The Demo Hits One Year

By Ryan Jensen

On Sat., Feb. 1, local concert venue “The Demo” will be one year old. This new addition to the St. Louis Grove area, located on 4144 Manchester Boulevard, is a small venue attached to the club “The Atomic Cowboy”. The Demo’s max capacity is about 200 people, so for bigger bands, attendees must get there well before the doors open.

View from on stage at The Demo.
View from onstage at The Demo.

The Demo’s opening night was Feb. 1, 2013. That was considered the “soft opening”. The Demo’s “official” opening wasn’t until Feb. 5. In the past year, bands of different styles and genres have played at The Demo, like Wax Taylor, Sidewalk Chalk, A Lot Like Birds, and David Allan Coe.

While The Demo may be small, it does not lack in shows or talented workers. The main audio engineer has worked with bands like “Miss May I”, and is leaving to go on tour with “The Amity Affliction” in the near future. On average, the club has about five shows a week.

“During busier times, we can easily do eight shows in six days. It just depends on the time of the year and the weather patterns,” says owner and talent finder Jake Snyder.

Snyder is not new to the music industry. He has been working for venues around the St. Louis area for about five years. His first job was a booking agent for the restaurant and small time venue, Cicero’s. Before turing his focus to The Demo, he worked at Fubar, and continues to help with both Cicero’s and Fubar, though his attention is mainly with The Demo.

“[This job] kind of just fell into my lap. When I was in college, I was friends with dudes in bands and would hook them up with shows. I kept doing that and soon I became ‘that guy’. Everything just got bigger and bigger bands started contacting me.” Snyder said.

The Demo and Snyder himself are very supportive of local bands. They encourage people to try to book shows if they show the drive to come to him.

“There are a lot of really good bands here in St. Louis. They need to make better business decisions though. They all want to play with the big bands, and that’s great, but a lot of bands won’t settle for less,” Snyder said. “And they want to play weekends, which makes it much harder to book bands. During a big show, I may have to turn away 10 or 15 bands.”

The Demo has had a very successful opening year and they are looking forward to many more.

“We encourage people to come out. Just pick a show that sounds interesting even if you’ve never heard of the band. You’re likely to have a really good time and find some new bands. Just get out there and try new things.” Snyder Said