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Okotoks teen opens the mic up

Musician Dave Grunleitner hosting open mic at Hub Town Brewing, drops new single

An Okotoks youth has wasted no time getting a few irons in the creative fire.

Fifteen-year-old multi-instrumentalist Dave Grunleitner saw an absence of open mic sessions in Okotoks, and has partnered with Hub Town Brewing to offer artists some time in front of an audience.

“Music connects us all, and that’s one way I greatly appreciate it and write it,” said Grunleitner, who's been creating his own music for six years. “I want to give others the opportunity I’ve had to connect and release their emotions.

“It’s another opportunity to speak out.”

The open mic takes place Feb. 17 from 7-9 p.m. and Grunleitner hopes it will be the first of many.

To give those who may not own their own instrument a shot, he’s bringing two microphones, an electric drum kit, a bass guitar and amp, and keyboard.

This, he added, will give bands an opportunity to play at the open mic.

The event, as with Hub Town, is open to all-ages, and giving performers a shot is a thrill for Hub Town owner Lisa Watts.

“Last summer we hosted Small Town Friday Nights where youth musicians would open the show for the bands,” Watts said. “Now we’re letting the youth run the show in hopes of giving these budding musicians a place to showcase their talent, since it’s tough to find crowds to get in front of at that age”

The event will take place in the upstairs portion of Hub Town’s taproom, with a $10 cover that includes a drink. Attendees are asked to RSVP as either a musician or spectator at hubtownbrewing.com/events 

Grunleitner also just released his first single, Evidently Degrading under his musical moniker Vicarious Vandalism, performing vocals and guitar, with accompanying drums friend Craig Carswell (who also helped produce the track), and bass from Daniel Kneeshaw.

“I know through my music I write a lot about my own experiences and how I may feel about something,” Grunleitner said.

Evidently Degrading delivers a punch of grunge and thrash, which Grunleitner said was inspired largely by acts such as Nirvana (specifically Kurt Cobain’s vocals), as well as the songwriting style of the Sex Pistols.

“The Sex Pistols inspire me in how I write my music, and guitarists like Eddie Van Halen, which my solo is hugely based on,” Grunleitner said. “And even Jimi Hendrix being another influence which helps me write my music and push it forward."

The Highwood High School student has been working on his own musical craft for six years, and is also a member of the symphonic orchestra, jazz, and fusion jazz bands at the school, primarily playing guitar, bass, and drums.

Grunleitner's single is also set to be featured on Calgary radio station X92.9’s ‘Xposure’ segment Feb. 20 at 9 p.m.

For more information about the Open Mic event, visit hubtownbrewing.com/events

Vicarious Vandalism can be found on most major streaming platforms.


Brent Calver

About the Author: Brent Calver

Award-winning photojournalist for the Okotoks Western Wheel and OkotoksToday.ca
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