, which was promoting shows locally,” Agee said.
Agee is known mostly for starting Won’t Look Back Booking in 2005. The Facebook group reached 982 likes and it continues to share links to Memphis-area shows booked by other companies. Now Agee has a “fresh start” with Refreshing Sows and is very confident that people will come and support his new booking company and local Memphis bands. His hope is that those who join will discover some new favorites.
“When I started going to local shows over a decade ago, there was a tremendous buzz about them,” he said.
Justin Workman, frontman of Frenchie!, who performed before The Band CAMINO last Saturday already felt some of that “buzz” at Refreshingly Catchy.
“I honestly didn't know what to expect, but Taylor always works hard and puts a lot into his shows so we were happy to do it,” Workman said. “The crowd was really great. A lot of energy, and a lot of new faces for us. It felt like a rebirth of the all ages scene, and reminded me of the old Skatepark of Memphis days.”
Julian Stanz plays guitar in two bands that performed at Refreshingly Catchy. He said the show was a “breath of fresh air.”
“Having so many great bands under one roof created an atmosphere akin to that of a festival,” Stanz said. “There were so many new faces; it was a fantastic opportunity to make new fans and see the scene really come together.”
Refreshing Shows’ next event is this Saturday Jan. 28. “Refreshingly Heavy” will be headlined by What We Do in Secret, a band comprised of other former U of M students. This show will feature metal and hardcore bands as opposed to the rock and punk acts of Refreshingly Catchy.
Ed Harris is the drummer for Devices Divide Us who are performing at Agee’s Refreshingly Heavy.
“The show Saturday will be reminiscent of a time in Memphis when kids went to shows to listen to heavy bands instead of sitting at home trying to “hook up” on Snapchat, ” Harris said.
Though not all Memphians have experienced local shows or the glory days of Won’t Look Back booking, Agee hopes to show Memphians the group of “seriously talented musicians” that are located in the Bluff City.
“There is such an overwhelming wealth of talent in Memphis,” Agee said. “I want to focus on bringing excitement back to local shows involving bands from Memphis.”
Refreshing Shows are open to all ages, admission is $12, and Hi Tone have a full bar for guests over 21.